chapter  4
16 Pages

The Grey Zone

Where does financial corruption begin and competitiveness end? The case of financial product misselling
WithIan Robinson

This chapter looks at the abuse of power using a financial product for private financial gain. The warning against the dangers of black and white as opposed to grey thinking can be levelled at practitioners, regulators and politicians. The vast majority of participants in the financial markets did not see the sub-prime crisis in the US coming for the simple reason that most participants were not involved in the US sub-prime market or the CDOs that used them for collateral, and even if they were, the models took account only of what had gone before to create their range of potential outcomes. Corruption as a legally defined crime is limited in the UK to acts committed in public office, and there is no legal definition of the crime of corruption in international law. An extension of considering the risks of financial products is whether the buyer understood that they cannot always be cancelled without penalty.