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The digital revolution has forever changed American journalism, and not for the better. Robert Kaiser, former managing editor of The Washington Post, writes in his new Brookings Essay that the changing media landscape is not only a threat to traditional news, but to the future of democracy. A news industry without a viable business model, distracted by the need to attract eyeballs and discover new revenue streams, could lose the ability to provide the balanced, comprehensive, and investigative journalism that is the lifeblood of a healthy democracy.
THE BROOKINGS ESSAY: In the spirit of its commitment to high-quality, independent research, the Brookings Institution has commissioned works on major topics of public policy by distinguished authors, including Brookings scholars. The Brookings Essay is a multi-platform product aimed to engage readers in open dialogue and debate. The views expressed, however, are solely those of the author. Available in ebook only.
Global Lessons from the Financial Crisis
The financial crisis that began in 2007 in the United States swept the world, producing substantial bank failures and forcing unprecedented state aid for the crippled global financial system. Bringing together three leading financial economists to provide an international perspective, Balancing the Banks draws critical lessons from the causes of the crisis and proposes important regulatory reforms, including sound guidelines for the ways in which distressed banks might be dealt with in the future.
While some recent policy moves go in the right direction, others, the book argues, are not sufficient to prevent another crisis. The authors show the necessity of an adaptive prudential regulatory system that can better address financial innovation. Stressing the numerous and complex challenges faced by politicians, finance professionals, and regulators, and calling for reinforced international coordination (for example, in the treatment of distressed banks), the authors put forth a number of principles to deal with issues regarding the economic incentives of financial institutions, the impact of economic shocks, and the role of political constraints.
Offering a global perspective, Balancing the Banks should be read by anyone concerned with solving the current crisis and preventing another such calamity in the future.
What's Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It
The past few years have shown that risks in banking can impose significant costs on the economy. Many claim, however, that a safer banking system would require sacrificing lending and economic growth. The Bankers’ New Clothes examines this claim and the narratives used by bankers, politicians, and regulators to rationalize the lack of reform, exposing them as invalid. Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig argue that we can have a safer and healthier banking system without sacrificing any of its benefits, and at essentially no cost to society. They seek to engage the broader public in the debate by cutting through the jargon of banking, clearing the fog of confusion, and presenting the issues in simple and accessible terms.
Throughout the thirteenth century Western European monarchs were hampered by the failure of their traditional revenues to meet their new expenses. Edward I of England solved the primary problem of acquiring adequate funds with the imposition of a duty on wool and leather and by more frequent direct taxes. But collection was slow and irregular; there still remained the problem of liquidity. To ensure a steady flow of cash to meet his military, administrative, and diplomatic needs Edward developed a special relationship with a company of Italian merchant-bankers, the Societas Riccardorum de Luka.
Richard W. Kaeuper analyzes this relationship to provide valuable information on the financial needs of the king's government and its daily routine at a critical stage in its development. Equally interesting is the examination of the operations of the Italian banking houses that were becoming prominent in the economic life of northwestern Europe and were to become famous in the fourteenth century.
Originally published in 1973.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Microfinance in Contemporary Russia
How do you prime the well of economic growth? First, put a negligible amount of money into exactly the right hands. Then, step back. A vibrant and rapidly expanding national economy needs an active small business sector, but small entrepreneurs need loans to expand their businesses. Microfinance also has potential to be an engine of economic growth, although this prospect has been overshadowed by its image as a tool for alleviating poverty.
In Banking on Small Business, Gail Buyske analyzes three themes in economic development: the global growth of microfinance, banking sector development, and Russian entrepreneurship. These three themes intersect at KMB, the Russian Small Business Bank, where Buyske chaired the board of directors for six years. This book is in part an account of KMB's role in initiating great changes through a series of apparently small actions.
