The issue of white-collar crime, as Friedrichs (2009) argues, has always been much more complicated than dealing with usual, or ‘conventional’, crime due to many reasons. First of all, white-collar crime is more difficult to investigate because its committers are often protected by their official positions, personal, business, and political connections, etc. As well, the attitudes of regular police forces towards investigating white collar crime have always been rather negative as white collar crime has not been regarded as a crime at all by police officers (Friedrichs, 2009, p. 280). These were the reasons for the Government to establish numerous Federal Regulatory Agencies, which, nevertheless, were surrounded by considerable controversy.
Federal Regulatory Agencies
The process of institutionalizing of the state regulation of various state-controlled and private activities was started in the late 19h century. The establishment of the Interstate Commerce Committee in 1887 was the beginning of the process that took over a hundred years (Friedrichs, 2009, p. 284). The Food and Drug Administration was established in 1906 to regulate the food and pharmaceutical industries. 1914 saw the creation of the Federal Trade Commission as the tool of struggle with trusts. The period of the Great Depression facilitated the formation of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Securities and Exchange Commission between 1929 and 1930 (Friedrichs, 2009, p. 285, 292).
White Collar Crime
The Role of Federal Regulatory Agencies
Needless to say, the above listed and a number of other Federal Regulatory Agencies were designed t, first of all,l regulate the lawful character of the activities of various companies, state and federal offices, and fight white-collar crime. In particular, the above-mentioned Interstate Commerce Committee was to supervise and protect the law in the railroad industry, but it was eliminated in 1996 as an unnecessary agency that costs much to the Federal budget but brings little results (Friedrichs, 2009, p. 284). The criticism of the FDA observed in the early 2000s also proves that the formal role of the Federal Regulatory Agencies in fighting white-collar crime is much bigger than the actual effects these agencies have on the picture of social life.
Assessment of Federal Regulatory Agencies’ Effectiveness
In more detail, Friedrichs (2009, p. 292) argues that the FDA was the subject of the great scandal in 2007, when it stopped and blocked anti-AIDS drugs testing because of their alleged danger, but paid much attention to the testing of potentially also dangerous new medical devices. Accordingly, the agency designed to implement the rule according to which the parties that have any kind of interest in the results of drug tests cannot participate in those tests actually turned out to be making unreasonable and, as Friedrichs (2009, p. 292) supposes, politically controversial decisions. The list of examples can be continued by the Federal Trade Commission, Environment Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, etc., as the decisions these agencies make or have made allows assuming that they are driven by either financial interest or political pressure rather than mere compliance to the legislative norms.
Thus, the role of Federal Regulatory Agencies in fighting the white collar crime has been expected to be larger than it actually turns out. Instead of reducing white collar crime rates, Federal Regulatory Agencies cause additional controversy, incur considerable costs to the state and federal budgets, and require reforms to function properly.
Friedrichs, D. O. (2009).Trusted Criminals: White Collar Crime in Contemporary Society (3rd edition). United States of America: Cengage Learning Inc.