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Towards a more resilient financial system?
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Professor Joanna Gray
Seattle University Law Review
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The concept of “resilience” in the context of financial systems calls for closer analysis, as most of the current efforts to reshape financial systems seek to render them more resilient. Resilience has become a necessary complement to the paradigm shift taking place in global financial regulation toward “macroprudential” regulation—a term used to describe a new viewing platform and decisionmaking plane for financial regulation. From this new perspective, regulators can address the state of the financial system as a whole, as well as its component parts. This Article seeks to illustrate how legal and regulatory measures that foster resilience have become the bedfellows and ultimate backstop to macroprudential regulation. It argues that, in the rush to build the institutional framework for a more resilient financial system, there has been precious little discussion of, firstly, what the term “resilience” might mean in the context of money and financial markets and, secondly, who and what exactly we wish to become more resilient. What are the subjects of resiliencebuilding measures, and might there be conflicts of interest latent in this agenda? Will fostering greater resilience in A potentially harm the resilience of B? What are the characteristics of “the more resilient financial system” that is being repeatedly called for? This Article examines the literature emerging on adaptive and resilient responses to catastrophe and systemic shocks and asks what building a more resilient financial system might mean. It concludes by raising the possibility that some of the current forms of “collaborative consumption” that are emerging in the United States and United Kingdom, as well as the growth in nonbank sources of lending, might actually be building a more novel form of resilience into the financial system, should they result in a broader shift away from the near monopoly enjoyed by bank-created money as objectified social trust.
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