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Katharina Pistor is Michael I. Sovern Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and Director of the Center on Global Legal Transformation. She previously taught at the Kennedy School of Government, and worked at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Private Law in Hamburg, Germany; she also serves on Columbia University’s Committee on Global Thought. Her research focuses on the development of legal institutions in the context of social and economic transformation. In the 1990s she worked predominantly on transition economies in Central and Eastern Europe, but has since expanded her research to other emerging markets and the global economy. Ongoing research projects include globalization and the transformation of law; comparative global finance; and the distributional effects of alternative regulatory regimes.

Recent publications: “Host’s Dilemma: Rethinking EU Banking Regulation in Light of the Global Crisis” (Festschrift für Hopt, 2010) “Global Network Finance” (Journal of Comparative Economics, 2009); and, with Curtis Milhaupt, “Law and Capitalism: What Corporate Crises Reveal about Legal Systems and Economic Development Around the World” (Chicago University Press, 2008).

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German Court decision: Legal authority and deep power implications

Article | Feb 26, 2014

Who wields supreme power over the ECB? This column analyses the recent ruling by the German Constitutional Court that the ECB cannot act as lender of last resort. Although seemingly couched by the referral of this decision to the European Court of Justice, this is a bid for power and the return to the pre-crisis paradigm of ‘ultra posse nemo obligatur’.

America’s Debt-Ceiling Debacle

Article | Oct 22, 2013

When Greece’s sovereign-debt crisis threatened the euro’s survival, U.S. officials called their European counterparts to express bewilderment at their inability to resolve the issue.

The State, the Market and the Rule of Law

Paper Conference paper | | Apr 2013

State and market are often depicted as distinct, even antagonistic. Markets appear as natural products of spontaneous ordering; states as leviathans that if left untamed will distort, if not destroy markets’ natural state.

The Law-Finance Paradox

Paper Conference paper | | Apr 2013

The global financial crisis led to the rediscovery of ‘fundamental uncertainty’. Incorporating uncertainty into the analysis of financial markets alters our understanding of how these markets operate and expose the two-faced role of law in finance.

Featuring this expert

Creating A Legal Foundation For Finance

Video | Sep 4, 2014

How does the law interact with finance? Katharina Pistor on the paradoxical relationship between law and finance.

Winter School on Law and Finance

Event Workshop | Jan 5–8, 2014

The Institute will host the Winter School on Law and Finance at Columbia University’s Global Center in Paris on January 6-9, 2014.

Changing of the Guard

Event Conference | Apr 4–7, 2013

The Institute for New Economic Thinking held its annual plenary conference in Hong Kong from April 4-7, 2013 at the InterContinental Hotel in Kowloon. The event discussed Asia’s emergence in the global economy and other core issues.

What Finance (and Economics) Can Learn from Law

Video | Aug 14, 2011

Without law and legal institutions, financial markets won’t work. That’s what economists discovered about 15 years ago, when former socialist countries turned towards capitalism.