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Explaining Financial Scandals

Corporate Governance, Structured Finance and the Enlightened Sovereign Control Paradigm

Author(s): Vincenzo Bavoso

Book Description

The explosion of the global financial crisis in 2007–08 reignited the urgency to reflect on the origins and causes of financial collapses. As the events in the above period triggered an economic meltdown that is still ongoing, comparisons with the Great Crash of 1929 started to abound. In particular, the externalities that a broad spectrum of societal groups had to bear as a consequence of various banking failures highlighted the necessity of a more inclusive and balanced regulation of firms whose activities impact on a wide range of stakeholders.

The book is centred on the proposal of a paradigm, the “enlightened sovereign control”, that provides a theoretical, institutional and substantive framework as a response to the legal issues analysed in the book. These stem primarily from the analysis of two sequences of events (the 2001–03 wave of “accounting frauds” and the 2007–08 global crisis) which represent the background upon which modern financial scandals are explained. This is done by highlighting a number of common denominators emerging from the case studies (Enron and Parmalat, Northern Rock and Lehman Brothers) which all led to financial instability and scandals and illustrated the legal issues identified in the book. The research is grounded on the initial recognition of theoretical themes in the field of corporate and financial law, which eventually link with the more practical events examined.

Through this multifaceted approach, the book contends that the occurrence of financial crises during the last decade is essentially rooted in two main problems: a corporate governance one, represented by the lack of effective control systems within large public firms; and a corporate finance one identified with the excesses of financial innovation and related abuses of capital market finance. Research conducted in this book ultimately seeks to contribute to current debates in the areas of corporate and financial law, through the proposals of the “enlightened sovereign control” paradigm.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-4281-5
ISBN-10: 1-4438-4281-8
Date of Publication: 01/02/2012
Pages / Size: 325 / A5
Price: £49.99


Vincenzo Bavoso is a lecturer in law at Kingston University where he teaches in the areas of Company, Commercial and Financial Law. He obtained his PhD in Corporate and Financial Law from the University of Manchester where he also taught Company Law as an associate lecturer. Prior to his move to academia he was a practising lawyer in Italy and then a legal counsel in Monaco and in the UK. His main research interests lie in the areas of Structured Finance and Corporate Governance.