Refinancing Inequality during the COVID 19 Pandemic

Mortgage refinancing is one of the main channels through which monetary policy affects the pocketbooks of everyday Americans. When interest rates are sufficiently low, homeowners can refinance their loans, reducing their monthly payment and realizing a substantial reduction in borrowing costs over the life of the loan. The logic behind expansionary monetary policy in this context […]

Financial Regulatory Suspensions and Debt Provision during the Covid-19 crisis

Policymakers and regulators have launched financial relief and rescue programs to promote economic recovery and alleviate household suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, prudential regulation for banks has been adjusted and it remains uncertain if such suspensions are temporary or entail longer-term effects. In our paper ‘Debt Expansion as “Relief and Rescue” at the Time of […]

Rising concerns about policy uncertainty

Both the Federal Open Market Committee and the International Monetary Fund have blamed uncertainty about fiscal, regulatory, and monetary policy decisions as a major contributor to the 2008-09 global financial crisis and the slow recoveries afterwards. Recently, due to trade tensions and the pandemic, concerns about policy uncertainty have intensified. As a result, the ability to operate amidst an uncertain economic policy environment is becoming indispensable for any modern […]

Recent Risk Alert Highlights Need for SEC Action Regarding Potential Greenwashing by Financial Firms

On April 9th, the SEC’s Division of Examinations issued a “Risk Alert” regarding three types of financial firms – investment advisers, registered investment companies, and private funds – that offer Environmental, Social & Governance (“ESG”) products and services. The Examinations Division is prioritizing review of ESG practices in response to the rapidly growing demand by […]

Europe’s Regulatory Playbook for ESG Rating Providers

As individual and institutional investors move toward investing according to environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) criteria, ESG ratings – scores given to companies or financial instruments on the basis of meeting these criteria – are becoming critically important in guiding investment portfolios.  While substantial work has been put into designing clear ESG standards that would […]

SEC Effort to Regulate State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST) Disclosure

The SEC Division of Corporation Finance (DCF) reviews financial filings of publicly traded corporations to ensure compliance with accounting standards and disclosure requirements.  If the SEC has any questions after reviewing the financial reports, the SEC will send a comment letter asking about perceived deficiencies.  Firm responses to SEC inquiries vary from simply answering questions posed via a response letter to amending their financial reports.  […]

The “Musk Effect”: How influential and well-known individuals can influence Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

On January 29, 2021, the price of one Bitcoin rose from $32,000 to $38,000 within a few hours. The catalyst for this jump appeared to be an update to Elon Musk’s Twitter bio. Musk used #bitcoin for his account description followed by a tweet that said: “In retrospect, it was inevitable.” At the time, the world was unaware that Tesla, Inc. had […]

Falling Short: The Unintended Consequences of the Corporate Tax Cuts

Since the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) in 2017, changes to the United States system of corporate taxation has gained more attention among policymakers and the public. Promised to be the solution to a stagnant economy, the TCJA was the largest tax overhaul in decades. My recent article, “Falling Short: The […]

Restoring Order in Crypto’s Wild West

Last week marked another milestone in the evolution of cryptocurrency. Visa announced they would let USD Coin, a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar, settle on its payment network, and PayPal launched “Checkout with Crypto,” a service that allows customers to pay with cryptocurrency at checkout. These moves represent the latest brick to be removed […]

Unsecured to the Satisfaction

When engaging in 13(3) lending, the Federal Reserve must be “secured to [its] satisfaction,” which it has generally (and reasonably) taken to mean that its ex ante expectation should be that it will be fully repaid.i However, the Fed also interprets the legislative history of 13(3) as suggesting that this standard cannot be met with an entirely unsecured loan—a loan in which the Fed takes no collateral, third-party guarantee, or […]