Fragile by Design

Fragile by Design

The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit

Book - 2014
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Baker & Taylor
Looks at the history of the banking systems of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, arguing that banking crises and scarce credit result from the ways that politics and banking intersect in a given country.

Princeton University Press

Why are banking systems unstable in so many countries—but not in others? The United States has had twelve 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. Calomiris and Haber combine political history and economics to examine how coalitions of politicians, bankers, and other interest groups form, why they endure, 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.

Fragile by Design is a revealing exploration of the ways that politics inevitably intrudes into bank regulation.

Book News
Written for scholars, but also for general readers, this study explains how political decisions and bargains shape banks' strengths and weaknesses, and how such decisions create predictable consequences. Discussion encompasses why stable and efficient banks are so rare; how US banking has been crippled by populism from colonial times to 1990; and authoritarianism, democratic transitions, and the game of bank bargains. Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Princeton :, Princeton University Press,, [2014]
Description: xi, 570 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780691155241
Branch Call Number: 332.109 Cal
Additional Contributors: Haber, Stephen H., 1957-


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Dec 08, 2016

What a crock! This is what passes for // economic scholarship \\ or pure financial ignorance?
I would gladly have sent these two to Pinochet's Chile, he had a way of having his troops pick up hapless Americans there for torture and death!
FYI, author of this book, the bankers own the politicians and have been calling the shots forever, your pathetic and feeble attempt to revise Reality should only fall on deaf ears!

[Just an aside, and I don't mean to go in for genetic epithets, but I have yet to meet an honest person with the surname, Calomiris!]

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