In reviewing Russian entrepreneurship and banking since the advent of perestroika in the mid-1990s, Buyske stresses that Russian entrepreneurship is more dynamic than usually perceived and that the historic lack of small-business and start-up finance was largely owing to the practices of the Russian banking sector rather than to any failing on the part of Russian entrepreneurs. Buyske's conclusions have important implications for policy worldwide; she is confident that a broad understanding of microfinance as a profitable, rather than a charitable, endeavor will contribute to the commercial involvement needed to maximize global microfinance growth.
The Fall and Rise of Central Banking
The crash of 2008 revealed that the world's central banks had failed to offset the financial imbalances that led to the crisis, and lacked the tools to respond effectively. What lessons should central banks learn from the experience, and how, in a global financial system, should cooperation between them be enhanced? Banking on the Future provides a fascinating insider's look into how central banks have evolved and why they are critical to the functioning of market economies. The book asks whether, in light of the recent economic fallout, the central banking model needs radical reform.
Supported by interviews with leading central bankers from around the world, and informed by the latest academic research, Banking on the Future considers such current issues as the place of asset prices and credit growth in anti-inflation policy, the appropriate role for central banks in banking supervision, the ways in which central banks provide liquidity to markets, the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of central banks, the culture and individuals working in these institutions, as well as the particular issues facing emerging markets and Islamic finance. Howard Davies and David Green set out detailed policy recommendations, including a reformulation of monetary policy, better metrics for financial stability, closer links with regulators, and a stronger emphasis on international cooperation.
Exploring a crucial sector of the global economic system, Banking on the Future offers new ideas for restoring financial strength to the foundations of central banking.
A History of the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio
Not a history of bankruptcy law, Murnane's work is a social and institutional history of the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The work explains the development of the court and the story of the people who worked there and of those who sought refuge in the bankruptcy court, within the context of northern Ohio's changing economy. The story of this particular bankruptcy court also illustrates the historical evolution of bankruptcy as an American institution.
The Politics of Tourism in the Arab World
American labor unions resemble private representative democracies, complete with formally constituted conventions and officer election procedures. Like other democratic institutions, unions have repeatedly experienced highly charged conflicts over the integration of ethnic minorities and women into leadership positions. In Becoming a Mighty Voice, Daniel B. Cornfield traces the 55-year history of the United Furniture Workers of America (UFWA), describing the emergence of new social groups into union leadership and the conditions that encouraged or inhibited those changes.
This vivid case history explores leadership change during eras of union growth, stability, and decline, not simply during isolated episodes of factionalism. Cornfield demonstrates that despite the strong forces perpetuating existing union hierarchies, leadership turnover is just as likely as leadership stagnation. He also shows that factors external to the union may influence leadership change; periods of turnover in the UFWA leadership reflected employer efforts to find cheap, non-union labor, as well as union efforts to unionize workers. When unions are threatened by intensified conflict with employers and when entrenched high status groups within the union are obliged to recruit members of lower socioeconomic status, then new social groups are likely to be integrated into union leadership.
Becoming a Mighty Voice develops a theory of leadership change that will be of interest to many engaged in the labor, civil rights, and women's movements as well as to sociologists or historians of work, gender, and race, and to students of political and organizational behavior.
Seven Days with Second-Order Cybernetics
Heinz von Foerster was the inventor of second-order cybernetics, which recognizes the investigator as part of the system he is investigating. The Beginning of Heaven and Earth Has No Name provides an accessible, nonmathematical, and comprehensive overview of von Foerster’s cybernetic ideas and of the philosophy latent within them. It distills concepts scattered across the lifework of this scientific polymath and influential interdisciplinarian. At the same time, as a book-length interview, it does justice to von Foerster’s élan as a speaker and improviser, his skill as a raconteur.Developed from a week-long conversation between the editors and von Foerster near the end of his life, this work playfully engages von Foerster in developing the difference his notion of second-order cybernetics makes for topics ranging from emergence, life, order, and thermodynamics to observation, recursion, cognition, perception, memory, and communication.The book gives an English-speaking audience a new ease of access to the rich thought and generous spirit of this remarkable and protean thinker.