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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Prof Dr Susanne Augenhofer

Yale-Humboldt Consumer Law Lecture 2016

On Monday, 6 June 2016, the third Yale Humboldt Consumer Law Lecture was held in the Senatssaal of the Humboldt University Berlin. Initiated by Prof. Susanne Augenhofer, LL.M. Yale, this annual lecture series aims to enhance a transatlantic academic exchange in the field of consumer law. For this year’s event we were privileged to welcome as guests: Roberta Romano, Sterling Professor of Law at Yale Law School, Richard Brooks, Charles Keller Beekman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and Henry B. Hansmann, Oscar M. Ruebhausen Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

They spoke on the following topics:


  • Prof. Richard Brooks: Law, Exit, Voice and Loyalty
  • Prof. Henry B. Hansmann: Should the Law Respect Corporate Subsidiaries?
  • Prof. Roberta Romano: A Retrospective of the CFPB’s Activities.


Professor Peter Frensch, Vice President for Research at Humboldt University and a graduate of Yale Psychology (M.S., M.Phil, and PhD), opened the event with his welcomeing address.

After opening remarks by Professor Augenhofer, Professor Brooks gave an overview of the principles of exit, voice and loyalty in the modern consumer law context in the first lecture and examined their implications on each type of law enforcement. Professor Brooks looked at the individual principles from the legal and economic analysis point of view and emphasized the central significance to consumer law as presented by many examples.

Thereafter, Professor Hansmann referred to the advantages of the foundation of a subsidiary in his lecture. He described on the one hand the economic impacts of the external asset portioning between the corporation and its shareholders and, showing especially the advantages of a corporation over a partnership. On the other hand he referred to the internal asset portioning within a corporate group. Finally he presented principles for piercing the corporate veil.

Professor Romano spoke in her lecture about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that was founded by the US Congress in the wake of the global financial crisis 2008-2009. She referred not only to the founding process but also to the special structural characteristics of this independent authority that is responsible for consumer protection within the financial sector. Professor Romano also outlined the individual instruments of the CFPB and showed their relevance with a statistical evaluation.

The lectures were followed by an interesting discussion with the audience.