Cato Institute Book Forum

In the wake of the 2008–2009 financial crisis a pervasive view began to emerge of banking as an inherently unstable occupation that must be tightly regulated and monitored by government agencies. Charles Calomiris and co-author Stephen Haber overturn this notion by presenting an inconvenient truth: not all countries suffer systemic banking crises.

Book Forum at the Cato Institute

Larry Parks Interviews Professor Calomiris about Fragile by Design

Why are banking systems unstable in so many countries–but not in others? The United States has had twelve systemic banking crises since 1840, while Canada has had none. The banking systems of Mexico and Brazil have not only been crisis prone but have provided miniscule amounts of credit to business enterprises and households. 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 due to unforeseen circumstances.

View the entire interview on the Larry Parks Show

Book Discussion on C-Span

March 7, 2014

Charles Calomiris talked Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit, in which he analyzes the banking systems in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, going back several decades to find out what makes banking systems unstable. He concluded that the deciding factor is the level of political interference in the system. This event was hosted by the Museum of American Finance in New York City.

» Watch the show here.