Maximillian Edelbacher, Peter C. Kratcoski, Michael Theil (editors), Financial Crimes: A Threat to Global Security (Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2012), 447 pp.

Financial market reform has focused chiefly on the threats to stability arising from the risky, uncontrolled activity of the leaders of financial institutions. Nevertheless, organized crime, white-collar crime, and corruption have a huge impact on financial systems worldwide and must also be confronted if true reform is to be achieved. A collection of articles written by experts in their fields of study, Financial Crimes: A Threat to Global Security spotlights the importance of addressing the problem of illegal financial activity as part of a greater comprehensive plan for reforming the financial sector.

Drawn from the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) held in Vienna, the book explores the major themes discussed at this elite symposium. In the first section, the contributors examine changing concepts in security over the course of history and across nations. They discuss how an event in Austria led to the implementation of a
new security philosophy that is now followed by the majority of the European Union. The book examines the diverse models of preventing security threats that have grown from that idea as well as the gradual expansion of the role of the security council of the United Nations.

The next section analyzes the present state of security worldwide and examines the wide array of criminal activity that plagues the financial sector. Expert contributors reveal methods to identify certain types of behavior and criminals as well as efforts to combat illegal activity—including the role of the media. The final section investigates alternative approaches to preventing another worldwide financial disaster through investigative reporting, human factors analysis, legislative initiatives, and other methods.

Filled with insight from international experts, the book highlights both the warning signs to illegal activity as well as the most effective methods for combating the invidious corruption that, if unchecked, puts all nations at risk.

About the Editors

Maximilian Edelbacher was born in 1944 in Vienna, Austria. He graduated from Vienna University (Mag. Jur.) and the Hofrat of the Federal Police of Austria. He served as the chief of the Major Crime Bureau, an international expert for the Council of Europe, OSCE, and UNO.  He also chaired the Austrian Antifraud Insurance Bureau and lectured at several universities including the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Danube University in Krems, and the Vienna University Department of Sociology. Edelbacher was appointed a special investigator of the AVUS Group on White Collar Crime Cases, a board member of the Austrian Criminal Investigators Association, a member of the Academic Senior Advisory Council to the United Nations (ACUNS), and is the author of a number of books and journal articles.

Peter C. Kratcoski was born in Pennsylvania. He earned a PhD in sociology from the Pennsylvania State University, an MA in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, and a BA in sociology from Kings College. He was selected for several post-doctoral study grants by the National Science Foundation. He was appointed assistant professor of sociology at Kent State
University in 1969 and retired as a professor of sociology and justice studies in 1998. During his career, he served as chair of the Department of Criminal Justice Studies until his retirement. Dr. Kratcoski also held positions as an instructor of sociology at the University of Akron, temporary instructor at the College of Wooster and at John Carroll University, and guest lecturer at  Eastern Illinois University. He is currently a professor emeritus at Kent State University and director of the Justice Volunteer Center at the university. His interests are juvenile justice, corrections, crime prevention, and international crime prevention. He currently serves as official recorder of the International Police Executive Symposium and is a member of IPES, the Society for Police
and Criminal Psychology, and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. He has written many books, book chapters, and journal articles.

Michael Theil
was born in Vienna, Austria. He earned an MBA with a major in transport, logistics, management, and insurance in 1991. He was awarded a PhD in risk management, insurance, and information management in 1994. Dr. Theil earned honors. In 2001, he finished habilitation and became a university docent at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. He is a member of the board of governors of the Association of University Professors, a member of the Senate and Works Council of the University professors, and a cooperation delegate for partnerships with dif-ferent universities. Currently he is an associate professor at the Institute of Risk Management and Insurance at the Vienna University. He has published numerous articles, reviews, and book chapters and is the author of Crimes against Insurances. His specialty areas include accounting, general manage-ment, insurance, marketing, and quality management. He cooperates with the Institute of Finance and Management Science, the Norwegian School of Economics at Bergen, and Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois.