Student assignment wins essay contest

Brook Masters:

A former bank compliance officer now enrolled in graduate school has won the inaugural essay contest on banking regulation sponsored by the International Centre for Financial Regulation and the Financial Times.
Nana Esi Atsem, 31, won the $7,500 prize for the best entry with an essay that sought to answer the question: “What works best for banking regulation: market discipline or hard-wired rules?
Her essay won praise from the judges for its discussion of the best way to give creditors a stake in preventing excessive risk-taking, including a comparison of contingent capital, a form of debt that converts to equity when a bank gets into trouble, with subordinated debt, in which some creditors would see their claims made junior to those of depositors and senior bond holders.
“Fuelling debate around regulatory reform remains a key objective for the ICFR and the Financial Times. The research prize was designed to engage financial industry participants in a discussion on the repercussions of banking regulation on the global economy and the submissions we received surpassed our expectations,” said Lord Currie, ICFR chairman.