Building Better Financial Systems

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

Digital Finance, COVID-19 and Existential Sustainability Crises: Building Better Financial Systems

by Douglas Arner, Ross Buckley, Andrew Dahdal, and Dirk Zetzsche :: SSRN | 27 April 2021


This paper examines how the digital financial infrastructure that emerged in the wake of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis is being tested and leveraged to meet some of the financial, economic and health challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The origins of the 2008 crisis and the current crisis are different: the 2008 crisis was a financial crisis that spilt over into the real economy, while COVID-19 is a health and geopolitical crisis spilling over into the real economy. As such, COVID-19 – a pandemic and an existential sustainability crisis – requires different approaches. This paper explores the role of digital finance in this context on two levels. At the macro level, it identifies how digital finance has been used to address areas of systemic risk and underpin wider financial stability.


Douglas W. Arner, Kerry Holdings Professor in Law and co-founder of the Asian Institute of International Financial Law at the University of Hong Kong, discuss about this in the 2nd Episode of his regular “Looking Back, Looking Forward” 2021 series.




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