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Financial Elites and European BankingHistorical Perspectives$
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Youssef Cassis and Giuseppe Telesca

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198782797

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198782797.001.0001

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Financial Elites, Law, and Regulation

Financial Elites, Law, and Regulation

A Historical Perspective

(p.158) 7 Financial Elites, Law, and Regulation
Financial Elites and European Banking

T. T. Arvind

Joanna Gray

Sarah Wilson

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the often-ignored role of legal elites—practitioners, judges, arbitrators, and academics—in shaping and legitimizing modern finance. The financial crisis of 2007 involved legal innovation as much as it involved financial innovation, and this pattern is not new. Legal history shows us a constant trend, going back at least as far as the seventeenth century, of financial elites working through and with legal actors to reshape, extend, and repurpose legal concepts, categories, and understandings in ways that better serve the ends they seek to pursue. This chapter uses a historical analysis to consider who these legal actors are; the role they play within networks of financial elites and the financial system; how they influence understandings of what is and what is not permissible, possible, or legitimate within the framework of law; and how the law might be structured to ameliorate the most deleterious effects of their influence.

Keywords:   elites, finance, law, power, technocracy

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