One striking weaknesses of our financial architecture, which helped bring on and perhaps deepen the Panic of 2008, is an inadequate appreciation of the past. Information about how the system functioned and the reliability of organizations and institutional controls were drawn from a relatively narrow group of recent examples. History and Financial Crisis: Lessons from the 20th Century is an attempt to broaden the range of historical sources used by policy makers to understand and treat financial crises. Many recent discussions of the 2008 panic and the economic turmoil have found the situation to either be unprecedented or greatly similar to that of 1931. However, the book's wide range of contributors suggest that the economic crisis of 2008 cannot be categorised in this way.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Business History.
1. The ‘2008 Crisis’ in an economic history perspective: Looking at the twentieth century Christopher Kobrak and Mira Wilkins 2. Financial crisis, contagion, and the British banking system between the world wars Mark Billings and Forrest Capie 3. New perspectives on the 1931 banking crisis in Germany and Central Europe Christopher Kopper 4. Banks and Swedish financial crises in the 1920s and 1930s Mikael Lönnborg, Anders Ögren and Michael Rafferty 5. Canada and the United States: Different roots, different routes to financial sector regulation Donald J.S. Brean, Lawrence Kryzanowski and Gordon S. Roberts 6. The effect of banking crises on deposit growth: State-level evidence from 1900 to 1930 Carlos D. Ramirez 7. Concluding Thoughts on the Use and Abuse of Financial History: Panics and Public Policy Christopher Kobrak