Abstract and Keywords
Financial crises have been a common feature of the economic landscape for more than two centuries. The chapter defines banking crises, considers the type of costs that they impose, and outlines the most common causes of banking crises during the past 200 years. The remainder of the chapter considers five distinct historical periods: the nineteenth century, when the pattern of crises following ‘boom–bust’ economic cycles became established; the inter-war period, which was punctuated by two major sets of crises (post-First World War crisis and the Great Depression); the post-Second World War financial ‘lock-down’, which was characterized by stringent banking regulation and a complete absence of banking crises; deregulation and the return of crises in the 1970s; and the subprime crisis that emerged in 2008 and the subsequent Eurozone crisis.
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