The sociology of finance engages with regulation

September 21, 2012

A recent book pointed out to me by Fabian Muniesa is one of the first to deliver on what I see as the biggest challenge ahead for the social studies of finance — coming to grips with the credit crisis, financial reform and the changing intellectual interests in the study of markets and organizations. More interest in the political. And in regulation, as we naturally move towards a more regulated capitalism. 

Finance: The Discreet Regulator
How Financial Activities Shape and Transform the World
Edited by Isabelle Huault and Chrystelle Richard
Palgrave Macmillan


The global financial crisis that began in the summer of 2007 has brought the financial industry to centre stage. While most current analysis focuses on the way finance can be regulated in the topical context of the economic crisis, this book aims to show how financial activities actually shape and transform the world. Highlighting that the true regulators of the economy are not only regulatory state authorities, the book demonstrates that the financial sphere really does contribute to rule-setting. It argues that actors that seem to be the objects of regulation or intervene only at its fringe are in fact ‘discreet regulators’ which provide the institutional framework that fosters the creation and globalization of markets.

Building on a series of case studies, Finance: The Discreet Regulator highlights how public authorities and private actors jointly regulate the real world, with joint regulation being dominated by a multiplicity of financial actors, and looks at a variety of key players, who take part in the very heart of the regulatory process.

Foreword; M.Power
Introduction: Finance: The Discreet Regulator; I.Huault, E.Lazega & C.Richard
Financialization through Hybridisation: the Subtle Power of Financial Controlling; J.Morales & A.Pezet
How Big Four audit firms control standard setting in accounting and auditing; C.Ramirez
Ambivalence and ambiguity: The interpretative role of compliance officers; M.Lenglet
Maintaining the regulative order in the credit rating agency industry; B.Taupin
Banks as Masters of Debt, Cost Calculators, and Risk-sharing Mediators: A Discreet Regulatory Role in the Case of French Public-Private Partnerships; E.Penalva-Icher, C.Richard, A.Jeny-Cazavan & E.Lazega
Market Information as a Public Good. The Political Economy of the Revision of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID); P.Lagneau-Ymonet & A.Riva
Finance in Public Service: Discreet Joint Regulation and Institutional Capture at the Commercial Court of Paris; E.Lazega & L.Mounier
How finance regulates trade union involvement in French SRI; E.Penalva-Icher
Constructing the Market for Credit Derivatives. How Major Investment Banks Handle Ambiguities; I.Huault & H.Rainelli-Weiss
Legitimizing an Ambiguous Financial Innovation: the case of Exchange Traded Funds in France; L.Deville & M.Oubenal

You can access the first chapter for free here.



One Response to “The sociology of finance engages with regulation”

  1. Oleg Komlik Says:

    this book looks to have a similar line of thought

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: