A nation usually overhauls its financial regulations after a stock market crash or the collapse of its banking system. In 1967, France did something rare. Out of pure political expediency, Gaullist leaders and senior civil servants seized the opportunity offered by an insider-trading case and established an independent commission to regulate the securities market: the Commission des Opérations de Bourse, or COB. Despite their staunch defense of national sovereignty, these reformers drew their inspiration from an American model, the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Highlighting the international sources for national reform, Yves-Marie Péréon’s Moralizing the Market explores the dynamics of policy transfer in securities regulation—a subject that has rarely been considered from a historical perspective. That regulation has been used to attract investors and foster market development challenges the view that the French government only attempted to develop the stock market as part of a global wave of deregulation in the 1980s. Indeed, the creation of the COB reveals a great deal about the exercise of power in modern democracies, the interaction between business and government, and the mechanisms of institutional innovation.
Moralizing the Market will appeal to professors and students of economic history, international relations, and political science, as well as business and finance historians, policy makers, and professionals.
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