Technological and Economic Threats to the United States. Financial System

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Technological and Economic Threats to the United States. Financial System


The resilience and stability of the United States. financial system is critical to economic prosperity. However, the rapid pace of technological and geopolitical change introduce new potential threats that must be monitored and assessed. The authors of this report explore emerging and understudied threats to the financial system, focusing on risks from social media, advances in artificial intelligence, and the changing role of economic statecraft in geopolitics.

Drawing on historical examples, the economic literature, and discussions with subject-matter experts, the authors assess the potential costs and likelihood of four threats: attacks on financial trading models, bond dumping by foreign holders of United States. debt, deepfakes used to spread misinformation, and memetic engineering used to manipulate beliefs and behaviors. Their analysis suggests these threats pose a limited near-term risk of significant economic damage because of the interconnectivity of global finance and existing safeguards. However, the gradual erosion of financial resilience and institutional trust over time can make attacks more impactful.

This research was conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Program of the RAND National Security Research Division.

This report is part of the RAND research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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