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Regulatory Regime Change in Financial Markets

 The Case of Sarbanes-Oxley


Dates : September 2005 to October 2008

Project Research Staff : Dr Patrick McWilliams
Collaborators:  Professor Sally Wheeler,  Dr Ciarán O'Kelly
Room : G.033, Institute of Governance, 63 University Road
Tel :     028 9097 3961   
Email : p.mcwilliams@qub.ac.uk

The Project

An interdisciplinary team, coordinated by Sally Wheeler, has worked on this ESRC-funded collaborative research project to explore the dominant effect of the United States regulatory regime on global financial markets and on worldwide regulatory and economic governance régimes. The starting point was the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act on corporate liability, introduced in the wake of a series of corporate scandals in the United States.

Responses to Sarbanes-Oxley were examined through case studies in several countries, many at a different stage of socio-economic development, undertaken by colleagues at Queen’s and partner institutions. The case studies were: Republic of Ireland (Ciarán O’Kelly, Law); South Africa (Stefan Andreasson, Politics); South Korea (Xiaoke Zhang, Nottingham); Turkey (Istemi Demirag, Management and Finance); United States (Andrew Baker, Politics, and Justin O’Brien, Australian National University); Australia (George Gilligan and Ken Coghill, Monash); and the United Kingdom (Sally Wheeler).

An important element in these case studies was assessing to what extent local, cultural, institutional and political factors affect each country’s response to Sarbanes-Oxley. To achieve this, interviews with prominent figures in the financial and regulatory sectors were held. These, and other interviews, were recorded, and transcription of key sections undertaken.

The project colloquium, "The Globalization of Corporate Governance? Reform Pressures and Processes in an Era of Financial Crises", at Queen's on 17-18 September 2008 assessed the current state of global regulatory practice and identified future challenges and  possible responses to these.  "See here for the programme".