Surveillance Games: Financial Crime and the Politics of Detection

We are in the midst of a global surveillance crisis. Our systems for detecting money laundering, market manipulation, and other financial crimes are failing. Surveillance Games argues that these failures can be attributed to a common historical cause: the decision by regulators around the world to outsource financial crime detection to the private sector. The book performs three tasks to tell this story. First, it presents a new way of thinking about the political economy of surveillance, one that emphasizes how outsourcing decisions in the past generate political contests, or Surveillance Games, over who should be responsible for monitoring our financial systems. Second, the book explores these dynamics in three pressing areas: money laundering, market manipulation, and cryptocurrency misconduct. Third, a radical new solution is proposed in which licensed detection agents are rewarded for spotting suspicious activity. Surveillance Games will interest anyone concerned with the health of our economic systems and, more generally, whether private firms can be relied upon to protect public interests.

The New York Stock Exchange at Night

Photo by Miles Kellerman

The Asian Development Bank

Photo by Miles Kellerman

Strategy and Conflict in International Organizations

Since the end of World War II, the number, scope, and variety of international organizations has rapidly increased. These institutions help facilitate cooperation in countless issue areas. But they are also arenas of political and economic conflict. What explains the proliferation of international organizations? What determines their institutional design, and how does that impact the balance of power between stakeholders? Why might state or non-state actors choose to engage in other forms of international cooperation? And, more generally, who is winning and who is losing from these arrangements? My research examines these questions in the realms of financial crime detection and multilateral development banking.

The Politics of Global Capital Markets and Algorithmic Trading

Technological advances have radically altered the structure of global capital markets, where we trade everything from stocks to CryptoKitties. These changes have substantial consequences not just for the way we exchange financial products, but also the stability and integrity of our financial systems. New methods of trading have given way to new forms of crime. And changes to the structure of our markets have generated novel conflicts of interest and regulatory dilemmas. What is the new political landscape of global capital markets? How should existing regulations be modified to mitigate the potential negative consequences of market structural changes? And, in the new frontier of cryptocurrencies, why might some firms evade regulation whereas others actively seek it? My research explores these (and other) questions in various asset classes. 

If You Know, You Know

Photo by Miles Kellerman

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