The Architecture of Decentralised Finance Platforms in the Post COVID-19 Era – A New Open Finance Paradigm

During the COVID-19 pandemic a new consensus has emerged which castigates modern finance for its tendency towards excessive leverage, and short-termism. As all this activity took place against a background of disappearing disposable incomes, it is not surprising that it also boosted inequality, especially between the asset-rich and the asset-light classes with the latter having […]

Executive Compensation, Individual-Level Tax Rates, and Insider Trading Profits

Changes in individual-level tax rates represent exogenous shocks to executives’ net compensation. While these shocks may increase or decrease compensation, there is little evidence that firms respond by changing executives’ explicit compensation. One explanation is that executives bear the brunt of any tax rate change by directly reflecting these changes to their own compensation. Alternatively, […]

The Liability of Clearing Brokers to Public Investors

This blog post is offered, in part, as a primer for members of the judiciary, arbitration panels, and the bar who may be faced, perhaps for the first time, with a claim against a “clearing broker.” Understandingly, the role that clearing brokers play in the securities markets is not well understood by the general public, […]

Climate Risk Disclosures & Practices: Highlighting the Need for a Standardized Regulatory Disclosure Framework to Weather the Impacts of Climate Change on Financial Markets

The following is the executive summary of a new report from the Climate Risk Disclosure Lab that highlights the need for a thorough, robust, and mandatory disclosure framework for climate-related information. The report exposes the failure of U.S. regulators to properly incorporate climate change into their mandates and assesses the threats that the vacuum of […]

The Department of Labor Wants to Expose 401(k)s and Pension Plans to Greater Financial Risk from Climate-related Impacts

This post first appeared on the Climate Risk Disclosure Lab website. The Lab is a collaboration between the Global Financial Markets Center at Duke Law, Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and the National Whistleblower Center.   On June 23, 2020, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a proposed regulation for public comment aimed […]

How Central Banks Can Make the Future of Payments Inclusive

Payment systems are critical infrastructure that generate positive network externalities. The more people who use them, the better off everyone using them is. They allow households, businesses, governments, and nonprofits to clear and settle transactions. People rely on them to receive their income through direct deposit or cashing checks; pay their rent, mortgage, or other […]

The Impact of Private Equity Buyouts On Productivity and Jobs

Over the past two decades, the role of private equity in the real economy has dramatically increased. For example, private equity-backed U.S. companies numbered approximately 4,000 in 2006, but by 2018, that figure had doubled to around 8,000. Meanwhile, the number of publicly traded firms in the United States fell by 14 percent, from 5,113 […]

The Heat Is On: U.S. Regulators Facing Increasing Pressure to Enhance Climate Disclosures

Hurricane Delta’s landfall in Louisiana last week marked the tenth named storm to hit the United States this year, breaking the record set in 1916. Records, of the ignominious sort, have also been set on the West Coast. California has experienced six of its twenty largest wildfires this year, and on August 16th, Death Valley […]

How Import Competition Contributes to Corporate Tax Avoidance

The past few years have been marked by many tax scandals: LuxLeaks in 2014, SwissLeaks in 2015, Bahamas Leaks and the Panama Papers in 2016, and the Paradise Papers and Malta Files in 2017. Last month, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published the FinCEN Files, and in so doing provided a glimpse into […]

Bias, Identity and M&A

Corporate executives play a central role, perhaps even the central role, in a firm’s decision to undertake a merger or acquisition (M&A). M&A deals are often done at the behest of executives, who also largely run the deal-making process. Senior executives, especially CEOs, play a pivotal role in crafting, negotiating, and closing deals. They are […]