Improving Economic Policies for the American Territories

On October 15, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico v. Aurelius Investment, a case that centers on the constitutionality of the appointment process for the members of the federally established board charged with restructuring Puerto Rico’s over $100 billion in debt.  In addition to shedding light on this narrow question about debt, bankruptcy, and the U.S. Constitution, the case highlights the larger, longstanding political and economic plight of over 4 million Americans living in the unincorporated territories of the United States (the “Territories”): Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, … Read more

Financial Weapons and Modern Warfare

A new type of warfare is upon us. In this new mode of war, finance is the most powerful weapon, bullets are not fired, financial institutions are the targets, and almost everyone is at risk.  Instead of smart bombs, improvised explosives, and unmanned drones –– economic sanctions, financial restrictions, and cyber programs are the weapons of choice. This is the new reality of modern financial warfare.

The armaments of modern financial warfare are as vast, diverse, and important as the myriad of ways to raise and move money. Broadly, the financial weapons of war can be divided into analog weapons … Read more

Infinite Financial Intermediation

Intermediation is a fundamental fact of finance. Investment banks underwrite stock offerings for companies. Commercial banks safeguard the savings of workers. Fund managers invest the pensions of retirees. Exchanges match orders of buyers and sellers. Brokers facilitate trades of investors. Credit card companies advance funds to consumers. Collectively, these and other intermediaries form the fabric of modern finance. Yet in the face of all these financial links, entrepreneurs and and technologists continue to endeavor toward the possibilities of fundamentally disrupting and disintermediating these existential financial ties with innovations like ApplePay, Square, and Venmo.

Despite numerous extraordinary innovations in finance, true … Read more

CEOs and Presidents

The following post comes to us from Tom C.W. Lin, Associate Professor of Law at Temple University Beasley School of Law, and is based on his recent article entitled “CEOs and Presidents,” 47 UC Davis Law Review 1351 (2014).  A full version of the paper can be found here.

Chief executives run the world. CEOs manage companies that touch every corner and curve of the earth. Presidents execute policies that affect people and populations across the globe. Together, CEOs and presidents form a double helix of executive power at the core of modern law and society.

My new … Read more

Cyborg Finance: The Emerging Future of Finance

In August of 2013, the global markets experienced the perils of an ongoing sea change in finance:  Goldman Sachs encountered a serious options trading malfunction due to a programming error; Everbright Securities, a leading Chinese securities broker, suffered a nearly $4 billion trading error due to a software glitch; and the NASDAQ stock exchange suspended trading for three hours on a regular trading day due to technical difficulties.

In a recently published article, The New Investor, I examine the ongoing sea change in finance. Machines appear to be on the rise and humans on the decline. Human endeavors have … Read more

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Editor's Tweet: Prof. Tom C.W. Lin of Temple Law School discusses "The New Investor" in the capital markets