Policy --- Financial Services

I’ve been fascinated by the world of financial services for many years.


My doctoral work focused on the unbundling of the value chain in mortgage banking. I did this as a Fellow of the Wharton Financial Institutions Centre, with Tony Santomero, later Chairman of the Philadelphia Fed, as one of my advisors. I talked policy with the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, even though my PhD was awarded in 2000 – seven years before anyone was interested in such policy risks! But that quickly changed once the global financial crisis struck.


I argued that the crisis was driven primarily by the transformation of the business model of financial institutions (including ratings agencies and shadow bank enablers), which went undetected by policymakers and central bankers as you can see in this Journal of Financial Perspectives article with WEF’s M. Drexler and J. Rico.


My unique angle on the crisis was the same as it had been in academia. I pointed to the importance of business models for policy, and the way changes in business models changed “industry architectures”.


Applying these ideas was at the core of some of my early work with the World Economic Forum, and the initiative of dinners co-organized by the McKinsey Global Institute, the WEF, Barclays Capital and LBS.


These expanded into a collaboration with the Industry Parliament Trust, and a set of Briefings for members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords in the UK, which I co-organized and facilitated. The group included Andrew Bailey, the current Governor of the Bank of England, leaders of UK Banks and members of the All-Party Groups on Banking and Finance.


I also engaged with sympathetic ears including Andy Haldane from the Bank of England, and this led to my collaboration with Nicola Cetorelli, VP and Head of Financial Intermediation Research at the New York Fed. We share an interest in understanding how bank scope and activities affect bank performance and risk, and worked together when I was based in New York, from 2012 to 2014. Since 2015 I have been a Visiting Scholar and consultant to the New York Fed. This research is now coming out, in top academic journals like SMJ and blogs like the New York Fed’s Liberty Street Economics.

 

Drawing on my interest in the architecture of financial services and my recent work on platforms and ecosystems, I am also fascinated by the challenges of regulating new technologies of financial intermediation such as Distributed Ledger Technologies (blockchain and cryptocurrencies) and their exchange- the new frontier of finance.