Today's banking systems, from the prosperous American ecomy to muddled Europe and wobbly Japan, may t be in as good shape as is generally assumed. Although, for instance, large financial institutions face the challenges of the new Euro with confidence, small and mid-sized banks are t as well prepared to deal with the world's changing financial scene. While most banks' profits continue to come from lending, many have become exposed to lesser borrowers, and others have entered businesses, such as asset management and trading, that could become less attractive. Given the pressure on banks to earn more profits and the extra risks they have taken, it behooves us to revisit the key issues in banking. This book casts the ongoing changes in money and banking into perspective. The issues discussed are long standing. Some have antecedents in the distant past, others are more recent. The book opens with a brief discussion of what money is, including the monetarist, Austrian, and Keynesian views, and of differing views on the role of supply and demand. It then considers the early and later years of central banking in the U.S. and abroad, moving on to the role of bureaucracy and monetary policy. The volume then considers contemporary commercial banking, the changing nature of banking today, and the Euro and the dollar. Written in ntechnical language, the book will be useful to the specialist and interested layman alike.
GEORGE MACESICH is Professor of Economics at Florida State University. He is the author of many books, including, most recently, World Economy at the Crossroads (Praeger, 1997) and Money, Systems, and Growth: A New Economic Order? (Praeger, 1999).