Assessing Regulatory Responses to Securities Market Globalization

Stephen J. Choi


The globalization of securities markets has resulted in a rapid increase in securities transactions that cut across the national borders of more than one country. Individual country regulators cannot avoid the question of how regulatory authority should be allocated for such transactions. Rather, they continue with the present territorial regime, which allocates regulatory authority based on the location of a particular transaction and the effects associated with the transaction. This article assesses a range of alternate responses to globalization. Some have argued that a company’s home country should regulate all transactions in the company’s securities regardless of location. Others have argued for increased harmonization across different country securities regulatory regimes. The article instead contends that giving issuers a greater degree of freedom to select among the securities regulatory regimes of different countries will result in both more desirable levels of investor protections as well as increased social welfare. Arguments have been raised against a move toward greater issuer choice in securities regulation. The article responds to such criticism, pointing out that the present territorial regime suffers from even greater flaws.

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