Howell E. Jackson & Steven L. Schwarcz, Pandemics and Systemic Financial Risk (Apr. 19, 2020).
Abstract: The coronavirus has produced a public health debacle of the first-order. But the virus is also propagating the kind of exogenous shock that can precipitate – and to a considerable degree is already precipitating – a systemic event for our financial system. This currently unfolding systemic shock comes a little more than a decade after the last financial crisis. In the intervening years, much as been written about the global financial crisis of 2008 and its systemic dimensions. Additional scholarly attention has focused on first devising and then critiquing the macroprudential reforms that ensued, both in the Dodd-Frank Act and the many regulations and policy guidelines that implemented its provisions. In this essay, we consider the coronavirus pandemic and its implications for the financial system through the lens of the frameworks we had developed for the analysis of systemic financial risks in the aftermath of the last financial crisis. We compare and contrast the two crises in terms of systemic financial risks and then explore two dimensions on which financial regulatory authorities might profitably engage with public health officials. As we are writing this essay, the pandemic’s ultimate scope and consequences, financial and otherwise, are unknown and unknowable; our analysis, therefore, is necessarily provisional and tentative. We hope, however, it may be of interest and potential use to the academic community and policymakers.