Feb. 4, 2020
Professor published in Houston Business and Tax Law Journal
Ryan's article, "New funds, familiar fears: Do exchange traded funds make markets less stable? Part I, Liquidity Illusions," investigates “interaction risks” in the ETF market. Part I shows how ETFs create potential liquidity risk by operating in a complex ecosystem that is dependent on the discretionary behaviors of intermediating financial institutions. Case studies on 1980’s portfolio insurance, and the 2008 auction rate securities market failure, will show that reliance on discretionary actors to provide liquidity, and perform arbitrage, in a crisis can be illusory and fragile. It’s impossible to predict exactly how (or when) a new crisis will arrive. Yet the popularity of ETFs as an asset class, how they increase the connection between main street, Wall Street and pensions, their potential liquidity risks, and the long-term uncertainty that passive investing is having on the economy, make ETFs a prime candidate for heightened consumer financial protection, regulatory, and academic attention.