Digital finance, COVID-19 and existential sustainability crises: building better financial systems
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 lecture will explore how COVID-19 experiences are driving forward a range of efforts to build better infrastructure to address future crises, in particular interoperable electronic payments systems (including central bank digital currencies and other forms of sovereign digital currency), sovereign digital identification (particularly in the context of market integrity and non face-to-face transactions), and use of technology for regulatory, supervisory and compliance purposes.
At the same time, digitization generally and of finance in particular driven by the COVID-19 crisis – while providing effective tools to support the response – also raises new challenges, particularly around forms of TechRisk arising from control and use of data from both state and non-state actors. Looking forward, these are among the most significant challenges for policy, law and regulation in the 2020s.
James Merralls Visiting Fellowship in Law Lecture
This lecture is named in honour of James Merralls AM QC, an alumnus of Melbourne Law School, who graduated LLB (Hons) in 1958. Mr Merralls was a resident tutor in law at Trinity College between 1958 and 1972, and was Dean of the College in 1967 and 1968.
Mr Merralls has made an enormous contribution to the Australian legal profession over the course of his career. In addition to an illustrious practice at the Victorian Bar, Mr Merralls was a reporter for the Commonwealth Law Reports between 1960 and 1969, and from 1969 has been editor. He has been publicly commended for his contribution to the Australian legal profession by many of our leading practitioners and judges, including successive Chief Justices of the High Court of Australia. The Australian legal profession owes a large debt of gratitude to Mr Merralls.