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European Company and Financial Law Review

Ed. by Bergmann, Alfred / Drescher, Ingo / Fleischer, Holger / Goette, Wulf / Harbarth, Stephan / Hommelhoff, Peter / Krieger, Gerd / Merkt, Hanno / Teichmann, Christoph / Vetter, Jochen / Weller, Marc-Philippe / Wicke, Hartmut

CiteScore 2018: 0.22

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.262
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.159

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Volume 6, Issue 4


The Global Financial Crisis and the Disclosure Paradigm in European Financial Regulation: The Case for Reform

Emilios Avgouleas
Published Online: 2009-12-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ECFR.2009.440

The global financial crisis has exposed the many limits of disclosure as an effective regulatory tool in financial markets. First, the famed disciplining power of the market failed to constrain disastrous risk taking by banks. Second, most of the risks that led to the creation of the 2008 catastrophe were often fully disclosed but the markets failed to understand them. In the case of banks, disclosure-based market discipline failed mainly because of the implicit government guarantee. In the case of capital markets, the reasons for disclosure's failure were product complexity and the impact of socio-psychological factors. Yet much of European Financial Regulation is based on the disclosure paradigm to remedy market failure, discipline market actors, improve investor/consumer choice, and prevent abuse. The EU needs to reexamine the role of disclosure in two contexts: prudential regulation of banks and retail investor protection. EU policy-makers should use empirical and experimental studies before any reform of the investor protection framework. Insertion of default options in a variety of financial contracts may be a necessary supplement to disclosure for retail investors. Furthermore, an independent EU financial products committee would be a better regulatory protection strategy than reliance on investor choice assisted by enhanced disclosure.

About the article

Published Online: 2009-12-03

Published in Print: 2009-12-01

Citation Information: European Company and Financial Law Review, Volume 6, Issue 4, Pages 440–475, ISSN (Online) 1613-2556, ISSN (Print) 1613-2548, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ECFR.2009.440.

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