Learning the lessons of finance regulation

Issued: Tue, 15 Jun 2010 16:10:00 BST

Economic and Social History at Glasgow has won funding to examine why previous attempts at introducing financial regulation following an economic crisis have failed.

Catherine Schenk, Professor of Economic and Social History has been awarded a substantial grant and a project-linked PhD studentship, together totalling about £490,000 from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for her project entitled: The Development of International Financial Regulation and Supervision.

The current economic crisis has emphasised the importance of developing a long term perspective on institutional change in order to understand and respond to current and future challenges in the global economic system.

This project will assess the development of international financial regulation by contrasting studies of institutional decision-making in three international financial centres in the late 20th century (from 1961-1982) as the market and regulators responded to a series of challenges and at the same time embarked on a process of liberalisation.

New York, London and Hong Kong offer a range of institutional and political economy contexts in which to examine how regulation was developed, coordinated and applied at both national and multinational levels. In addition to using the archives of central banks, multilateral organisations such as the IMF and Bank for International Settlements, the project will draw on the internal correspondence of international banks and their relations with regulating bodies.

Professor Catherine Schenk, International Economic History said: "Many people have wondered at how the international authorities could have so spectacularly missed the build-up in risky activity in the global financial system over the past 10 years.  In fact, regulators have missed the boat several times in the past with disastrous results, albeit not as bad as the current crisis. 

“This project will try to uncover why central banks and international organisations such as the IMF and the BIS failed to deal with excessive risk-taking in international banking in previous crises such as 1974 and 1982.  Hopefully, this will deliver some lessons about how not to repeat these mistakes yet again.”

Further information:
Martin Shannon, Senior Media Relations Officer
University of Glasgow Tel: 0141 330 8593


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