Brian Easton introduced this Fabian series in Wellington on Monday 10 September. The theory of light-handed regulation, "the notion that the market can be left to self-regulation by private interests with a minimum of public regulation through law and supervision" that took hold in the 1990s was based on absolute faith in markets, coupled with an expectation that reputational threat, the possibility of damages, or faith in the moral behaviour of business would ensure that business behaved responsibly.
It often takes time before the effects of irresponsible behaviour surface, and the consequences may be very serious. Brian Easton give several examples of where this faith has been misplaced, and the result has been financial loss, accident and death. He argues that while the list is selective "we need to see the regularities across a wide range of instances and address the mindset of light-handed regulation," and offers some principles that may set a context for regulating an economy.
Brian's paper may be found in the the Papers and Presentations section of the site. Further seminars in Wellington will cover work safety, finance sector, energy sector and building and construction. Details are in the Upcoming Events section.