A remarkable feature of the period since 1970 has been the patterns of rapid and turbulent change in financing behaviour and financial structure in many advanced countries. These patterns have, in turn, often been marked by rising indebtedness, default on loans and periods of financial instability, whether in the non-financial sectors, the financial sector or both. This book explores, both in theoretical and empirical terms, the nature of the relationships between underlying phenomena; namely levels and changes in borrowing (debt), vulnerability to default in the corporate and household sectors (financial fragility), and widespread disorder in the financial sector (systemic risk). Davis focuses on the
wider generality of the phenomena at issue whereby similar patterns are observable in several countries, but not in others, as well as in the international capital markets themselves. Particular attention is paid to the importance of the nature and evolution of financial structure to the genesis of instability. Given the international scope of the analysis, the work is germane to the study of the devlopment of financial systems in all advanced countries, as well as the euromarkets. It will be of particular relevance, however, in the US, Japan, Germany, France, the UK, and Canada, Italy, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, whose experience is examined in detail. In this expanded and revised edition, the macroeconomic consequences of
fragility and the appropriate policy response are examined in particular detail, with the analysis focusing on macroeconomic performance in eleven countries over 1988-93. A wide range of issues relating to financial stability, including risk in payments systems, derivatives, and property lending, are also considered.
Readership: Advanced undergraduate and graduate students of monetary policy, banking, macro and microeconomics. Financial and business economists and policy makers.
E. Philip Davis, Senior Economist, Bank of England, and Deputy Head of Stage Two Division, European Monetary Institute, Frankfurt
"`The book's findings are relevant to all advanced countries, and especially to the USA, Japan, Germany, France, UK and Canada whose experience is examined in detail.'