Holding bankers to account

A decade of market manipulation, regulatory failures and regulatory reforms

Oonagh McDonald
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This book provides a compelling account of the rigging of benchmarks during and after the financial crisis of 2007–8. Written in clear language accessible to the non-specialist, it provides the historical context necessary for understanding the benchmarks – LIBOR, in the foreign exchange market and the Gold and Silver Fixes – and shows how and why they have to be reformed in the face of rapid technological changes in markets. Though banks have been fined and a few traders have been jailed, justice will not be done until senior bankers are made responsible for their actions. Provocative and rigorously argued, this book makes concrete recommendations for improving the security of the financial services industry and holding bankers to account.

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‘There is much to recommend the book — especially for the student of City of London history. … Particularly engaging is the way McDonald traces the evolution of regulation — from the roots of the Big Bang to the modern day. … She argues compellingly that the Big Bang capped off an existing market shift and was, in any case, not the rabid deregulation of simplistic portrayal. … Anyone with a keen interest in regulation will learn a lot
Financial Times

‘Dr. Oonagh McDonald has written a detailed and insightful account of the manipulation of financial market benchmarks and prices (LIBOR, foreign exchange, gold and silver), and subsequent reforms to benchmarks and their regulation, which can only have been written by an expert. Oonagh concludes that the UK’s Senior Managers’ and Certification Regime, designed to hold senior bankers to account, offers big banks the opportunity, through demonstrating responsible management, to re-build their reputations and restore public trust in them.
Professor Andy Mullineux, Birmingham Business School
January 2020

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