Jai R. Massari

Ms. Massari is a partner in Davis Polk's Financial Institutions Group and the trading and markets practice. [Full Bio]

Latest Articles

The regulation and operations of virtual currency exchanges are again in the spotlight, due to the new report issued by the Office of the New York Attorney General (OAG).  The report, which follows the April launch by the OAG of its Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative (VMII), describes in detail the results of the OAG’s “fact-finding inquiry into the policies and practices of platforms used by consumers” (discussed in an earlier Blockchain Bulletin). The…
After a several month lull that led some to question the SEC’s focus on crypto enforcement, this week saw a spate of enforcement activity involving crypto assets: several SEC enforcement actions, an SEC trading suspension order, the first FINRA cryptocurrency enforcement action, and a preliminary court decision consistent with the view that ICO tokens may be (and perhaps often are) securities.  These actions give life to SEC Chairman Clayton’s statement that “to the extent something…
The FTC is expanding its enforcement efforts for fintech, particularly in the areas of online and small-business lending, payments, and cryptocurrencies.  At a recent event in Washington, D.C., the FTC’s Director of Consumer Protection, Andrew Smith, stated, “Commissioners are really interested in [fintech].  Finance will be a steady part of our diet, and in particular fintech, ’cause that’s where the new entrants to the marketplace are and that’s where the action is.” Because the FTC…
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has granted conditional approval to digital-banking startup Varo Bank (previously Varo Money) of its application to form a de novo national bank.  Varo Bank, N.A. would become the first mobile-only national bank in United States. This is an interesting development in several respects: Varo Money began as a fintech startup providing mobile banking products and online lending in partnership with banks. Varo did not, however, pursue…
The ability of banks to sell the loans they originate is a core element in the development and sustainability of a nationwide lending market.  Recent legal developments threaten to undermine this ability, jeopardizing the foundation of a U.S. nationwide loan market and the core lending activities of banks. A long-settled legal principle known as the “valid-when-made” doctrine has served for almost two centuries as the bedrock for bank lending.  This doctrine has been threatened by…
In its recent report on financial innovation, the U.S. Treasury Department calls upon federal banking regulators to address the uncertainty in lending markets created by the Madden case and True Lender developments. The Report recognizes that “unsecured consumer credit could be diminished because nonbank firms such as marketplace lenders may be discouraged from purchasing and attempting to collect on, sell, or securitize loans made in these states because of the risk of litigation asserting violations…
The Federal Reserve’s current approach to determining whether a banking organization has control over another company for purposes of the Bank Holding Company Act can discourage fintech investments by banking organizations.  This impact was discussed in the Treasury Department’s report on nonbank financial institutions, fintech and innovation.  The report highlights two reasons why the Federal Reserve’s current approach is concerning to fintech firms.  First, fintech firms would like to avoid being treated as affiliates of…
The Treasury Department published its fourth and final report in response to President Trump’s 2017 Executive Order that established core principles for U.S. financial regulation.  The highly anticipated report addresses the U.S. financial regulatory approach to nonbank financial institutions, financial technology, and financial innovation and includes recommendations for Congress and federal and state regulators that are designed to accelerate innovation and “promote economic growth, while maintaining strong consumer and investor protections and safeguarding the financial…
Our public memorandum here describes the notice of proposed rulemaking published by the CFTC on June 12, 2018 that would make permanent the $8 billion temporary swap dealer de minimis registration threshold currently in effect and would make other changes to the de minimis exception. View as a PDF
CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo and CFTC Chief Economist Bruce Tuckman released a White Paper on April 26, 2018 that reflects the authors’ personal views on the need for swaps regulatory reforms in the United States in five key areas: swap execution on swap execution facilities (“SEFs”); trade reporting; central counterparty clearing; swap dealer capital; and end user exception to clearing and margining for uncleared swaps. The White Paper contains a mix of specific reform…