This course will explore two important questions:

·        What is being financed? The financing objectives have shifted from tangible to intangible capital. Financing the transition to low-carbon economy also poses challenges.

·        How it is being financed? Technology has not only allowed incumbent banks to close physical branches, but it has also led to the emergence of new business models: neobanks, loan-based and equity-based crowdfunding, initial coin offerings as well as the entry of big tech firms into financial services market (Apple Pay, Google Pay, AliPay, WhatsApp coin).

To analyze these developments, students will be invited to use concepts from the theories of financial intermediation (e.g. informational asymmetry, bank run, liquidity provision) and digital economy (e.g. network effects, economics of multi-sided platforms, economies of scale, personal data). The usefulness and limits of these theories will be tested via case studies. Students will be encouraged to follow the most recent academic research that helps to understand the role of technology in the financial intermediation.