The choice of new benchmark interest rate should be of special importance to practitioners as well as academics that study law and economics. As new alternative rates are being considered in the United States, this half day conference, co-sponsored by the University of Chicago Law School, will bring together leading academics, as well as representatives from banks, law firms, swap dealers, regulators and others to share their views on design and implementation of new indexes in loan documents, swap agreements and other financial contracts. Speakers will also discuss the potential outcomes when existing documents do not specify a backup benchmark if Libor ceases to be published.
The conference will kick-off a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the implications of this transition and develop a set of practical lessons that can inform the debate around this important topic. Following each panel session, moderators will summarize a set of takeaways for further dialogue.
Topics to be discussed from both the academic and practical sides will include:
- The role and importance of benchmark rates in a global economy
- Public and private alternative rates – SOFR and Ameribor®
- Legacy issues: what happens to contracts when there is a rate transition?
- Do existing contracts provide for the substitution of other indexes or are they silent?
- What is the impact of these legacy and design issues on the economy?
- How does the design of alternative rates impact different players in the US economy?
- Panels with dealers, banks and legal experts
This conference will be webcast live beginning at 12:15pm on Tuesday, April 3. The schedule of speakers for the webcast is (all times approximate):
- 12:15 pm: Introduction, Thomas J. Miles, Dean and Clifton R. Musser Professor of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Law School
- 12:30 pm: Welcome and Overview, Dr. Richard L. Sandor, CEO, American Financial Exchange and Aaron Director Lecturer in Law and Economics, University of Chicago Law School
- 12:45 pm: Keynote: SOFR - Economic Opportunities and Legal Challenges, Dr. David Bowman, Special Adviser to the Board, Federal Reserve Board
- 1:30 pm: The Role of Interest Rate Benchmarks in the Financial System and Real Economy - Why the Transition is So Important, Randall Kroszner, University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Governor of the Federal Reserve System (2006-2009)
- 2:30 pm: The Law and Economics of Changing Benchmarks, Eric Posner, Kirkland & Ellis Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Arthur and Esther Kane Research Chair, University of Chicago Law School
 Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) and American Interbank Offering Rate (Ameribor)