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Political Deadlock in German Financial Market Policy

Author: STEFAN HANDKE
Published in GPS, Vol. 8 No. 1

The financial crisis revealed weaknesses of the global financial market regu-lation and of most national supervisory systems. This is also true for Ger-many, where institutional reforms, this is the reconfiguration of regulation and supervision, have been politically discussed in the aftermath of the cri-sis. The debate on the German authority BaFin (Bundesanstalt für Fi-nanzdienstleistungsaufsicht) and the quarrel between BaFin, the Bundes-bank and political actors is the main topic of this article. It emphasizes that utility maximizing strategies of actors led to a kind of political deadlock which prevented policy learning and institutional change. Industrial lobby organizations, political parties and executive bodies had different interests concerning the institutional design of supervisory structures. Due to the veto power of some actors there have been hardly any institutional changes or improvements of supervision in Germany after the crisis.

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