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The Ancient Roots of Modern Financial Innovation: The Early History of Regulatory Arbitrage


Michael S. Knoll


University of Pennsylvania Law School; University of Pennsylvania - Real Estate Department


Oregon Law Review, Vol. 87, p. 93, 2008
U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 04-11

Abstract:     
Recent years have seen an explosion of financial innovation. Much of this innovation seeks to exploit inconsistencies in the regulatory environment, and one of the most popular techniques for doing so uses put-call parity. Nonetheless, regulatory arbitrage using put-call parity is not a new phenomenon, as is frequently suggested. This Essay traces the use of put-call parity to avoid the usury prohibition back to Ancient Israel. It also describes the important role that put-call parity played in developing the equity of redemption, the defining characteristic of a modern mortgage, in Medieval England. In addition, this Essay describes how Muslims living in the West are using mortgage substitutes based on put-call parity to avoid Islam's prohibition on paying interest.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: financial innovation, put-call parity, regulatory arbitrage, financial history, usury

JEL Classification: G18, G21, G29, K42, N20, O15

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Date posted: June 16, 2004 ; Last revised: June 27, 2009

Suggested Citation

Knoll, Michael S., The Ancient Roots of Modern Financial Innovation: The Early History of Regulatory Arbitrage. Oregon Law Review, Vol. 87, p. 93, 2008; U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 04-11. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=555972 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.555972

Contact Information

Michael S. Knoll (Contact Author)
University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )
3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-6190 (Phone)
215-573-2025 (Fax)
University of Pennsylvania - Real Estate Department ( email )
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6330
United States
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