Market Microstructures

Despite the growing complexity of the global financial system, existing economic theory remains prone to explaining financial instability after the fact—leaving the structural aspects of derivatives markets, payment systems, and collateral supply chains unexplored. Only when financial crises occur do the details of financial markets become understood by a wider public.

In this series, economist Elham Saeidinezhad takes the lesser known corners of financial markets as her primary point of departure, investigating underlying market microstructures and the people who act within and upon them. Through a combination of original analysis and interviews with market participants, the series opens the way for a nuanced understanding of market stability—and the origins of crisis.

Working Capital

Tim van Bijsterveldt on transformations in the global payments system

The Federal Reserve has provided payment and settlement services for more than a century. But FedNow, the instant payments service rolled out in late June 2023, is the first new Fed payments rail in 50 years. Though payment and settlement…

Global Payments

Systemic risk and the end of LIBOR

The last day of June marked the final printing of the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR)—an average of anticipated interest rates among London banks which has thus far served as the benchmark for short term and off-shore lending around the…

Making Markets

An interview with Douglas Cifu on the SEC

The Gamestop bubble of 2021—where the value of the company’s stocks increased more than a hundred times over in just a few months—exemplified the rising trend of the meme stock frenzy. The event shed light on the role of retail…

Best Execution?

SEC regulations and the future of retail trading

Recent years have seen the rise of the meme stock frenzy—a wave of stock purchases driven by social media trends. This tendency culminated with the Gamestop bubble of 2021, in which the value of the company’s stocks increased more than…

Inside the Black Box

Examining the microstructures of the financial system

We live in a period of unparalleled financial complexity, and, as the history of recent decades has demonstrated, unparalleled financial risk. The recurring crises which plague the global economy have brought theorists of systemic instability to the fore. Key among…