Susana Coroado, “Does blame-shifting work? An analysis of the executive’s behaviour in banking collapses in Portugal”. Thursday, June 2nd, 14.30, ICS

Susana Coroado presented her paper on this topic. The abstract:

“In 2014, one year before general election took place, Portuguese largest private bank – BES – collapsed, with a strong financial and social impact, as thousands of individual investors lost their life savings. The government decided not to intervene, leaving all responsibilities to the two financial regulators – the central bank and securities market regulator. This represented a major shift from the previous banking crisis, in 2008, when the executive in office nationalized another bank, BPN. Independent regulatory agencies have been delegated power from elected politicians (Majone 1994, Thatcher&Stone Sweet 2002) for a multitude of reasons, including cost transfer in unpopular decision-making, i.e., blaming the agency for a decision that could have political costs (Weaver 1987; Egan 2004). Following the literature on blame-game (Hood 2002) and accountability of regulatory agencies (Bianculli et als 2015; Black 2008; Scott 2004), this empirical research is two folded. First, it aims to identify and understand the responsibility-shifting processes and mechanisms used by the government in the BES affair, in comparison to BNP, by looking into forms of intervention, political communication and the use of accountability mechanisms. Secondly, we will investigate whether that responsibility attribution was successful, by analysing how it was perceived by i) MPs and ii) media, as accountability stakeholders. Applying a qualitative content analysis, we will examine official government, parliament and regulator’s documentation, as well as media reports and op-eds of two major newspapers, one general and one business oriented.”

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