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Howell E. Jackson, The Nature of the Fintech Firm, 61 Wash. U. J. L. & Pol’y 9 (2020).

Abstract: The title of this essay is an homage to Ronald Coase’s classic work, The Nature of the Firm. For years, Professor Coase’s article has inspired corporate theorists and earned a place in the pantheon of corporate law scholarship. In this essay, I return to The Nature of the Firm to explore the fintech revolution and the supervisory challenges that aspects of this revolution have posed for regulatory authorities. Several of the examples I discuss concern the distinction between activities located within a firm and those arranged through market transactions often supplied through new and specialized fintech entities. Two others explore the changing nature of what it means to exercise managerial discretion in an era of machine learning and artificial intelligence.