The introduction of accounting and auditing oversight boards (OBs) has been promoted on a global scale as a key component of the international financial architecture that has emerged over the past two decades. Such institutions, modeled on the Anglo-American tradition, are domestically organized and embedded within distinctively diverse institutional contexts. Their role is to ease agency problems, improve the quality of financial reporting, and help provide stability in the global financial system. We employ an institutional approach, located within the broader political economy framework of global capitalism, to examine the establishment and operation of the new regulatory regime in Greece. Greece, a member of the European Union, exhibits characteristics of a "delegative" democracy, i.e. a traditionally weak institutionalization, reform (in)capacity problems and a clientelistic political system. Our case study shows that the formation and operation of the newly-established system of oversight is conditioned by local political and economic constraints and, thus, does not automatically translate into concrete benefits for the quality of financial reporting. We also draw attention to the structural mismatch between a progressing globalized financial integration and the fragmented nature of the system of oversight, and illustrate that OBs' independence from local governments is an important but neglected issue.
Bibliographical note© 2015, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Funding: Research Centre of the Athens University of Economics and Business