Taking financial risks is an essential part of what banks do, but there s no clear sense of what constitutes responsible risk. Taking legal risks seems to have become part of what banks do as well. Since the financial crisis, Congress has passed copious amounts of legislation aimed at curbing banks risky behavior. Lawsuits against large banks have cost them billions. Yet bad behavior continues to plague the industry. Why isn't there more change?
In "Better Bankers, Better Banks, " Claire A. Hill and Richard W. Painter look back at the history of banking and show how the current culture of bad behavior dramatized by the corrupt, cocaine-snorting bankers of "The Wolf of Wall Street "came to be. In the early 1980s, banks went from partnerships whose partners had personal liability to corporations whose managers had no such liability and could take risks with other people s money. A major reason bankers remain resistant to change, Hill and Painter argue, is that while banks have been faced with large fines, penalties, and legal fees which have exceeded one hundred billion dollars since the onset of the crisis the banks (which really means the banks shareholders) have paid them, not the bankers themselves. The problem also extends well beyond the pursuit of profit to the issue of how success is defined within the banking industry, where highly paid bankers clamor for status and clients may regard as inevitable bankers who prioritize their own self-interest. While many solutions have been proposed, Hill and Painter show that a successful transformation of banker behavior must begin with the bankers themselves. Bankers must be personally liable from their own assets for some portion of the bank s losses from excessive risk-taking and illegal behavior. This would instill a culture that discourages such behavior and in turn influence the sorts of behavior society celebrates or condemns.
Despite many sensible proposals seeking to reign in excessive risk-taking, the continuing trajectory of scandals suggests that we re far from ready to avert the next crisis. Better Bankers, Better Banks is a refreshing call for bankers to return to the idea that theirs is a noble profession.
Claire A. Hill is professor and the James L. Krusemark Chair in Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, where she is also director of the Institute for Law and Rationality and associate director of the Institute for Law and Economics.
Richard W. Painter is the S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, "Getting the Government America Deserves" and has served as Associate Counsel to the President in the White House Counsel s office.
The Great Depression was undoubtedly the most traumatic economic event to date in American history. The stock market crash etched the year 1929 into the public's mind as the beginning of the historic depression, yet few people today are aware of the much larger financial convulsions that shook the world two years later. It wasn't until after these events - repudiation of monetary commitments by governments around the world, a crash in currency values, the worst month in U.S. stock market history to date, a collapse of bond markets, and a run on U.S. gold reserves - that the Depression truly became "Great." Have Ben Bernanke and the federal government "saved us from another Great Depression," or are they repeating the mistakes of the past? Read the history of the 1931 financial crisis in this book and decide for yourself.
Eric H. Allen received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998. His doctoral thesis work involved the study of independent generator decision-making in electricity markets. Eric is currently employed in the analysis of electric power systems (which, like the economy, are large, complex dynamic systems).
> Overview The Great Depression was undoubtedly the most traumatic economic event to date in American history. The stock market crash etched the year 1929 into the public's mind as the...
This collection of essays brings together historians examining social and economic crises from the thirteenth century to the twenty-first. Crisis is an almost ubiquitous concept for historians, applicable across (amongst others) the histories of agriculture, disease, finance and trade. Yet there has been little attempt to compare its use as an explanatory tool between these discrete fields of research. This volume breaks down the boundaries between traditional historical time periods and sub-disciplines of history to examine the ways in which past societies have coped with crises, and the role of crisis in generating economic and social change. Should we conceptualise a medieval agrarian or financial crisis differently from their modern counterparts? Were there similarities in how contemporaries responded to famine or outbreaks of disease? How comparable are crises within households, within institutions, or across national and international networks of trade? Contributors examine how crises have shaped economic and social life in a range of studies from the Great Depression in 1930's Latin America to the outbreak of plague in seventeenth-century central Europe, and from sheep and cattle murrain in fourteenth-century England to the Northern Rock building society collapse of 2007.
A. T. BROWN is an Addison Wheeler Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Durham University. ANDY BURN is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Durham University.
ROB DOHERTY is a doctoral candidate in history at Durham University.
> Overview This collection of essays brings together historians examining social and economic crises from the thirteenth century to the twenty-first. Crisis is an almost ubiquitous concept for historians, applicable across...
The International Papers in Political Economy (IPPE) series explores the latest developments in political economy. This sixth volume focuses on the theme of the need for and the development of Keynesian economic policies for the 21st century. The volume deals with financial systems and economic development and asks whether we are all Keynesians now. Keynesian growth theory in the 21st century along with economic policies thought to emerge from the theoretical framework that underpins it - always a Keynesian one but adapted to the realities of the 21st century - are also examined. Essays in this volume also explore the nature and consequences of financialisation as perceived by Keynesians, the conceptualization of money and the implications for economic policy of the current financial crisis, and the role of banks and the case for public banks.
This book offers detailed analysis and informed comment on the type of economic policies that are relevant for the 21st century in the aftermath of the financial crisis and global recession. It is essential reading for all postgraduates and scholars looking for expert discussion and debate of the issues surrounding economic policy issues.
