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Redesigning Financial Regulation: The Politics of Enforcement


Redesigning Financial Regulation maps the policy response to corporate scandal to adjudicate whether the reforms adopted provide a panacea or merely a psychological placebo. It achieves this by drilling down into the foundations of the wider institutional architecture. It highlights the critical importance of organizational culture, operational discretion and enforcement proclivity in determining the scope and direction of regulatory innovation.

The book evaluates how changes to enforcement patterns impact on both the form and function of corporate governance. Can changes to the enforcement firmament be traced to coherent reappraisal? Conversely, do they merely represent crisis management devoid of overarching strategic purpose, with reflexive muscularity driven by largely inchoate public demands for legalistic accountability? Is the retreat to formal legal sanction conditioned by the need to instill confidence in the regulator, the narrow legal framework or wider societal norms? How does one avoid or, at the least, mitigate the risk that application of increased authority will lead, if misapplied, to decreased legitimacy through regulatory overreach? Given the critical importance of the capital markets in the United States to international regulatory policy, this book provides an essential map to ascertain whether, and if so, how, convergence can help instill confidence in the integrity of global markets.

Justin O'Brien is Professor of Corporate Governance at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, based at the Australian National University. He previously ran the corporate governance programme at the School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast. He is the Principal Investigator of Regulatory Regime Change in World Financial Markets, an international research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council in the United Kingdom. He is the author of Wall Street on Trial and the editor of Governing the Corporation, both published by John Wiley & Sons. Professor O'Brien has also written extensively on political corruption. His current research centres on the ethical dimension of managing conflicts in the financial services industry. He lives in Canberra.
Author's note.

1 Redesigning financial regulation: the politics of enforcement.

2 Taming the corporation? Sarbanes–Oxley and the politics of symbolism.

3 Enforcing power: the contested role of Eliot Spitzer.

4 The limitations of the criminal process.

5 Corporate governance and the institutionalization of compliance.

6 The efficacy and pitfalls of pre-trial diversion.

7 Global markets, regulatory enforcement and the dynamics of corporate crime.

8 Transcending compliance.