Policing the Markets
Set against the backdrop of the recurring waves of financial scandal and crisis to hit Canada, the US, the UK, and Europe over the last decade, this book examines the struggles of securities enforcement agencies to police the financial markets. While allegations of regulatory failure in this realm are commonplace and are well documented in policy and legal scholarship, James Williams seeks to move beyond these conventional accounts arguing that they are based on a limited view of the regulatory process and overlook the actual practices and dilemmas of enforcement work. Informed by interviews with police, regulators, lawyers, accountants, and investor advocates, along with a wealth of documentary materials, the book is rooted in a uniquely interdisciplinary social science perspective. Peering inside the black box of enforcement, it examines the organizational, professional, geographical, technological, and legal influences that shape securities enforcement as a distinctly knowledge-based enterprise. The result of these influences, Williams argues, is the production of a very particular vision of financial disorder which captures certain forms of misconduct while overlooking others, a reflection not of incompetence or capture but of the unique demands and constraints of the regulatory craft. Providing a very different, and much needed, account of the challenges faced by regulators and enforcement agencies, this book will be of enormous interest to current research on enforcement, regulation, and governance both within and beyond the financial realm.