Tim Büthe and Walter Mattli examine three powerful global private regulators: the International Accounting Standards Board, which develops financial reporting rules used by corporations in more than a hundred countries; and the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission, which account for 85 percent of all international product standards. Büthe and Mattli offer both a new framework for understanding global private regulation and detailed empirical analyses of such regulation based on multi-country, multi-industry business surveys. They find that global rule making by technical experts is highly political, and that even though rule making has shifted to the international level, domestic institutions remain crucial. Influence in this form of global private governance is not a function of the economic power of states, but of the ability of domestic standard-setters to provide timely information and speak with a single voice. Büthe and Mattli show how domestic institutions' abilities differ, particularly between the two main standardization players, the United States and Europe.
Walter Mattli and Ngaire Woods bring together leading experts to present an analytical framework to explain regulatory outcomes at the global level and offer a series of case studies that illustrate the challenges of a global economy in which many institutions are less transparent and are held much less accountable by the media and public officials than are domestic institutions. They explain when and how global regulation falls prey to regulatory capture, yet also shed light on the positive regulatory changes that have occurred in areas including human rights, shipping safety, and global finance. This book is a wake-up call to proponents of network governance, self-regulation, and the view that technocrats should be left to regulate with as little oversight as possible.
In addition to the editors, the contributors are Kenneth W. Abbott, Samuel Barrows, Judith L. Goldstein, Eric Helleiner, Miles Kahler, David A. Lake, Kathryn Sikkink, Duncan Snidal, Richard H. Steinberg, and David Vogel.
Capital markets have undergone a dramatic transformation in the past two decades. Algorithmic high-speed supercomputing has replaced traditional floor trading and human market makers, while centralized exchanges that once ensured fairness and transparency have fragmented into a dizzying array of competing exchanges and trading platforms. Darkness by Design exposes the unseen perils of market fragmentation and “dark” markets, some of which are deliberately designed to enable the transfer of wealth from the weak to the powerful.
Walter Mattli traces the fall of the traditional exchange model of the NYSE, the world’s leading stock market in the twentieth century, showing how it has come to be supplanted by fragmented markets whose governance is frequently set up to allow unscrupulous operators to exploit conflicts of interest at the expense of an unsuspecting public. Market makers have few obligations, market surveillance is neglected or impossible, enforcement is ineffective, and new technologies are not necessarily used to improve oversight but to offer lucrative preferential market access to select clients in ways that are often hidden. Mattli argues that power politics is central in today’s fragmented markets. He sheds critical light on how the redistribution of power and influence has created new winners and losers in capital markets and lays the groundwork for sensible reforms to combat shady trading schemes and reclaim these markets for the long-term benefit of everyone.
Essential reading for anyone with money in the stock market, Darkness by Design challenges the conventional view of markets and reveals the troubling implications of unchecked market power for the health of the global economy and society as a whole.