More documents from Schneider, Sebastian

Export to your Reference Manger

Please Copy & Paste



Bookmark and Share

Varieties of capitalism, varieties of crisis response: bank bailouts in comparative perspective

[working paper]

Schneider, Sebastian

fulltextDownloadDownload full text

(external source)

Citation Suggestion

Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:

Further Details
Corporate Editor Freie Universität Berlin, FB Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften, Otto-Suhr-Institut für Politikwissenschaft Arbeitsstelle Internationale Politische Ökonomie
Abstract Given recent history it may be necessary to recall that the so-called Great Recession we have been witnessing for more than five years now was, first and foremost, a crisis of financial markets. One reason for rising debt levels at the outset of the crisis have been massive government expenditures to bail out struggling and even failing banks. Yet, I argue that it falls short of a satisfactory explanation to simply view political action as a rational response to “objective” political and economic problems. Therefore, the fundamental question that underlays this study is: How did different institutional settings influence diverging policy reactions to the financial crisis? To answer this question, this study compares bank bailouts in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Drawing upon the Varieties of Capitalism literature, I identify four central, national institutions that have influenced political decision-making during the financial crisis: the political system, traditions of market intervention, economic discourse and banking and financial systems. The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, reverting to France's dirigiste tradition and resorting to a dense elitist network, used bank bailouts to support the French financial industry and to create “national champions”. This sort of policy was accompanied by a non-liberal discourse criticising “excessive” financial markets. In Germany, on the other hand, the government deliberated with a broad coalition of political and market actors to create a bailout programme aiming at sustaining bank lending to the industry. However, market actors were criticised on a moral and ethical basis and the ordo-liberal state was considered as a necessary corrective safeguarding true economic freedom. Finally, the UK's “elected dictator”, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, used his political power and involved his close political allies to carry out a bailout programme that was predominantly designed to defend the international competitiveness of the British financial industry. Albeit market intervention was inevitable it was announced as being temporarily and leaving as much problem solving as possible to the markets.
Keywords comparative political science; financial crisis; recession; indebtedness; financial market; regulation; bank; credit system; fiscal policy; monetary policy; crisis management (econ., pol.); political system; financial system; ordoliberalism; neoliberalism; competitiveness; economic policy; capitalism; Federal Republic of Germany; France; Great Britain
Classification National Economy; Economic Policy
Free Keywords Varieties of Capitalism; Bankenrettung
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
City Berlin
Page/Pages 59 p.
Series PIPE - Papers on International Political Economy, 21/2014
ISSN 1869-8468
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Basic Digital Peer Publishing Licence