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Financial Markets in an Age of Crisis and Technology Seminar

This seminar will explore the transformations underway in today's financial and capital markets owing to the rise of digital technology since 2008. We will examine how these developments impact the paradigms by which we commonly regulate financial markets (e.g. relying on large banks to provide payment services and deposit accounts). To do this, we will think about the potential of these changes for changing consumer behavior (e.g. the rise of Robinhood for stock trading or Venmo for payments), financial inclusion and equity, and ultimately, for ensuring the utility and resiliency of financial markets (e.g. move to national digital currencies). We will reflect on how Covid-19 is changing how financial firms approach delivery of products and services (e.g. uptake of digital and contactless payments) to more broader thinking about what financial markets might look like in the wake of the pandemic (e.g. firms look to remote-work, less concentrated around cities). This is a period of change and transformation and we will take the opportunity to examine current events in real-time. The seminar will feature invited speakers to lead discussions. I will also set up some small-group discussions around the seminar to dig deeper into themes for those that are interested. Students will produce a seminar paper of 30-40 pages or so based broadly around seminar topics. The emphasis of the seminar will be in fostering an active dialogue to get to grips with the implications of the current moment for the economy and regulation. Enrollment Limited. [3]