In December 2008, the Laboratory for Aggregate Economics and Finance (LAEF) will sponsor a conference entitled "Payments and Networks."  Sometimes called the "plumbing" of the financial system, a payment system is the procedures and associated computer networks used by both domestic and international financial institutions to transfer funds, securities and derivatives.  On a typical business day, transactions valued at over $13 trillion flow through this system in the United States, roughly equivalent to the annual gross domestic product.  The sheer volume as well as the complexity of making these transactions implies that dislocations or just a sudden loss of confidence in the system has the potential to amplify or even generate liquidity shortages and credit exposures, impairing financial stability.  This risk is even more pertinent during times of financial markets stress.  This conference will not only explore advances in payment economics, but will also bring to bear insights from network models in other disciplines.

The conference will take place on the UCSB campus on December 12-13, 2008, in the State Street Room at the University Center.  The conference organizers are Peter Rupert and Rod Garratt of UCSB. Participants will include researchers from the disciplines of Economics, Finance and Biology.  UCSB Economics Department faculty and interested graduate students will also participate.  There will be two full days of presentations, beginning December 12th.  The complete schedule of events can be found on the “Agenda” link of this website.