From Wall Street to Bay Street: The Origins and Evolution of American and Canadian Finance
Published: March 2018© 2018
Imprint: Rotman-UTP Publishing
Page Count: 416 Pages
Dimensions: 5.90 x 8.90
416 Pages, 5.90 x 8.90 x 1.10 in
The 2008 financial crisis rippled across the globe and triggered a worldwide recession. Unlike the American banking system which experienced massive losses, takeovers, and taxpayer funded bailouts, Canada’s banking system withstood the crisis relatively well and maintained its liquidity and profitability. The divergence in the two banking systems can be traced to their distinct institutional and political histories.
From Wall Street to Bay Street is the first book for a lay audience to tackle the similarities and differences between the financial systems of Canada and the United States. Christopher Kobrak and Joe Martin reveal the different paths each system has taken since the early nineteenth-century, despite the fact that they both originate from the British system. The authors trace the roots of each country’s financial systems back to Alexander Hamilton and insightfully argue that while Canada has preserved a Hamiltonian financial tradition, the United States has favoured the populist Jacksonian tradition since the 1830s. The sporadic and inconsistent fashion in which the American system have changed over time is at odds with the evolutionary path taken by the Canadian system. From Wall Street to Bay Street offers a timely and accessible comparison of financial systems that reflects the political and cultural milieus of two of the world’s top ten economies.
Chapter 1: Foreign and Domestic Beginnings: From Colonies to the Civil War
Chapter 2: Transitional Decade: The Rebirth and Birth of Nations
Chapter 3: The Maturing: 1869-1914
Chapter 4: "The Great Disorder" and Growing Social Demands: 1914-1945
Chapter 5: The Short Pax Americana: 1945-2000
Chapter 6: Conclusions: Continuities and Discontinuities in North American Finance leading to 2008
"Financial historians Christopher Kobrak and Joe Martin of the Rotman School of Management chronicle 300 years of money in Canada with an account rich in anecdotes and telling in its findings. …From Wall Street To Bay Street moves at a smart clip with quirky research. Who knew colonial Québec used playing cards as currency, or that the Spanish silver dollar was the most commonly circulated coin in Nova Scotia in 1790?"Holly Doan, Blacklock’s Reporter, April 7, 2018
"The American and Canadian financial systems reflect their national cultures and national priorities. But perhaps a sober reflection on how each country got to where it is today could prompt some tweaks to the systems to make them both more vibrant and more stable. From Wall Street to Bay Street is a good place to gain material for such reflection."Brenda Jubin, Investing.com, May 16, 2018
"As they range back and forth across the border, Kobrak and Martin adeptly explore how banks in [Canada and the United States of America] dealt with the free market economy, periods of war and financial instability, and the introduction of railroads, computers and other technological marvels."Michael Taube, LRC, vol 26 10, December 2018
"From Wall Street to Bay Street remains an exemplary study of comparative financial history: it is an interesting, informative, systematic, ludic, and comprehensive historical account of the evolution of the two financial systems."Kam Hon Chu, Memorial University of Newfoundland, The Canadian Historical Review, Vol 100 1, March ‘19
"From Bay Street to Wall Street tracks the double helix of North American finance with clarity and insight well into the twentieth century."Duncan McDowall, Business History Review, vol 93 no 1, Spring '19
"This is a fine book. It delivers the explanation that [the authors] promised to the lay reader, but professional economic historians will also find that the book is worth their time."Hugh Rockoff, Rutgers University, EH.Net
"The authors set themselves a challenging task, to write a book for the general public that traced financial history from colonial times to the present in both the US and Canada. I am happy to report that they have met that challenge."C. Ian Kyer, University of Waterloo, Banking and Finance Law Review, April '19
"A landmark of internationally comparative history, informed throughout by the urbane wisdom of its authors, who have shown that financial market history is both larger and smaller than that of nations and, on some dimensions, more subtle and complex."Leslie Hannah, London School of Economics.
"Despite their close proximity and longstanding economic ties, the United States and Canada are rarely studied in tandem. In this sweeping, erudite history of financial history in North America, Christopher Kobrak and Joe Martin put the two nations’ divergent histories in productive dialog with one another. The results are fascinating and timely. When seen in each other’s reflection, the financial histories of both countries look altogether different than when studied in isolation. From Wall Street to Bay Street is an exemplary work of comparative history. It deserves a wide readership on both sides of the border."Stephen Mihm, Department of History, University of Georgia.
"The book serves admirably as a reminder of the importance of the financial system in a nation’s economic development. It also provides historical context for the ongoing effort to successfully manage contemporary and future challenges and opportunities."
L.R. (Red) Wilson, O.C., Chancellor Emeritus, McMaster University
"Anyone seeking to know how Canada's financial system remained relatively immune to the meltdown of American finance after 2008 needs to read this book. The authors offer a long-term perspective on the trade-offs between relative stability (Canada) and the often reckless but dynamic financial innovation (America)The authors make clear that the financial architecture of any country is intricately embedded in its historical choices and value systems.Jeffrey Fear, School of Social & Political Sciences, University of Glasgow
"A clearly written and cogently argued study, written for both the generalist and the specialist, that yields important insights into the historical development of the financial sectors of Canada and the United States. History might not always repeat itself, but learning from these insights would help the two countries find a better balance between financial innovation and financial stability, thereby maintaining vibrant economies while avoiding another financial crisis that leads to a Great Recession."
Sir George Bain, Queen’s University Belfast.
- The Toronto Heritage Toronto Award awarded by Heritage Toronto - (Short-listed)