Insider Dealing

  • Norman Barry


On a visit to England in the eighteenth century the French Enlightenment thinker, Voltaire, was tremendously impressed by the morality and liberality which were mainly brought about by commerce. In his Letters on England, he gave this famous panegyric to the London Stock Exchange:

Go into the London Stock Exchange — a more respectable a place than many a court — and you will see representatives of all nations gathered there for the service of mankind. There the Jew, the Mohammedan, and the Christian deal with each other as if they were of the same religion, and give the name of infidel only to those who go bankrupt. There the Presbyterian trusts the Anabaptist, and the Anglican accepts the Quaker’s promise.1 What he was describing was a world in which traders knew and trusted each other, where there was little or no regulation and where the peaceengendering and conflict-resolving features of capitalism were manifest.


Business Ethic Stock Market Security Market Fiduciary Duty Inside Information 
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  1. 1.
    Quoted in D. Boaz, Libertarianism: a Primer (New York: Free Press, 1997) p. 38.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The Criminal Justice Act, 1993. For an account, see J. Murray, ‘The New Insider Dealing Law: A Critique’, in H. MacQueen (ed.) Insider Dealing (Edinburgh: David Hume Institute, 1993) pp. 19–27.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    For the legal background in the USA, see A. Brennan and N. Kubasek, The Legal Environment of Business (New York: Macmillan, 1988).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Pierre Lemieux, Apologie des Sorcieres Modernes (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1991).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    In the USA the situation has been complicated by the fact that civil offences, on occasion, appear to have been made criminal by the courts, see D. Fischel, Payback: The Conspiracy to Destroy Michael Milken and His Financial Revolution (New York: Harper, 1995)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See H. Manne, Insider Trading and the Stock Market (New York: Free Press, 1966).Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    See N. Barry, Insider Dealing: An Exploration into Law and Existing Practice (London: Foundation for Business Responsibilities, 1996) p. 16.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    The whole story is graphically described in D. Frantz, Levine and Co. (New York: Holt, 1987).Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    See B. Hannigan, Insider Dealing (London: Kluwer, 1988) p. 24.Google Scholar
  10. 16.
    J. Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, 3rd edn (London: Routledge, 1994: 1st pub. 1942) pp. 1–86.Google Scholar
  11. 17.
    See I. Kirzner, Discovery, Capitalism and Distributive Justice (Oxford: Blackwell, 1989).Google Scholar
  12. 21.
    H. Manne, ‘Insider Trading and Property Rights in New Information’, in J. Dorn and H. Manne (eds) Economic Liberties and the Constitution (Fairfax: George Mason University Press, 1987) p. 318.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Norman Barry 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman Barry

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