The politics of major banking crises has been transformed since the nineteenth century. Analyzing extensive historical and contemporary evidence, Chwieroth and Walter demonstrate that the rising wealth of the middle class has generated 'great expectations' among voters that the government is responsible for the protection of this wealth. Crisis policy interventions have become more extensive and costly - and their political aftermaths far more fraught - because of democratic governance, not in spite of it. Using data from numerous democracies over two centuries, and detailed studies of Brazil, the United Kingdom and the United States, this book breaks new ground in exploring the consequences of the emerging mass political demand for financial stabilization. It shows why great expectations have induced rising financial fragility, more financial sector bailouts and rising political instability and discontent in contemporary democracies, providing new insight to anyone concerned with contemporary policy and politics.
Barry Eichengreen - George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
Charles W. Calomiris - Henry Kaufman Professor of Financial Institutions, Columbia University, New York
Nancy Bermeo - University of Oxford and Princeton University
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