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Corporate Governance in ContextCorporations, States, and Markets in Europe, Japan, and the US$
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Klaus J. Hopt, Eddy Wymeersch, Hideki Kanda, and Harald Baum

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199290703

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199290703.001.0001

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Scandals, Regulation, and Supervisory Agencies: The European Perspective

Scandals, Regulation, and Supervisory Agencies: The European Perspective

(p.104) (p.105) Scandals, Regulation, and Supervisory Agencies: The European Perspective
Corporate Governance in Context

Gerald Spindler

Oxford University Press

This chapter comments on the analysis of Jonathan R. Macey in Chapter 5. The interesting story of New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer's hostile takeover of the SEC seems for the European observer – at first glance – to be one of the US-specific battles in the political scene: starring a state attorney ambitious enough to present himself for presidential elections, on the other side is a governmental agency that has grown old and suffers from capture by interest groups, with the whole conflict embedded in a general struggle between state and federal interests regulating capital markets. Macey draws two conclusions out of this story: first, that crises facilitate new regulations; and second, that leaving a regulatory vacuum provokes other players to enter the match, thus creating new regulations. From the perspective of a European commentator, this chapter discusses these conclusions under four aspects: (1) crisis as a driving force for new regulations; (2) the European parallels that can be observed in capital market regulation by the European Commission; (3) the national perspective presenting a different model of state prosecutors (attorney general) acting in concert with Securities Exchange authorities; and (4) the parallels of the conflict between state and federal agencies on one side and the struggle on the international level between national states and international agencies or regulating bodies on the other. The chapter concludes with some observations about lessons which could be learned from a European point of view concerning regulation and agencies in a worldwide capital market.

Keywords:   corporate regulation, corporate governance, regulation, European Commission

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