From Malaise to Meltdown: The International Origins of Financial Folly, 1844–
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.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 264 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
Author InformationMichael Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Hunter College.
Table of contents
Growth vs. Stability in Financial Regulation
The Argument in Brief
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?
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
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
5. The Great Deregulation of 1980-2000
An Era of Stability: Bretton Woods and the Glass-Steagall Era
Deregulation Stalls, 1980-1986
The Rise of Japan
A British Challenge
Competitiveness and The End of Glass-Steagall, 1986-2000
List of Works Cited
Subjects and Courses