Finance and Modernization

A Transnational and Transcontinental Perspective for the 19th and 20th Centuries
Hertner, Peter
Feldman, Gerald D.
Date published: 
September 2008

This volume is based on papers given at the 2005 conference of the European Association for Banking and Financial History in Vienna, hosted by the Bank Austria Creditanstalt, successor institution to the Österreichische Creditanstalt. The theme of the conference and of this volume, 'Finance and Modernization', is particularly appropriate since it centres on a set of historical developments and problems typified in important ways by the long history of the Österreichische Creditanstalt and its successor organizations but that also opens the way to compare and contrast experiences throughout Central and Western Europe but also on other continents. The structure of this volume has been determined by several interests and priorities, but particularly the changing role and nature of banks as economies become industrialized and modernized. For banks adapt to the needs of an industrializing economy but, at the same time, industrialization influences the manner in which banking systems grow and the structures which they adopt. Beginning with studies of the Austrian banks, their development and their crises, the volume then moves on to look at case studies of important aspects of financial activity-German stock markets, railroad investment, and information networks. This is followed by a section on country studies of banking modernization in Sweden, the Netherlands and Greece. Finally, the collection concludes with two chapters, one on banking in China and the other on banking in India, certainly both of intrinsic interest and of importance in an era of globalisation. Professor Teichova, one of the great scholars in the field, concludes with reflections on the individual contributions and the general problems addressed in this book.