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Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen x Jaar 2009 x

    Charles Kindleberger unravelled the anatomy of a typical financial crisis in his famous book Manias, panics and crashes (1978). He stresses that during a boom the tendency to swindle and be swindled runs parallel to the tendency to speculate. In this article five famous and non-famous swindles over the past ninety years are analyzed. Each financial boom, and each financial crisis during this period of modern capitalism experienced at least one famous financial swindle, which is to be seen as typical for the boom and the subsequent deception. The five swindlers described are Charles (Carlo) Ponzi in the 1920s, Ivar Krueger around 1930, Bernie Cornfeld in the 1960s/1970s, Michael Milken in the 1980s and - very recently - Bernard Madoff. His 65 billion dollar fraud is to be seen as the first worldwide Ponzi scheme - a fraud that lasted longer, reached wider and cut deeper than any similar scheme in history. An analysis of these five cases yields several striking similarities. It is concluded that financial swindles are no random events, but the result of both structural changes and circular waves of economic and financial boom and bust.


B.M.J. Slot
Dr. Brigitte Slot is beleidsmedewerker bij de Directie Financiële Markten van het ministerie van Financiën. Zij is tevens redactieraadlid van Justitiële verkenningen.

    This article describes the development of the Dutch bar, which seems to follow the international trends, the Anglo-Saxon trends in particular. These trends are internationalization, commercialization, organizational professionalization, specialization and differentiation. The Dutch bar nowadays consists of approximately 15.000 advocates, working in approximately 3.800 law firms. Approximately 3.500 advocates work in the Top 30 law firms, whereas the firms consisting of one advocate form the majority of the bar. Particularly during the last decade the bar has grown tremendously due to an increase in demand for specialistic legal service and advice. Due to new developments the client has become more prominent when it comes to determining the quality of the legal service, a phenomenon also known as ‘simultaneity’.


R. van Otterlo
Prof. mr. dr. Rob van Otterlo is als bijzonder hoogleraar organisatie van de juridische dienstverlening verbonden aan de faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid van de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Hij is tevens werkzaam bij de Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten in Den Haag.

    In this article four possible relations of the credit crunch and corporate crime are examined. A first relation is that cases of accounting fraud have contributed to the causation of the crisis. Due to these scandals the trust in large corporations and the financial sector would have been eroded. A second possible relation is the reverse: the crisis will lead to more corporate crime. Because of the crisis companies run into financial difficulties. In their despair they could try to cut costs by not complying with regulations or they could try to gain illegal profits through fraud. The third relation is the criminalization of more unethical corporate behavior. The moral outrage on the behavior of banks and insurance companies that contributed to the crisis might lead to an increased labeling of risky or greedy of corporate executives as crime. This will result in more regulation. The fourth and final relation is that these amplification effects will lead to the discovery of more corporate crime.


W. Huisman
Prof. dr. Wim Huisman is als hoogleraar criminologie verbonden aan de Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid van de Vrije Universiteit te Amsterdam.

    Trust between people and institutions is essential for the functioning of society. In this paper the author distinguishes trust and confidence. Confidence is the optimism or pessimism of consumers and investors about the future, about the Dutch economy and about the financial situation of their own household. Consumer confidence declined sharply after 2007, with negative consequences for the sales of houses and cars. A low level of trust is threatening for the functioning of institutions and society. Determinants of trust are: competence, stability, integrity, benevolence, transparency, value congruency and reputation. The first four determinants are ‘dissatisfiers’, while the last three are ‘satisfiers’. Financial institutions have to meet the criteria on the first four determinants without a compensation by the last three determinants. The last three determinants offer options for additional profiling, positioning and differentiation. The recovery of confidence will happen sooner than the recovery of trust. Confidence is related to general economic developments. The recovery of trust is a slower process, because of the integrity of persons and institutions. People want to see ‘proofs’ of a changed behaviour before they trust persons and institutions again. This means that a prolonged trust crisis is to be expected, even when confidence is already optimistic.


W.F. van Raaij
Prof. dr. Fred van Raaij is als hoogleraar economische psychologie verbonden aan de Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen van de Universiteit van Tilburg.
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