Competition and Convergence in Financial Markets: The German and Anglo-American Models
As Europe prepares for the introduction of a common currency, financial market players are moving to adapt to a new environment in which financial ... Show synopsis As Europe prepares for the introduction of a common currency, financial market players are moving to adapt to a new environment in which financial markets and institutions will be much more open to cross-border competition. Two different financial systems are responding to the challenges of more competition: the more institution-oriented German-style and the more market-oriented Anglo-American style. Each type of financial system offers its own strengths and weaknesses. The German system is noted for fostering a long-term outlook and steady relationships between borrowers and lenders in an environment of financial and macroeconomic stability. The Anglo-American system is thought of as providing a more favourable environment for startup firms to obtain market financing, as well as more attractive returns to investors and a more dynamic market for corporate control. On the other hand, the Anglo-American system is faulted for its short-term outlook and lack of attention to other than shareholder concerns, while the German system has been critized as lacking in innovation and attention to shareholders. The overall conclusions of this volume are: each type of financial system has strengths and weaknesses, and each can learn from the other in mending its own faults; the globalization of financial markets, the inadequacy of existing pension arrangements, and the monetary unification of Europe are all driving each system towards a middle ground which adopts the advantages of the universal bank and the strengths of the open financial market.