Retrieving the Meaning of Accountability in Financial Market Regulation
Posted: 27 Sep 2009
Date Written: September 3, 2009
Building on Raymond Williams' approach to analyzing 'keywords' we seek to further explore the pervasive yet ambiguous concept of accountability through an examination of its use in discourses surrounding the recent global financial market crisis. We pay particular attention to the term’s use as both 'cause of' and 'cure for' the current crisis. We relate this to the various strategies of reform that emerge from the ongoing rhetoric and analyses, noting that the creative ambiguity over accountability’s precise meaning serves a distinct policy objective; namely, the privileging of the symbolic over the substantive. We argue that this threatens to undermine the efficacy of reform, making the promises of enhanced accountability a hollow claim. In the process we develop some frameworks for future extension of this analysis.
Keywords: accountability, financial markets, regulatory reform, financial crisis
JEL Classification: E44, G15, G18, G28, G38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation