Global regulation of international business transactions presents a particular form of the moral hazard problem. Global firms use economic and political power to manipulate state and state-controlled multilateral regulation to preserve their opportunity to externalize the social costs of global economic activity with impunity. Unless other actors can effectively counter this at the national and global regulatory levels, globalization re-creates the conditions for under-regulated or “robber baron” capitalism at the global level. This model of economic activity has been rejected at the national level by the same modern democratic capitalist states which currently dominate globalization, creating a crisis of legitimacy and, ultimately, security for the international economic system. Enlightened self-interest dictates that home countries and their citizens address this dualism underlying contemporary globalization.
Frank J. Garcia. “The Moral Hazard Problem in Global Economic Regulation.” Presented at the IALS Conference on The Law of International Business Transactions: A Global Perspective, Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, Germany, April 10-12, 2008.