PHILIP ARESTIS is University Director of Research, Cambridge Centre for Economics and Public Policy, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, UK. He is also Professor at the Department of Applied Economics V, University of the Basque Country; Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Economics, University of Utah, US; Senior Scholar, Levy Economics Institute, New York, US; Visiting Professor, University of Leeds, UK; and Professorial Research Associate School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK. He has published as sole author or editor, as well as co-author and co-editor, a number of books and papers in academic journals.
MALCOLM SAWYER is Professor of Economics, Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, UK. He was until recently Pro-Dean for Learning and Teaching for the Faculty of Business, University of Leeds, UK. He is managing editor of International Review of Applied Economics, on the editorial board of a range of journals and editor of the series New Directions in Modern Economics. He has published widely in the areas of post Keynesian and Kaleckian economics, industrial economics and the UK and European economies. He has authored 11 books and edited 18, has published over 70 papers in refereed journals and contributed chapters over 100 books.
> Overview The International Papers in Political Economy (IPPE) series explores the latest developments in political economy. This sixth volume focuses on the theme of the need for and the development...
The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money The "Keynesian Revolution" Complete Edition By John Maynard Keynes The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money was written by the English economist John Maynard Keynes. The book, generally considered to be his magnum opus, is largely credited with creating the terminology and shape of modern macroeconomics.
Published in February 1936, it sought to bring about a revolution, commonly referred to as the "Keynesian Revolution," in the way economists thought - especially in relation to the proposition that a market economy tends naturally to restore itself to full employment after temporary shocks. Regarded widely as the cornerstone of Keynesian thought, the book challenged the established classical economics and introduced important concepts such as the consumption function, the multiplier, the marginal efficiency of capital, the principle of effective demand and liquidity preference.
The central argument of The General Theory is that the level of employment is determined, not by the price of labour as in neoclassical economics, but by the spending of money (aggregate demand). Keynes argues that it is wrong to assume that competitive markets will, in the long run, deliver full employment or that full employment is the natural, self-righting, equilibrium state of a monetary economy. On the contrary, under-employment and under-investment are likely to be the natural state unless active measures are taken. One implication of The General Theory is that a lack of competition is not the fundamental problem and measures to reduce unemployment by cutting wages or benefits are not only hard-hearted but ultimately futile.
> Overview The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money The "Keynesian Revolution" Complete Edition By John Maynard Keynes The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money was written by the...
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> Overview This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from...
A tour de force of historical reportage, "America s Bank" illuminates the tumultuous era and remarkable personalities that spurred the unlikely birth of America s modern central bank, the Federal Reserve. Today, the Fed is the bedrock of the financial landscape, yet the fight to create it was so protracted and divisive that it seems a small miracle that it was ever established.
For nearly a century, America, alone among developed nations, refused to consider any central or organizing agency in its financial system. Americans mistrust of big government and of big banks a legacy of the country s Jeffersonian, small-government traditions was so widespread that modernizing reform was deemed impossible. Each bank was left to stand on its own, with no central reserve or lender of last resort. The real-world consequences of this chaotic and provincial system were frequent financial panics, bank runs, money shortages, and depressions. By the first decade of the twentieth century, it had become plain that the outmoded banking system was ill equipped to finance America s burgeoning industry. But political will for reform was lacking. It took an economic meltdown, a high-level tour of Europe, and improbably a conspiratorial effort by vilified captains of Wall Street to overcome popular resistance. Finally, in 1913, Congress conceived a federalist and quintessentially American solution to the conflict that had divided bankers, farmers, populists, and ordinary Americans, and enacted the landmark Federal Reserve Act.
Roger Lowenstein acclaimed financial journalist and bestselling author of "When Genius Failed" and "The End of Wall Street" tells the drama-laden story of how America created the Federal Reserve, thereby taking its first steps onto the world stage as a global financial power. "America s Bank" showcases Lowenstein at his very finest: illuminating complex financial and political issues with striking clarity, infusing the debates of our past with all the gripping immediacy of today, and painting unforgettable portraits of Gilded Age bankers, presidents, and politicians.
Lowenstein focuses on the four men at the heart of the struggle to create the Federal Reserve. These were Paul Warburg, a refined, German-born financier, recently relocated to New York, who was horrified by the primitive condition of America s finances; Rhode Island s Nelson W. Aldrich, the reigning power broker in the U.S. Senate and an archetypal Gilded Age legislator; Carter Glass, the ambitious, if then little-known, Virginia congressman who chaired the House Banking Committee at a crucial moment of political transition; and President Woodrow Wilson, the academician-turned-progressive-politician who forced Glass to reconcile his deep-seated differences with bankers and accept the principle (anathema to southern Democrats) of federal control. Weaving together a raucous era in American politics with a storied financial crisis and intrigue at the highest levels of Washington and Wall Street, Lowenstein brings the beginnings of one of the country s most crucial institutions to vivid and unforgettable life. Readers of this gripping historical narrative will wonder whether they re reading about one hundred years ago or the still-seething conflicts that mark our discussions of banking and politics today.
Roger Lowenstein is a financial journalist and writer. He graduated from Cornell University and reported for the "Wall Street Journal" for more than a decade. Lowenstein is the author of a number of books and articles, including "The End of Wall Street", "Origins of the Crash: The Great Bubble and Its Undoing", and "Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist"
> Overview A tour de force of historical reportage, "America s Bank" illuminates the tumultuous era and remarkable personalities that spurred the unlikely birth of America s modern central bank, the...