Financial Crime – Is There Any Way Out of the Theoretical Deadlock?

Journal of Financial Crime, 24 (4), pp. 529-540, 2017

Posted: 18 Jun 2018 Last revised: 9 Sep 2018

See all articles by Paul Eisenberg

Paul Eisenberg

University of Derby; University of Portsmouth

Date Written: 2017


Purpose – This paper aims to approach fundamental topics of financial crime and the law. What does constitute financial crime? Which field of law is best suited to address the threats of transgression by financial executives? What does motivate highly rewarded financiers to become white collar criminals?

Design/methodology/approach – To answer these research questions, contemporary theories of criminology in general and of white collar crime in particular, as well as theories on motivation, are critically discussed. Benefits and limitations of the theories in use are exemplified on the background of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) scandal.

Findings – The paper criticises that the state-of-the-art theories are not able to embrace financial criminality in its entirety. A provoking pace for further research might be that of psychopathic disorders among White collar criminals. Thus, white collar crime maintains its challenging character.

Originality/value – This paper provides a thorough testing of multidisciplinary theories that emerged over the past decades against the recent LIBOR scandal. The research questions addressed and the methodologies applied provide a framework for the assessment of the prevailing theories against other financial scandals.

Keywords: American Dream Theory, Differential Association Theory, Harm Principle and Welfare Principle, Preservation of Social Order and Social Order Theory, Rational Choice Theory, White Collar Crime and LIBOR Scandal

JEL Classification: K14, G21, M40

Suggested Citation

Eisenberg, Paul, Financial Crime – Is There Any Way Out of the Theoretical Deadlock? (2017). Journal of Financial Crime, 24 (4), pp. 529-540, 2017, Available at SSRN:

Paul Eisenberg (Contact Author)

University of Derby ( email )

Kedleston Road
Derby, Derbyshire DE22 1GB
United Kingdom

University of Portsmouth ( email )

University House
Winston Churchhill Avenue
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 2UP
United Kingdom

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