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Showing posts from July, 2014

Admati on Banker's New Clothes

Below is TED talk by Anat Admati based on her book The Banker's New Clothes, which is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding how banking works and how it can be reformed. Admati argues that bankers need more 'skin in the game', but she is somewhat sceptical that reform of the banking system is possible. In my new book, Banking in Crisis, I share Admati's scepticism regarding reform and I also agree with her that bankers need more 'skin in the game'. 

Banking in Crisis Talk at the Bank of England

Yesterday I had the privilege of giving a talk on my book Banking in Crisis to a packed audience at the Bank of England. The Bank has always taken banking history seriously. For example, it has commissioned several histories over the past 70 years - the most recent being Forrest Capie's Bank of England. The Bank is also holding a series of roundtables on past banking crises. I attended the first one of these yesterday, which was on the City of Glasgow crash. Charles Goodhart, Forrest Capie and I sat as external contributors to the roundtable and we were very impressed by the work done by the four economists who spoke about the City of Glasgow crisis.

Endorsements of Banking in Crisis

Three esteemed academics kindly provided endorsements on the back cover of my new book Banking in Crisis. Here is what they say:
Richard S. Grossman (Wesleyan Univerity): "Banking in Crisis combines the very best of serious academic scholarship and keen policy analysis. It should be required reading for anyone - expert and non-expert alike - who is interested in the past, present and future of British banking."
Avner Offer (University of Oxford): "What makes for stable banking? Bankers are prone to gamble with depositors' money. What keeps them honest is a personal stake, or tight regulation. Turner shows that since 1825, stability required either one or the other, and that relaxation of discipline, whatever its advantages, has placed the financial system at risk. The past worked for a long time and the present doesn't."
Kent Matthews (Cardiff University): "John Turner has done the community of banking scholars, regulators and policy makers a great servi…

Banking in Crisis: A Summary

Can the lessons of the past help us to prevent another banking collapse in the future? This is the first book to tell the story of the rise and fall of British banking stability in the past two centuries, and it sheds new light on why banking systems crash and the factors underpinning banking stability. John Turner shows that there were only two major banking crises in Britain during this time: the crisis of 1825–6 and the Great Crash of 2007–8. Although there were episodic bouts of instability in the interim, the banking system was crisis-free. Why was the British banking system stable for such a long time and why did the British banking system implode in 2008? In answering these questions, the book explores the long-run evolution of bank regulation, the role of the Bank of England, bank rescues and the need to hold shareholders to account.

Banking in Crisis Hits the Shelves

My new book Banking in Crisis has just hit the shelves. It can be ordered from Amazon and Cambridge University Press.

Bowling for Hitler

Many economists believe that social capital provides substantial economic benefits and some political scientists argue that social capital plays an important role in civic society by underpinning stable democracies. Notably, Robert Putnam in Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital argues that declining social capital in the United States is undermining democracy. 
Shanker Satyanath, Nico Voigtlander and Hans-Joachim Voth in their recent working paper entitled "Bowling for Fascism: Social Capital and the Rise of the Nazi Party in Weimar Germany, 1919-33" consider the dark side of social capital by looking at how networks of civic associations (e.g., bowling clubs, choirs, and animal breeders) contributed to the rise of the Nazi Party and the downfall of democracy in interwar Germany. There is a good review of this paper over at the NEP-HIS Blog by Ronan McCarry (a final-year BSc Economics student at Queen's University). Congratulations are due to Chris Colv…

Graduation 2014

I'm just back from Queen's graduation (commencement) ceremony. Well done to the Class of 2014! In particular, well done to Cillian McCotter who graduated top of his class and to Zoe McBride who came top on my Corporate Finance module and received the Ulster Bank Prize.