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Edited by Paul Roberts and Michael Stockdale

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Edited by Paul Roberts and Michael Stockdale

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Jamison E. Colburn

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Paul Roberts and Michael Stockdale

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John Morley

Why are investment companies are regulated so differently from every other kind of company? The multitude of other companies across our diverse spectrum of business endeavors—from software design to clothing retail to food service, and so forth—are regulated by a generic body of securities regulations. What exactly makes an investment company so different from every other kind of company that it alone deserves special securities regulation? The chapter concludes that, whatever the historical rationales for investment company regulation, the most compelling rationale for investment company regulation today is an investment company’s unique organizational structure. An investment fund almost always has a separate legal existence and a separate set of owners from the managers who control it. A fund investor thus relates to her managers in a radically different way from an investor in every other kind of company.

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Florentin Blanc

As in Gogol’s quote, the arrival of a government inspector still elicits instant fear and worry in a number of countries – including Russia, and most of the former Soviet Union. Most of these inspectors nowadays, by contrast with Gogol’s, come to inspect and control not state institutions, but private ones, particularly businesses. ‘Inspectors’ and ‘inspections’ come under different names – ‘control’, ‘surveillance’, ‘supervision’ – so the notion may require ‘translation’ into the appropriate words for each country. The reality, however, in most parts of the world, is that inspections (under whichever name) are one of the most frequent and important ways in which businesses interact with state authorities. While scholars and governments often look at ‘regulations’ in an abstract way, businesses will typically relate more to their actual experience of regulations, which arises through procedures such as permits and licences, and through inspections – particularly if the latter are frequent, burdensome or otherwise problematic. This is not unique to regulations affecting businesses, and for most citizens ‘laws’ likewise are often distant abstractions, and are experienced primarily through concrete processes: obtaining documents, marrying or inheriting, and of course dealing with the police. Just as inspections can be seen as essential and beneficial, or as burdensome and inadequate, the police are to some an indispensable defensive wall against crime, to others a body that oppresses some citizens regardless of what they have done. Inspections and other enforcement practices are thus inherently ambiguous. Inspections and control are absolutely necessary for some, oppressive and hostile for others.

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Florentin Blanc

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Christopher May and Adam Winchester

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Alexandra G. Balmer