Paolo Buccirossi, Giovanni Immordino, Giancarlo Spagnolo, 11 October 2017

Schemes that reward whistleblowers who provide evidence of corporate fraud have been effective in the US, but have generally been resisted in Europe. This column argues that a policy that trades off rewards to those who blow the whistle against punishment for fabricating evidence would increase both detection of, and punishment for, fraud. This will only be effective, however, if whistleblowers are protected from retaliation and the policy also invests in making court findings more accurate.

Lydia Mechtenberg, Gerd Muehlheusser, Andreas Roider, 04 June 2017

Whistle-blowing by employees is important for uncovering corporate fraud. This column studies the effectiveness of recent laws and policy recommendations that aim to enhance willingness to report incidents and to increase deterrence by improving the protection of whistle-blowers. Easily attainable protection leads to more truthful reports, but also to more fraudulent claims, which makes prosecutors less likely to investigate and hampers deterrence. More stringent requirements for protection dampen these unintended side effects.

Thorvaldur Gylfason, 18 August 2010

In Mel Brooks’ hit film and Broadway musical The Producers, those charged with making their musical a success instead try to profit from making it a spectacular failure. This column argues that some bankers may have been playing the same game in the run up to the global crisis. If so, just as in The Producers, the perpetrators should be heading to jail.

Thorvaldur Gylfason, 30 April 2010

What brought down Iceland’s banks? This column examines the revelations from the latest report from the Icelandic parliament, raising the possibility that the collapse of Iceland’s three largest banks is the result of “control fraud” where shareholders stole from their own bank in the same way as those convicted of looting from the American saving and loan banks in the late 1980s.

Richard Baldwin, 14 June 2007

Organised criminals earn millions from tax fraud while EU cooperation on the issue is gridlocked. This series of five columns looks at the problem and suggests that the German EU Presidency is pushing the wrong solution. This first instalment considers essential technical aspects of the VAT.

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