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Barr, Michael S.

Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law

900 Legal Research
Michael S. Barr is the Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law. A member of the faculty since 2001, he teaches Financial Institutions, International Finance, Financial Derivatives, Transnational Law, and Jurisdiction and Choice of Law, and co-founded the International Transactions Clinic. He was on leave from 2009-2010, serving as the U.S. Department of the Treasury's assistant secretary for financial institutions, and was a key architect of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. He is currently a nonresident senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and the Brookings Institution. He is also a professor of public policy at U-M's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Prof. Barr conducts large-scale empirical research regarding financial services and researches and writes about a wide range of issues in financial regulation. Recent books include No Slack: The Financial Lives of Low-Income Americans (Brookings Press, 2012), Insufficient Funds (Russell Sage, 2009, co-edited with Rebecca Blank), and Building Inclusive Financial Systems (Brookings Press, 2007, co-edited with Anjali Kumar and Robert Litan).

Prof. Barr previously served as Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin's special assistant, as deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury, as special adviser to President William J. Clinton, as a special adviser and counselor on the policy planning staff at the U.S. Department of State, and as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter and the Hon. Pierre N. Leval, then of the Southern District of New York.

He received his JD from Yale Law School, his MPhil in international relations as a Rhodes Scholar from Magdalen College, Oxford University, and his BA, summa cum laude, with honors in history, from Yale University.

Visit Prof. Barr's homepage.

Recent Publications

More Publications...

Financial Regulation: Law and Policy. Foundation Press, Forthcoming, 2016.

"Five Ways the Financial System Will Fail Next Time." (Forthcoming).

"Accountability and Independence in Financial Regulation: Checks and Balances, Public Engagement, and Other Innovations." Law & Contemp. Probs. 78, no. 3 (2015): 119-28.
Full Text: WWW

Minority and Women Entrepreneurs: Building Capital, Networks, and Skills. The Hamilton Project Discussion Paper 2015-03. The Brookings Institution, March, 2015.​
Full Text: MLaw Repository | WWW

"Who's in Charge of Global Finance?" Geo. J. Int'l L. 45, no. 4 (2014): 971-1027.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | WWW

​"Too LIBOR, Too Late: Time to Move to a Market Rate." Competition Pol'y Int'l Antitrust Chron. 11, no. 2 (2012).
Full Text: MLaw Repository | WWW

"The Financial Crisis and the Path of Reform." Yale J. on Regulation 29, no. 1 (2012): 91-119.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Westlaw

No Slack: The Financial Lives of Low-Income Americans. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2012.

Co-author. "Behaviorally Informed Regulation." S. Mullainathan and E. Shafir, co-authors. In Behavioral Foundations of Public Policy, edited by E. Shafir, 440-64. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.


Gave remarks on "Consumer Empowerment: From Banks to Non-banks" at Innovation Conference, Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 2015. ​

Gave remarks on "Minority and Women Entrepreneurs: Building Capital, Network, and Skills" during the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project's forum at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C., March 2015. ​

Gave remarks on "Behaviorally Informed Consumer Financial Protection: A Comparative Perspective" at the Financial Inclusion: The Next Move Forward Conference, America Square, London, January 2015. ​

Gave remarks on "Rethinking Investor and Consumer Arbitration" at the Public and Private Enforcement of Corporate and Securities Law—China and the World Conference, Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law and University of Michigan Law School, Hong Kong, China, December 2014. ​

Moderator, "Alternatives to the Consumer Class Action," Conference on the Future of Class Actions, New York University Law School, Center on Civil Justice, New York, November 2014. ​

Presented lectures on "Systemic Risk," "U.S. and EU Responses to the Global Financial Crisis," "Why Basel III," and "Current Issues in Bank Regulation" for China Development Bank, Ann Arbor, October 2014. ​

Organized conference on financial reform, Center on Finance, Law & Policy, University of Michigan, October 2014. ​

Gave remarks on "Who's in Charge of Global Finance?" at the University of Michigan Law School Financial Reform Conference, Ann Arbor, October 2014. ​

Gave remarks on the "Five Ways the Financial System Will Fail Next Time" to the University of Michigan Alumni Association, New York, October 2014. ​

Gave remarks on "Five Ways the Financial System Will Fail Next Time" at the National Association for Business Economics Annual Meeting, Chicago, September 2014.​

Moderator, Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden's talk on income inequality, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, September 2014.​

Moderator, "Financial Opportunity," Clinton Global Initiative, Denver, Colorado, June 2014.​

Taught "International Banking and Finance," University of Tokyo Graduate School of Law & Politics, Tokyo, Japan, June 2014.​

Presented "Global Coordination in International Finance," Financial Services Authority of Japan, Tokyo, Japan, June 2014.​

Presented "Who's in Charge of Global Finance?", University of Tokyo Graduate School of Law & Politics, Tokyo, Japan, June 2014.​

Presented "Who's in Charge of Global Finance?", University of Kyoto School of Law, Kyoto, Japan, June 2014.​

Presented "Stabilization Policies in Comparative Perspective," Conference Honoring Ned Gramlich, Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C., May 2014.​

Roundtable discussant, House of Debt book launch, Center for Equitable Growth, Washington, D.C., May 2014.​

Gave keynote remarks on "Behavioral Economics & Consumer Empowerment," Federation of Community Development Credit Unions Annual Conference, Detroit, Michigan, May 2014.​

Gave keynote remarks on "Behavioral Economics & Consumer Empowerment," 2014 LendIt Conference, San Francisco, California, May 2014.
Presented "The New, New International Financial Architecture," American Society of International Law, April 2014.​

Presented "The New, New International Financial Architecture," Georgetown Law School, April 2014.

Presented "Finance and Inequality," Yale Law School, March 2014.​

Offered comments on "Administrative Law Innovations in the Dodd-Frank Act," Columbia Law School, February 2014.​

Presented "No Slack: The Financial Lives of Low-income Americans," Russell Sage-Sloan Behavioral Economics and Consumer Finance Working Group Meeting, New York, December 2013.​

Gave remarks at the Working Families Success Network Conference, Detroit, Michigan, November 2013.​

Gave remarks on "Behaviorally Informed Consumer Financial Services Regulation," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, September 2013.​

Gave remarks at the International Transaction Clinic's Fifth Anniversary Celebration, September 2013.​​

Appointed Professor of Public Policy (by courtesy), University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, September 2013.

Gave remarks to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Washington, D.C., July 2013.

Gave remarks at the Aspen Institute's Financial Security Summit, Aspen, CO, July 2013.

Participated in a panel discussion on "The New International Financial Architecture," International Judicial Conference, Berlin, Germany, May 2013.

Gave remarks on "Financial Reform in the United States and Europe," American Center, U.S. Embassy, Prague, Czech Republic, May 2013.

Gave remarks on "The Path of Financial Reform," University of Michigan M3 Convening on Finance, Law and Policy, University of Michigan Law School, May 2013.

Moderated roundtable discussion with former Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner on financial crises: analytics, prevention, and response, University of Michigan Law School, April 2013.

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