From Malaise to Meltdown: The International Origins of Financial Folly, 1844–

By Michael Lee

© 2020

For the past two centuries, the great power sitting atop the international global financial system has enjoyed outsized rewards. As the saying goes, however, all good things come to an end. Providing insights into the evolution of the global political economy, From Malaise to Meltdown identifies the main instigators behind the global financial crises we’ve seen in the last two hundred years. Michael Lee shows that, in time, power diffuses from the leading economy to others, creating an intensely competitive push for global financial leadership. Hungry for the benefits of global leadership, declining leaders and aspiring challengers alike roll back long-standing regulatory safeguards in an effort to spark growth. Risks to global financial stability mount as a result of this rollback and waves of severe financial crises soon follow. As Lee deftly shows, the Long Depression of 1873–1896, the Great Depression of 1929–1939, and the financial crisis of 2008 are part of the same recurrent pattern: global competition disrupts the longstanding political equilibria, prompting a search for new, risky ideas among the most powerful states. From Malaise to Meltdown presents a sweeping but accessible historical narrative about the coevolution of power, ideas, and domestic politics, supported by archival research into the risky decisions that ushered in the worst financial crises in history.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 264 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP006393

  • AVAILABLE JAN 2021

    From: $37.50

    Regular Price: $50.00

    ISBN 9781487506896
  • AVAILABLE MAY 2020

    From: $37.50

    Regular Price: $50.00

Quick Overview

Lee explains how global competition has driven policymakers toward lax regulation throughout history, leading to severe financial crises.

From Malaise to Meltdown: The International Origins of Financial Folly, 1844–

By Michael Lee

© 2020

For the past two centuries, the great power sitting atop the international global financial system has enjoyed outsized rewards. As the saying goes, however, all good things come to an end. Providing insights into the evolution of the global political economy, From Malaise to Meltdown identifies the main instigators behind the global financial crises we’ve seen in the last two hundred years. Michael Lee shows that, in time, power diffuses from the leading economy to others, creating an intensely competitive push for global financial leadership. Hungry for the benefits of global leadership, declining leaders and aspiring challengers alike roll back long-standing regulatory safeguards in an effort to spark growth. Risks to global financial stability mount as a result of this rollback and waves of severe financial crises soon follow. As Lee deftly shows, the Long Depression of 1873–1896, the Great Depression of 1929–1939, and the financial crisis of 2008 are part of the same recurrent pattern: global competition disrupts the longstanding political equilibria, prompting a search for new, risky ideas among the most powerful states. From Malaise to Meltdown presents a sweeping but accessible historical narrative about the coevolution of power, ideas, and domestic politics, supported by archival research into the risky decisions that ushered in the worst financial crises in history.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 264 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Michael Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Hunter College.
  • Table of contents

    1. Introduction
    Growth vs. Stability in Financial Regulation
    The Argument in Brief
    Alternate Explanations
    Decline, Deregulation, and Crises through History
    The Plan of this Book

    2. A Theory of Great Deregulations
    What is Financial Leadership?
    The Causes and Consequences of Decline
    How do Lead Economies (and Challengers) Respond to Decline?
    International Regulation
    Conclusion

    3. The Great Deregulation of the 1850s
    The Origins of the Joint Stock Banking Act
    Napoléon III and the French Financial Revolution
    The Turn to Limited Liability in Britain
    The Spiral
    Conclusion

    4. The Interwar Battle for Financial Supremacy
    The [Financial] Pax Britannica
    The American Challenge to British Financial Leadership
    The First World War
    The Gold-Exchange Standard and Britain’s Return to Gold
    From Restoration to Depression
    Conclusion

    5. The Great Deregulation of 1980-2000
    An Era of Stability: Bretton Woods and the Glass-Steagall Era
    Deregulation Stalls, 1980-1986
    Competitive Challenges
    The Rise of Japan
    A British Challenge
    Competitiveness and The End of Glass-Steagall, 1986-2000
    Conclusion

    6. Conclusion
    American Twilight?

    List of Works Cited
    References

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