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Jo Ann Barefoot explores how to create fair and inclusive consumer financial services through innovative ideas for industry and regulators

Disrupting the Law (War and Peace-Style): My new article in Fintech Law Report


Disrupting the Law (War and Peace-Style): My new article in Fintech Law Report

Jo Ann Barefoot

Last January I spoke at a round-table about the four huge, converging tech trends that are on a collision course with consumer financial regulation. The event prompted an invitation from my friend Jim Sivon of Squire Patton Boggs  to write an article based on my talk for Thomson Reuters’ Fintech Law Report.

Lawyers being, well, lawyers, the magazine wanted a lengthy piece – 10 – 30 pages.  (I sometimes think attorneys and academics are the only folks still reading long material outside of books, as time and attention spans relentlessly shrink.)

I told Jim my piece would come in at the low end of the range. As I wrote it, though, I changed my mind.  I was fascinated by the journey this article brought on, trying to envision the actual world these tech trends are creating, and then trying to predict how the regulatory system will, and should, respond.

The article turned out to be l-o-n-g.  It’s not quite War and Peace (1,456 pages), but pretty close -- the longest thing I’ve written in ages other than my own evolving book.

I mention the length because I don’t want you to open it, start reading, put it aside until you have free time, and then never come back – since schedule slack will never come.

Instead, if you’re overloaded, start by scanning through the article.  It has two halves.

The Four Tech Trends:  The first part outlines the four big transformative tech trends. I’m pretty sure you’ll find some things here – maybe a lot – that you don’t know or haven’t thought about.  As the article explains, these trends are not only coming fast. They are also converging.  Once they intersect, everything will escalate and accelerate.

The Regulatory Disruption:   The second half tries to envision how law and regulation will cope with this shifting kaleidoscope of tech-driven change.

The article is HERE


Financial services is the first industry to face tech-driven disruption while also being very highly regulated.

The innovation will both help and harm consumers. Regulators will be hard-pressed to allow the good and block the bad.

Innovation will not only make it necessary to update laws and rules. It will also make it possible to do better, at last.

Enjoy the article. Share your thoughts here at the blog. And subscribe by email…click HERE.