Contrasts in tolerance: The peculiar case of financial regulation

Gary Fooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Until the eighties the system of commercial fraud investigation and prosecution was extraordinarily undeveloped. By the end of the eighties this system had been transformed. What took place was nothing short of a fundamental rethink of financial regulation and commercial fraud control. By the nineties, however, this process had gone into reverse. The following discussion aims to explain why. The analysis attempts to understand the main shifts in emphasis of commercial fraud control with reference to general trends in financial regulation, the conventional politics of law and order and the practice of commercial fraud control itself. What seems to have happened is that commercial fraud control became temporarily drawn into, and then almost immediately detached from, the conventional politics of law and order. More specifically, the discussion attempts to show how a sharp rise in the prominence of financial regulation as a political issue first coupled commercial fraud control to the major preoccupations of conventional crime policy. Once the importance of financial regulation as a political issue faded, however, commercial fraud control became uncoupled from conventional law-and-order politics, allowing sustained criticism of long commercial fraud prosecutions in the news media to create conditions favourable for decriminalization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-142
Number of pages16
JournalContemporary Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


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