For a number of years, Tilburg University has been publishing a list of the top economics departments around the globe - click here. Their ranking is based on the number of publications a department has in a select list of top journals. The great thing is that one can change the journal selection and see how this affects the rankings. Chris Colvin, wanting to see how good Queen's University Belfast is at economic history, ranked departments based on economic history journals. To his surprise (and mine), we do very well. We are in the premier league in terms of economic history, and we are not that far behind Harvard and other top universities. A few more key signings (apologies for the football metaphor) and we will be close to the top. Thankfully, we have been recruiting in this area of late so we are moving up the league! Click here to learn more about economic history at Queen's.
As an undergraduate, I was taught about the failure of Herstatt Bank in 1974 and Herstatt risk. This bank was only the 35th largest bank in Germany at the time so why would anyone be interested in studying its failure? Herstatt failed because of its involvement in risky foreign exchange business. When it closed its doors on 26 June 1974, counterparty banks (mainly in New York) had not received dollars due to them because of time-zone differences - this is known as settlement risk. The cross-jurisdictional implications of its failure resulted in the Bank for International Settlements setting up the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and Herstatt's failure was a key reason for the establishment of real-time gross settlements systems, which ensures that payments between two banks are executed in real time. The Bank of England's Ben Norman has an interesting post on Herstatt over at the Bank's new blog ( Bank Underground ). As well as giving an excellent overview of