Why are banking systems unstable in so many countries--but not in others? Analyzing the political and banking history of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil through several centuries, Fragile by Design demonstrates that chronic banking crises and scarce credit are not accidents. Calomiris and Haber combine political history and economics to examine how coalitions of politicians, bankers, and other interest groups form, why they endure, and how they generate policies that determine who gets to be a banker, who has access to credit, and who pays for bank bailouts and rescues.
Charles W. Calomiris is a professor at Columbia Business School and Columbia¿s School of International and Public Affairs. Stephen H. Haber is a professor of political science and senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.