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Barr, Michael S.

Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law

900 Legal Research
734.936.2878
E-mail msbarr@umich.edu

Michael S. Barr is the Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law, faculty director of the U-M Center on Finance, Law, and Policy, and a professor of public policy at U-M's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. A member of the Law School faculty since 2001, he teaches Financial Regulation, International Finance, and Financial Derivatives, and co-founded both the International Transactions Clinic and the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project of the Community and Economic Development Clinic. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

Professor Barr conducts large-scale empirical research regarding financial services and researches and writes about a wide range of issues in domestic and international financial regulation. His books include Financial Regulation: Law & Policy (Foundation Press 2016, with Howell Jackson and Margaret Tahyar), 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).

Professor Barr was on leave during 2009 and 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 of 2010. Professor 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.

Recent Publications

More Publications...


"Five Ways the Financial System Will Fail Next Time." Work in Progress.

Co-author. Nothing Left to Lose? Changes Experienced by Detroit Low- and Moderate-Income Households During the Great Recession. D. Schaffa, co-author. Washington Center for Equitable Growth Working Paper; U of Mich. Law & Economics Research Paper No. 16-109; U of Michigan Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper No. 518. Working Paper.
Full Text: SSRN

Co-author. Financial Regulation: Law and Policy. H. E. Jackson and M. E. Tahyar, co-authors. Foundation Press, 2016.
​​

​"Microfinance and Financial Development." In Economics of Financial Law, edited by G. P. Miller. (Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016), vol. II. (Originally published under the same title in Mich. J. Int'l L. 26, no. 1 (2004): 271-96.)​

"International lawmaking by hybrid bodies: The case of financial regulation." In Handbook on the Theory and Practice of International Lawmaking, edited by c. Brolmann and Y. Radi, 262-85. Edward Elgar, 2016.​

"Mandatory Arbitration in Consumer Finance and Investor Contracts." N. Y. U. J. L. & Bus. 11, no. 4 (2015): 793-817.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | WWW

"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: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | 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 | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | 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.
Professor

Activities

Worked with the Kellogg Foundation and JP Morgan Chase Foundation to develop $6.5 million loan fund at the Detroit Development Fund for Detroit entrepreneurs and small businesses.​

Awarded $60,000 MCubed Grant from University of Michigan to launch interdisciplinary Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project (with H. Smotrich & M. Wellman).​

Awarded $127,000 grant from JP Morgan Chase Foundation to support development of University of Michigan Law School clinic for Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project.​

Gave remarks on "Instant Payments" and "10 Policy Ideas for Financial Inclusion" at the Center for Financial Services Innovation Emerge Conference, New Orleans, June 2016.​

Gave remarks on "Regulating for Financial Stability in Uncertainty" at IMF, Washington, D.C., April 2016.​

Gave remarks on "Minority and Women Entrepreneurs: Building Capital, Network, and Skills" at the Color of Wealth Summit, Washington, D.C., April 2016.​

Moderator, "Payments at the Edge," Payments Innovation Conference, Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 2016.​

Gave remarks on "Financial Inclusion" at the Return of the American City, Redeeming the American Dream Symposium, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, March 2016.​

Gave remarks on "The Role of Lawyers in Financial Regulation” at Columbia Law School, New York, March 2016.​

Gave remarks on "Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Expanding Financial Inclusion to the Poor" at the Ford Foundation, New York, March 2016.​

Moderator and panelist, "Financial Services, Consumer Protection, and Mobility: The Next Five Years​," Center for American Progress, February 2016.

Gave remarks on "Finance and Inequality" at the Legal Solutions to Wealth Inequality symposium sponsored by the Black Allied Law Students Association, New York University Law School, New York, February 2016.​

Gave remarks on "Beyond Bitcoin: The Future of Blockchain and Disruptive Financial Technologies" at the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., January 2016.

Panelist, launch of the Detroit Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, Detroit, December 2015.​

Organized Interdisciplinary Approaches to Financial Stability conference​ sponsored by the Center on Finance, Law & Policy and the U.S. Treasury Office of Financial Research, Ann Arbor, October 2015.

Moderator and panelist, "Responding to Fundamental Challenges," Conference on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Financial Stability, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, October 2015.​

Presented lectures on "Systemic Risk," "U.S. and E.U. Responses to the Global Financial Crisis," "Why Basel III," and "Current Issues in Bank Regulation" for the China Development Bank, Ann Arbor, October 2015.​

Panel participant, "Storming the Court: 25 Years After Haitian Centers Council v. Sale," New York Law School, New York, October 2015.​

Gave remarks on "Behaviorally Informed Financial Services Regulation" at the Masters in Public Policy Seminar, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, October 2015.​

Roundtable participant, "Ethics in Finance," Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York, October 2015.​

Gave remarks on "Finance and Inequality: Dodd-Frank After 5 Years" at the University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, October 2015.​

Awarded $150,000 Smith Richardson Foundation grant for Conference on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Financial Stability, Fall 2015.​

Gave remarks on "Who's in Charge of Global Finance" at The Next, Seoul, Korea, September 2015.​

​Moderator, "Small Business Borrowers' Bill of Rights," National Press Club, Washington, D.C., August 2015.​​

Provided testimony​ before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Hearing on Measuring the Systemic Importance of U.S. Bank Holding Companies, July 2015.​

Provided written testimony for the record before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, July 2015. ​

Moderator, "Financial Opportunity," Clinton Global Initiative, Denver, June 2015. ​

Moderator, Conference on International Financial Reform, Center on Finance, Law & Policy, Ann Arbor, May 2015. ​

Gave remarks on "Minority and Women Entrepreneurs: Building Capital, Network, and Skills" at the United States Department of the Treasury, SSBCI Conference, Washington, D.C., May 2015. ​

Gave remarks on "Five Ways the Financial System Will Fail Next Time" at the University of Michigan Alumni Talk, Washington, D.C., May 2015.​

Gave remarks on "Consumer Empowerment: From Banks to Non-banks" at Pymnts.com 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.​