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date: 08 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the history of cross-border joint-stock banking over roughly the last 100 years. Putting that history into its larger political, social, economic contexts may help shed light on our financial architecture’s social and economic significance, and even its sustainability. Despite recent interest in multinationals and banking, less is known about the cross-border management of financial firms than about that of other sectors. This chapter argues that during this period cross-border banking morphed from an activity conducted primarily by legally separate entities and on a comparatively small scale to one that is dominated today by megabanks that internalize a wide range of banking services in many countries and in most money-centres. It is a complex story, involving regulatory, technological, and political change in specific nations and among them.

Keywords: multinationals, banking, financial firms, internalization

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