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Universal Banking in Historical Perspective

  • Economics


The paper offers a survey of the historical literature on the 19th and 20th century development of universal banking. It is basically a country-by-country survey with strong emphasis on Europe and the era of industrialization up to 1914. It concludes that universal banking, which can be interpreted as an efficient institutional response to problems of informational asymmetry, was a comparatively successful economic institution in the 19th century, less so in the 20th.

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