Recurring Crises in Anglo-American Corporate Governance

Posted: 30 Jun 2010

See all articles by Thomas Clarke

Thomas Clarke

University of Technology, Sydney

Date Written: June 2010


The prolonged systemic crisis in international financial markets commencing in 2007 was also a crisis in corporate governance and regulation. The apparent ascendancy of Anglo-American markets and governance institutions was profoundly questioned by the scale and contagion of the global financial crisis. Instead of risk being hedged, it had become inter-connected, international, and unknown. The market capitalisation of the stock markets of the world had peaked at $62 trillion at the end of 2007. By October 2008 they were in free fall, having lost $33 trillion, over half of their value, in 12 months of unrelenting financial and corporate failures. A debate has continued for some time about the costs and benefits of the financialisation of advanced industrial economies. The long progression of financial crises around the world served as a reminder that the system is neither self-regulating, nor robust. The explanation of why investment banks and other financial institutions took such spectacular risks with extremely leveraged positions on many securities and derivatives, and the risk management, governance, and ethical environment that allowed such conduct to take place demands detailed analysis.

Suggested Citation

Clarke, Thomas, Recurring Crises in Anglo-American Corporate Governance (June 2010). Contributions to Political Economy, Vol. 29, Issue 1, pp. 9-32, 2010. Available at SSRN: or

Thomas Clarke (Contact Author)

University of Technology, Sydney ( email )

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