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Matthias Thiemann

Assistant Professor
Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main
Controlling Systemic Risks: Macroprudential regulation as a cognitive and a political-economic project
01 February 2017 -
30 June 2017
Economics and finance


Matthias Thiemann is assistant professor of the Sociology of Money, Banking and Finance at the Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main. After a PhD in Sociology ("Out of the Shadow – Accounting for Special Purpose Entities in European Banking Systems", Columbia University, New York, 2012) he has been granted a postodoctoral fellowship at the Center for Capitalism, Globalization and Governance, ESSEC Business School France.

Research interests

The interaction between regulators, regulation and the regulated in the formation of the shadow banking system and the attempt of regulators to re-envision financial markets in order to monitor and control systemic risk, stemming from the shadow banking system. Particular attention is paid to the role of economics in the measurement and management of the latter and the political economy inherent in the evolution of this regulation.

Controlling Systemic Risks: Macroprudential regulation as a cognitive and a political-economic project

How do economists’ ideas regarding financial markets influence financial market regulation? Studies about the regulatory failures in financial markets that led to the financial crises have questioned the role of economics in this man-made calamity. A point of contention in these debates has been whether economics proper has failed regulators or if policy makers misunderstood economics. The latter view locates the regulatory failure “in the translation of ideas from academia to public policy, [where] a dominant, over-simplified and dangerous conventional wisdom developed” (Turner 2011, p. 26). Though a vast literature exists on how economists influence policy in general, the problem in adjudicating these different views is that there are no empirical studies that have investigated this translation process for banking regulation. We know little about the causal pathways by which academic discourses influence policy-making and how they interact with interests and institutional design. This project seeks to address this knowledge gap. It does so by exploiting the fact that the reorientation towards a new approach to financial regulation post-crisis is still in the making in the European Union, at the national and European level.

Key publications

Avec Jan Lepoutre, « Stitching on the Edge - Regulatory Arbitrage, Shadow Banks and Negative Externalization », dans American Journal of Sociology, March 2017, vol. 122, n° 5 (Forthcoming ).

« In the Shadow of Basel: How Competitive Politics Bred the Crisis », Review of International Political Economy, vol. 21, isue 6, p. 1-37.

« ‘Out of the Shadows?’ Accounting for Special Purpose Entities in European Banking Systems », Competition & Change, 16(1), 2012.

“The impact of meta-standardization upon standards convergence: The case of the international accounting standard for off-balance sheet financing”, Business and Politics, vol. 16, issue 1, 2014, p. 79-112.

Contemporary period (1789-…)
World or no region