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Big Data in Finance Conference to be Held at Michigan Law October 27-28

By Amy Spooner
October 19, 2016

When you log in to and upload data from your bank accounts and retirement accounts into the app, who owns the data? Can auto lenders rely on social media data to grant or deny car loans? When securities trading happens in less than a blink of an eye, how do market participants and regulators analyze what is going on? The University of Michigan Center on Finance, Law, and Policy and the U.S. Office of Financial Research are co-hosting a conference at Michigan Law to explore the opportunities and questions surrounding the use of big data to enhance financial stability and address other challenges in financial markets.

The Big Data in Finance conference, taking place at Michigan Law October 27–28, will bring together experts from the fields of computer science, data science, engineering, economics, finance, law, and public policy to explore ways to make financial data more accessible and more secure, as well as more useful. Keynote addresses will be given by Richard Berner, director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Financial Research; Kara Stein, commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission; and Harvard economist and MacArthur Fellow Sendhil Mullainathan.

Big Data in Finance, which is held in collaboration with the Michigan Institute for Data Science, the U-M Ross School of Business, the U-M College of Engineering, and Michigan Law, will explore how big data can help market participants, regulators, and the public to see and better understand financial networks and interconnections in real time, and to use that information to enhance financial stability, increase transparency, and bolster consumer and investor protection. Panel presentations will focus on privacy and security; data quality, data gaps, and information arbitrage; ethical, legal, and sociopolitical questions surrounding the use of big data; sharing and transparency; modeling and analysis; and integration and visualization. Panels also will discuss the effects on consumer autonomy, privacy, and anti-discrimination norms.

"Big Data can help transform our understanding of financial markets, but its use also raises big questions," said Michael S. Barr, the Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law at Michigan Law and faculty director of the U-M Center on Finance, Law, and Policy. "We have recruited experts domestically and internationally who have considered how data should be aggregated, protected, analyzed, and shared, and I look forward to new insights from bringing them together with leading experts from the University of Michigan's outstanding schools and departments."

In addition to Barr, panel moderators include University of Michigan professors Alfred Hero (Michigan Institute for Data Science), Amiyatosh Purnanandam (Ross School of Business), Matthew Shapiro (Department of Economics), and H.V. Jagadish (College of Engineering), as well as the Office of Financial Research's Mark Flood.

Among the many outside speakers are Deborah Lucas, Sloan Distinguished Professor of Finance, MIT; Aurel Schubert, director general, statistics, European Central Bank; Linda Avery, chief data officer, Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Lewis Alexander, managing director and U.S. chief economist, Nomura; Patricia Mosser, senior fellow, Columbia University; Thomas Brown, partner, global banking and payment systems practice, Paul Hastings LLP; Kabir Kumar, director for policy and ecosystem building, Omidyar Network; Graham Steele, minority chief counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Marisabel Torres, National Council of La Raza, David Bholat, senior analyst, Advanced Analytics Division, Bank of England; and Margaret Varga, visiting fellow at Oxford University and chair of the NATO Exploratory Visual Analytics Research Task Group.

The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 27 and from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on October 28 in the Honigman Auditorium, Hutchins Hall 100. Registration is free and open to the public, but space is limited. For more information and to register, visit the conference website.

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