New Financial Instruments

New financial instruments, each tailored to meet specific financial challenges, have been at the forefront of the financial revolution of the last decade. These rapidly proliferating products offer end users the ability to manage risks that might otherwise make certain investments of business activities impractical. Yet if these instruments are handled incorrectly they can be risky.

For every well-publicized loss, however, hundreds of corporations have achieved real economic benefit with relative security by employing these risk management tools. "New Financial Instruments: Horizons for Risk Management" reveal how these sophisticated tools have revolutionized the risk management operations of corporations and financial institutions across the globe.

The symposium covered the impact of new financial instruments on world markets, especially as these markets have become more closely integrated. These instruments have large been unregulated, and some banking and securities regulators have blamed them for instances of volatility, such as the turbulence that swept Wall Street in spring 1994. The symposium addressed this question, as well as the related issue of the appropriate role of financial instrument regulation in closely intertwined global markets.