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Financial Underpinnings of Europe’s Financial Crisis

Liberalization, Integration, and Asymmetric State Power

Nina Eichacker

This book analyzes how financial liberalization affected the development of the financial crisis in Europe, with particular attention given to the ways in which power asymmetries within Western Europe facilitated financial liberalization and distributed the costs and gains from it. The author combines institutional narrative analysis with empirical surveys and econometrics, as well as country-level studies of financial liberalization and its consequences before and after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
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Chapter 3: Empirical trends in European finance

Liberalization, Integration, and Asymmetric State Power

Nina Eichacker

Extract

This chapter surveys different measures of European financial stability, capital flows, and macroeconomic fundamentals from the 1980s through 2008 or later. It shows how the incidence of financial crises increased in Europe at the moment many European countries began to liberalize, and shows that the volume of cross-border capital flows increased at a growing pace as liberalization policies took effect, and particularly after the introduction of the euro in 2003. It contrasts trends in financial liberalization and other economic fundamentals in core European countries, and peripheral ones, and shows how housing prices behaved across the European market. It presents a story of increasing financial competition, dramatically increased capital flows, and increased reliance on securities and other financial assets at the state level, which supports a notion of decreasing financial stability over time following these processes of liberalization.

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