|About the Book|
The 1980s were grim years in American banking. Massive loan losses, disintermediation, global competition, and management mistakes caused many failures, forced restructuring, and did enormous damage to the power and prestige of the countrys largestMoreThe 1980s were grim years in American banking. Massive loan losses, disintermediation, global competition, and management mistakes caused many failures, forced restructuring, and did enormous damage to the power and prestige of the countrys largest banks, which fell far behind their international rivals in world rankings. Yet, today, American banking institutions are back on top, leading the world in transaction volume, innovation, and in the reach of their services. In this timely book, former investment banker Roy C. Smith tells the story of this remarkable comeback, by analyzing changes and competitive developments in U.S. finance during the past several years and comparing these to events in Europe and Japan. Looking across the banking and securities industries on three continents, Smith demonstrates how the basis of banking competitiveness is changing, from the size of assets and stability of systems protected by regulation to market know-how, innovation, and technology. European banks, he shows, are in the early stages of a free-market renaissance for which many are competitively ill-prepared. Even for the powerful German banks, events in Eastern Europe and East Germany will continue to be a troublesome distraction. In Japan, banks and brokers have been weakened by losses and scandal and now face major regulatory changes that will disrupt their once safe and profitable franchises. With the tide turning, Smith argues, the U.S. survivors of the restructurings of the 1980s will spearhead a recovery of American financial power. To do so, U.S. banking and finance will necessarily split into two distinct parts: large, technologically advanced retail companies and market-orientedinvestment bankers and wholesalers.