The Bankers' New Clothes: What's Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It

Princeton University Press
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What is wrong with today's banking system? The past few years have shown that risks in banking can impose significant costs on the economy. Many claim, however, that a safer banking system would require sacrificing lending and economic growth. The Bankers' New Clothes examines this claim and the narratives used by bankers, politicians, and regulators to rationalize the lack of reform, exposing them as invalid.

Admati and Hellwig argue we can have a safer and healthier banking system without sacrificing any of the benefits of the system, and at essentially no cost to society. They show that banks are as fragile as they are not because they must be, but because they want to be--and they get away with it. Whereas this situation benefits bankers, it distorts the economy and exposes the public to unnecessary risks. Weak regulation and ineffective enforcement allowed the buildup of risks that ushered in the financial crisis of 2007-2009. Much can be done to create a better system and prevent crises. Yet the lessons from the crisis have not been learned.

Admati and Hellwig seek to engage the broader public in the debate by cutting through the jargon of banking, clearing the fog of confusion, and presenting the issues in simple and accessible terms. The Bankers' New Clothes calls for ambitious reform and outlines specific and highly beneficial steps that can be taken immediately.

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About the author

Anat Admati is the George G. C. Parker Professor of Finance and Economics at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. She serves on the FDIC Systemic Resolution Advisory Committee and has contributed to the "Financial Times", "Bloomberg News", and the "New York Times". Martin Hellwig is director at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods. He was the first chair of the Advisory Scientific Committee of the European Systemic Risk Board and the cowinner of the 2012 Max Planck Research Award for his work on financial regulation.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Feb 15, 2013
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Pages
392
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ISBN
9781400846566
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Banks & Banking
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / Economics / Theory
Political Science / General
Political Science / History & Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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André Sapir
Over the past decade European economic integration has seen considerable institutional success, but the economic performance of the EU has been varied. While macroeconomic stability has improved and an emphasis on cohesion preserved, the EU economic system has not delivered satisfactory growth performance. This book is the report of a high-level group commissioned by the President of the European Commission to review the EU economic system and propose a blueprint for an economic system capable of delivering faster growth along with stability and cohesion. It assesses the EU s economic performance, examines the challenges facing the EU in the coming years, and presents a series of recommendations. The report views Europe's unsatisfactory growth performance during the last decades as a symptom of its failure to transform into an innovation-based economy. It has now become clear that the context in which economic policies have been developed has changed fundamentally over the past thirty years. A system built around the assimilation of existing technologies, mass production generating economics of scale, and an industrial structure dominated by large firms with stable markets and long term employment patterns no longer delivers in the world of today, characterized by economic globalization and strong external competition. What is needed now is more opportunity for new entrants, greater mobility of employees within and across firms, more retraining, greater reliance on market financing, and higher investment in both R&D and higher education. This requires a massive and urgent change in economic policies in Europe.
Anat Admati
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