Why are banking systems unstable in so many countries--but not in others? The United States has had 12 systemic banking crises since 1840, while Canada has had none. The banking systems of Mexico and Brazil have not only been crisis prone but have provided miniscule amounts of credit to business enterprises and households. Analyzing the political and banking history of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil through several centuries, Fragile by Design demonstrates that chronic banking crises and scarce credit are not accidents due to unforeseen circumstances. Rather, these fluctuations result from the complex bargains made between politicians, bankers, bank shareholders, depositors, debtors, and taxpayers. The well-being of banking systems depends on the abilities of political institutions to balance and limit how coalitions of these various groups influence government regulations.
Fragile by Design is a revealing exploration of the ways that politics inevitably intrudes into bank regulation. Charles Calomiris and Stephen Haber combine political history and economics to examine how coalitions of politicians, bankers, and other interest groups form, why some endure while others are undermined, and how they generate policies that determine who gets to be a banker, who has access to credit, and who pays for bank bailouts and rescues.
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An all-time favorite in banking, history, politics
- Phil O.
Best work of political econ I have ever read!
I have read dozens of books on political economics over an 18 year time period. Most are ideological in nature. This work is a work of descriptive political economics. In our partisan era most people will not recognize the value of making advanced political economic theory palatable to ordinary people in relatively simple language. Politics is always approached from a rights, morals, principles, or social justice perspective. That is like objecting to the law of gravity on the basis of its immorality or inequality. This book comes as close as any ever written to spelling out the NATURAL laws that govern political economics.
- Spokane Book Suppliers