This essay reviews recent debates over the allocation of regulatory authority in three separate fields of financial regulation: corporate governance, securities regulation, and the regulation of financial institutions. In each field, the essay argues, reform proposals can be organized into three basic groups: those that advocate centralization of regulatory authority; those that favor competition among governmental bodies; and those that recommend the privatization of regulatory standards. While this debate is most familiar in the field of corporate governance, highly analogous policy discussions are currently taking place in securities regulation and the regulation of financial institutions. This essay traces the development of arguments over the proper allocation of regulatory authority in various sectors of the financial services industry, noting differences both in the contexts in which the issue has arisen in various sectors of the industry and also in the ways regulatory authority is currently allocated in each sector. The essay concludes with several tentative thoughts about normative grounds on which debates over the proper allocation of regulatory authority might ultimately be resolved.
©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston