This text provides a modern statement of the theory and practice of domestic and international banking and finance. Today, banks are no longer limited to retail deposit-taking and lending operations; they engage in wholesale banking activities, off-balance sheet business, and activities beyond domestic markets. The principles of all these types of bank services are lucidly discussed. Separate chapters provide general background on payments systems, Eurocurrency markets, bank safety and depositor protection.
Thirteen million people in the United States—roughly one in ten workers—own a business. And yet rates of business ownership among African Americans are much lower and have been so during the last 100 years. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, businesses owned by African Americans tend to have lower sales, fewer employees and smaller payrolls, lower profits, and higher closure rates. In contrast, Asian American-owned businesses tend to be more successful.
Explicit deposit insurance (DI) is widely held to be a crucial element of modern financial safety nets. For this reason, establishing a DI system is frequently recommended by outside experts to countries undergoing reform. Predictably, DI systems have proliferated in the developing world. The number of countries offering explicit deposit guarantees rose from twenty in 1980 to eighty-seven by the end of 2003. This book challenges the wisdom of encouraging countries to adopt DI without first repairing observable weaknesses in their institutional environment.
The dramatic shifts in heartland regional economies in the U.S. and other advanced industrial countries have thrown into question the ability of capitalist development to produce permanent growth, economic well being, and balanced regional development. This book develops a theory that radically reconceptualizes the economic forces producing regional change and tests it empirically for a set of fifteen sectors in the U.S. It offers a pioneering approach which should enable planners and managers to better cope with baffling changes in the current economic viability of regions.
Developing local bond markets is high on the policy agenda of Latin America. Bond markets are an essential component of a well-functioning financial market. Facilitating the efforts of public and private borrowers to issue domestic-currency-denominated, long-term, fixed-rate bonds insulates them from the rollover and balance sheet risks that have been central elements in past financial crises. In addition, a robust bond market is a way for nonfinancial firms to retain their capacity to borrow when the banking system grows reluctant to lend.
The marginal cost of public funds (MCF) measures the loss incurred by society in raising additional revenues to finance government spending. The MCF has emerged as one of the most important concepts in public economics; it is a key component in evaluations of tax reforms, public expenditure programs, and other public policies.
Reform of the federal income tax system has become a perennial item on the domestic policy agenda of the United States, although there is considerable uncertainty over specifics. Indeed the recent report of the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform recommended not one but two divergent policy directions (and included extensive discussion of a third).
Over the last thirty years, a new paradigm in banking theory has overturned economists' traditional vision of the banking sector. The asymmetric information model, extremely powerful in many areas of economic theory, has proven useful in banking theory both for explaining the role of banks in the economy and for pointing out structural weaknesses in the banking sector that may justify government intervention.
Demographic realities will soon force developed countries to find ways to pay for longer retirements for more people. In Pension Strategies in Europe and the United States, leading economists analyze topical issues in pension policy, with a focus on raising the retirement age, increasing retirement savings, and the political sustainability of reforms that will accomplish these goals.
As Albert Einstein may or may not have said, "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax." Indeed, to follow the debate over tax reform, the interested citizen is forced to choose between misleading sound bites and academic treatises. Taxing Ourselves bridges the gap between the two by discussing the key issues clearly and without a political agenda: Should the federal income tax be replaced with a flat tax or sales tax? Should it be left in place and reformed? Can tax cuts stimulate the economy, or will higher deficits undermine any economic benefit?