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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Craig Lewis: SEC Doing Economic Analysis, Not Just Cost/Benefit

The SEC has put resources to its goal of providing quality economic analysis, when possible, to support its new regulations. Craig Lewis is the leader of this effort, as Chief Economist and Director of the Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation (RiskFin). He spoke yesterday at a public policy luncheon organized by Women in Housing and Finance, a DC-based association that offers programming on topical programs in housing, financial services.

A professor of finance on leave from Vanderbilt University, Dr. Lewis has built a team that he hopes will reach 90 PhD economists in the very near future, all focused on the goal of research to support SEC rules that meets the standards of peer review required for publication in academic journals. To meet this standard, he wants his PhDs to stay in the publication game, conducting research that will keep their skills sharp and give them a window into the "real world."

He proudly told the story of the development of a recent rule that defined "swap dealer." The proposed rule had set initially a threshold that would capture almost any swap user and label it a dealer. Through a systematic analysis of swaps based on real data, his group determined that there was a lot of activity on the top and bottom, and big gap in the middle. They used that gap to set a threshold that would leave out swaps users in favor of capturing mostly dealers.

Read more about RiskFin.

Read more about Women in Housing and Finance.

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