- Ontbrekende alternatieven en gevestigde belangen: een studie naar de posities van overheden in hervormingsdebatten tijdens de financiële crisis
- B en M : Tijdschrift voor Beleid, Politiek en Maatschappij
- Volume | Issue number
- 39 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The credit crisis that began in the summer of 2007 has fundamentally challenged much financial regulation and the political institutions that produced it. Measured against the criticisms that have been brought forth against previous financial governance, the extent of governments’ overall reform ambitions has been disappointing. Starting from this observation, this article asks: what explains governments’ reform choices, and thus also their limited ambitions? To explore this question, this article focuses on the positions that four governments central to global financial regulation (the USA, the UK, Germany and France) have taken in advance of the G20 meetings in 2009 across four key issue areas: accounting standards, derivatives trading, credit ratings agencies and banking rules. It evaluates both the overlap between positions across domains and governments as well as the differences between them. Such variation, we argue, provides key clues to the overall drivers behind reforms - as well as their limits. The overall picture that emerges can be summarized as follows: governments have been staunch defenders of their national firms’ competitive interests in regulatory reforms. That has not necessarily meant that they followed industry preferences across the board. It has been the relative impact, compared to foreign competitors, that counted in reform positions, not the absolute impact. These differences of opinion have played out within the context and the limits of the overall debates about thinkable policy alternatives. In spite of fundamental criticisms of pre-crisis regulatory orthodoxy, convincing and coherent alternatives have been forthcoming slowly at best. This has made reform proposals less radical than criticisms, seen on their own, might suggest.
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