Book Review. The Governance and Regulation of International Finance.

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Miller, Geoffrey P. & Cafaggi, Fabrizio. The Governance and Regulation of International Finance. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2013. 211p. ISBN: 978-0857939470 (hardcover) £63 (publisher's price) $104.50 (Amazon price) Also available electronically in the ElgarOnline.com Law Subject Collection. E-ISBN: 978-0857939487.

                In The Governance and Regulation of International Finance, Miller and Cafaggi assess the tradeoffs involved in systems of public regulation (rules set by government and enforced by state action) and private regulation (rules written by industry and enforced by private actors), and various mixes of the two, in the financial arena. Their analysis takes the 2008-09 financial crisis into account.

                The book is one of four in publisher Edward Elgar's Private Regulation series (link last accessed April 6, 2014). The other books in the series cover private regulation of advertising and food safety; private regulation of corporations and securities; and mechanisms of enforcement of private regulation.

                The book contains six chapters, averaging 28 pages of text and 3.5 pages of references each. The chapters are well-summarized in the introduction and have outline-style headings that allow effective skimming. The chapter topics are well-chosen in that there is little overlap between them; however, they are more like selected journal articles rather than an integrated or comprehensive overview of the field of international finance regulation.

                Chapter 1 focuses on three types of private regulation in the United States (management-based regulation, private standard-setting bodies, and private litigation) as they affect financial firms with cross-border operations. Chapter 2 discusses the regulation of credit default swaps before and after 2008, especially the changing role of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA). Chapter 3 analyzes regulatory schemes affecting microfinance institutions. Chapter 4 discusses global payment systems, comparing and contrasting the International Payments Framework (IPF) and Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Chapter 5 concerns the International Accounting Standards Board's (IASB's) legitimacy and accountability. Chapter 6 deals with the interplay between the public and private components of banking regulation affecting regulatory capital, specifically relating to the Internal Ratings Based Approach (IRB) to credit risk and the Advanced Measurement Approach (AMA) to operational risk under the Basel regime.

                The text of each chapter generally offers a brief overview of how current regulatory systems came about, high-level analysis of how well they are working, and a short list of areas for improvement. Only chapters 3 and 4 contain more than a passing mention of specific countries or regions outside the United States and European Union. There are a few paragraphs about microfinance in India and South Africa, and about accounting standards in Brazil.

                Citations to other scholarly analyses are adequate to support the authors' academic discussions of broad policy goals. There are few quantitative tables and not many references to primary sources of law. There is no glossary and little detail in the text about how financial systems work in practice; some familiarity with international finance is presumed.

                The index is not very thorough. For example, the roles of Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Risk Officer are discussed in depth on pages 15-17. Neither term appears in the index. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is mentioned several times in the text (for example on pages 23, 25, 158, 160, 194, and 205), but does not appear in the index.

Recommended for:

  • academic law libraries, if faculty research interests include international finance
  • special libraries supporting government entities or financial industry stakeholders involved in setting regulatory policy
Reviewed by: Eve Ross, 2014. Master of Library and Information Science candidate, University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science, Columbia, South Carolina. rossea@email.sc.edu

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