Abstract and Keywords
This chapter provides a general introduction to the volume, whose objective is to present the state-of-the-art in banking and financial history. Financial history is of long standing, but it has gained even prominence since the mid-1970s—because of the huge development and transformation of the financial world, increasing financial instability, and more generally the growing role of financial services in ‘post-industrial’ societies. The volume concentrates on the economic and financial side of banking and financial activities, primarily though not solely in advanced economies (Western Europe, the United States, and Japan), in a long-term (from mid-nineteenth century to the present) comparative perspective. In addition to paying attention to general issues, not least those related to theoretical and methodological aspects of the discipline, the volume approaches the banking and financial world from four distinct but interrelated angles: financial institutions, financial markets, financial regulation, and financial crises.
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