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Why a lack of management in banking makes another financial crisis 'almost inevitable'

13th May 2020

Alumni Lecture 2020: Absent Management in Banking; How Banks Fail And Cause Financial Crisis.

Wednesday 06 May 2020 6:30pm

Hosted by the Department of Economic History.

To what extent have banks become both mismanaged and unmanaged, and what role has the absence of management played in financial crises?

In his forthcoming book, Absent Management in Banking; How banks fail and cause financial crisis, (Palgrave) Christian Dinesen takes a historical approach to these questions. Starting with the Medici in the 15th century, Dinesen traces the difficulties of managing banks throughout history, then turns his attention to the phenomenal growth in size and complexity of the industry in the 20th and 21st centuries. Incentives, including the much derided bankers' bonuses, play a central role in the history of banks. Yet bankers remain bankers even as they become managers, an approach Dinesen argues, which explains their inability to manage complex situations. Drawing on multiple examples, including the collapse of Barings and the Lehman Brothers, Dinesen presents his case for how absent management in banking has caused crises, depressions and recessions in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.

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