The Custody of Cryptocurrencies: OCC Opens the Door for Banks to Take Part in the Fintech World

In 2017, journalist Nick Ortega chronicled the story of how his house-cleaning service threw away a slip of orange paper with the private key to his cryptocurrency funds scribbled on it, costing him $30,000. A private key is an alphanumeric cryptographic code, which is the only way for a user to access his cryptocurrency. A […]

Current State of Research on Factor Investing in Government Bonds

Factor investing has grown in popularity over the last few decades, especially with respect to equity markets. After extending Fama-French factors to corporate bond markets, recent research has more often concentrated on the government bond space and revealed that there is indeed clear empirical evidence for the existence of significant government bond factors. Voices that […]

Personnel is Policy: Changes of Agency Leadership under a Biden-Harris Administration

The outcome of recent national elections will result in a change of Administration and control of both houses of Congress by the Administration’s political party. As a result, there will be a change in national policy and in the leadership of the agencies that will oversee and enforce it. This post will review currently announced and potential changes to the leadership of Federal agencies that exercise supervisory and regulatory power regarding financial services and housing and the policy […]

Disintermediating finance: Fintech and its limitations

The recent Wirecard scandal highlighted an old issue that has been disturbing scholars and policymakers about technology companies offering financial services – trust. While Wirecard collapsed due to fraud, the public debate has shifted towards the fact that most of the Fintech industry is subject to minimal regulation at best. In our recent paper, we […]

A wonderful step toward fully dematerialized securities: Germany is utterly serious about carrying out its Blockchain Strategy within Europe 

Emerging blockchain ecosystems may be one of the most potent game-changers in financial and legal services over the next decade as some European countries have made substantial progress in terms of using and supporting distributed ledger technologies (“DLT”), today commonly known as “Blockchain”. Blockchain technology is applied in different sectors including the financial sector. In […]

Partisanship in Loan Pricing

Recent years have seen a heightened level of partisan conflict in the U.S.[1] Both academic research and anecdotal evidence suggest that partisanship generates profound influence on individuals’ beliefs, leading them to selectively incorporate information that is favorable to their own political orientation.[2] In particular, partisanship appears to play a role in influencing individuals’ perceptions of […]

The role of government and private institutions in credit cycles in the U.S. mortgage market

Boom and bust cycles are recurring features in housing markets. These episodes are often associated with significant expansions in the amount of mortgage debt households incur. The mortgage crisis of 2008 was no exception, with a near doubling of outstanding household mortgage debt between 2000 and 2008 in the United States. In this paper, we […]

The Pandemic Relief Bill and the Battle Over Federal Reserve Emergency Lending Authority

Negotiations over the just-released $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill got bogged down over the weekend due to the seemingly arcane matter of Federal Reserve emergency lending authority. For the millions of Americans who are in desperate need of financial assistance, this delay was unnecessary and needlessly cruel. Nor were frenzied negotiations around pandemic relief legislation […]

The OCC’s and FDIC’s Attempts to Confer Banking Privileges on Nonbanks and Commercial Firms Are Unlawful and Threaten to “Bankify” Our Economy

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have adopted several recent measures that attempt to confer benefits and privileges of banks on nonbank providers of financial services and commercial firms.  Those initiatives are unlawful and dangerous because they will enable nonbanks and commercial firms to undermine […]

Policy Options for Preventing an Eviction Crisis

There have been several federal and state eviction moratoria since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. The current binding eviction moratorium is the CDC’s, which was implemented on September 1, 2020 and expires on December 31, 2020. This moratorium was implemented as a public health measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Tenants […]