Edward Balleisen, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies and a Senior Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, is the latest guest on the Sanford School of Public Policy’s Ways & Means Podcast, which examines ideas and research for how to improve society.
Balleisen, who helped create Kenan’s Rethinking Regulation program, offered context in the episode around the case of John Rusnak, a currency trader who was convicted of one of the largest bank frauds in American history. Balleisen’s new book, Fraud: An American History from Barnum to Madoff, covers the story of fraud in America and some of the biggest names from modern times.
“Fraud is a perennial problem for any capitalist society,” Balleisen said in this story about his book. “We tend to go through periods of generational amnesia about regulatory structures that we put in place after sufficient recognition of the costs associated with widespread fraud, but there’s always a tradeoff. To enact policies that tend to restrict opportunity for deception means inevitably restricting opportunity for competitive sales practices. In moments when economic stagnation becomes an abiding concern, policy-makers tend to pull back on the regulation of deception.”