How Blockchain-Based Financial Markets Can Create Systemic Risks That Harm Lower-Income People

Blockchain-based platforms create exciting possibilities for financial inclusion: widespread ownership of deposit accounts and access to payments services. From a macro-level perspective, however, these platforms can aggravate systemic risks. Systemic instability, in turn, threatens financial inclusion and sustainability.

Sustainable finance, as used here, means continuously providing financial inclusion and access to credit. Emerging financial technologies, or fintech, such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based financing platforms, have potential to create access to banking services, investment possibilities, and capital for those currently underserved in these areas.

Yet blockchain-based financial activity has the potential to threaten market stability in two different ways. First, it … Read more

Exploring the Utility of Closing Opinions

Closing opinions are letters that attorneys issue for the benefit of parties to a transaction. With these letters, attorneys attest on behalf of their clients to the enforceability and legal status of deals. These letters can reduce information asymmetries and can function as a type of deal insurance.

That said, descriptions of what lawyers actually do when they issue closing opinions turn out to be deceptively complex. As a consequence, the questions of what lawyers should do, or what they could do, when they issue closing opinions can fall out of focus.

Deal lawyers should consider new ways in which … Read more