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law and society conference June 3, 2012

Posted by Bradley in : events , trackback

This week I will be at the Law and Society conference. I’ll be talking about a paper with the title Coercive Peer Review in Transnational Financial Regulation: Comparative Law and Compliance as part of a panel on financial regulation. Here is the (June 2012 version).

Here’s the brief version:
The paper examines the development of peer review as a component of the transnational standard setting process, with a particular focus on the financial crisis-related peer review processes which have been established by the G20 and the Financial Stability Board (FSB). The FSB peer review documents, the paper argues, focus mostly on the formal characteristics of the subject states’ regulatory regimes, and to rely to a large extent on the statements made by the subject states themselves. Apart from such statements the reviews are based on old data produced through the IMF-World Bank FSAP process. But the FSB’s documents suggest — although they do not show — that the real significance of its peer review processes may be in the developing dialog between the states involved in these processes. In addition the paper argues that the cumulative impact of the IMF and World Bank’s Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) and the FSB’s peer reviews is to change the characteristics of the transnational standards developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel Committee), the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). Standards which are frequently drafted in vague language and which seem to leave significant discretion to implementing states to decide on the details of implementation are converted through the FSAP and peer review processes into less vague standards with less scope for discretion in implementation. If the FSAP and peer review processes were truly processes of consensus among peers this might not be significant, but peer reviews among the G20 countries are intended as a basis for pressuring non-G20 countries to conform their financial regulatory systems to the international standards, and thus the peer review system raises concerns about the legitimacy of the international standards process.

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