银行、国家和金融危机

普林斯顿——金融危机的最近一个阶段,自2008年9月雷曼兄弟垮台以后,就一直以大银行的亏损和持续不断的银行倒闭威胁为标志。这场规模宏大的灾难不禁令人怀疑小国是否真能负担得起银行紧急救援的费用。

但“小”的定义却处在不断的变化之中:几个月前,小指的是冰岛,而后是爱尔兰,而现在却是英国。这场银行危机之后不仅要思考最恰当的银行法模式,而且还要考虑恰当的国家规模。

人们一直无法确定银行系统的最佳设计模式,而不同类型的银行监管体系间也一直存在着竞争。一方面,有人认为银行应该靠近自己需要判断的风险,这种理论在美国历史上的多数情况下决定了银行的规模。上述理想最初起源于安德鲁·杰克逊与尼古拉斯·毕多和美国第二银行之间的大规模争斗。民粹主义与金融家的竞争最终以民粹主义的胜利而告终。结果绝大多数19世纪的美国银行没有分支机构,而且业务范围仅限于某个州。

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