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.
Section and chapter headings: Preface. Introduction (S.W. Black, M. Moersch). I Who Governs Firms? The changing role of banks and corporate governance in Germany: evolution towards the market? (U. Schroder, A. Schrader). The German system of corporate governance - a model which should not be imitated (E. Wenger, C. Kaserer). Is a supervisory board valuable? the French evidence (Gang Shyy, V. Vijayraghavan). II Financial Constraints and Investment Behavior. German investment financing: an international comparison (J. Corbett, T. Jenkinson). Investment, liquidity constraints, and bank relationships: evidence from German manufacturing firms (J.A. Elston). Financial structure, investment and economic growth in OECD countries (S.W. Black, M. Moersch). III Comparing Financial Systems and Regulatory Regimes. Universal versus specialized banks (A. Steinherr). Convergence of financial systems and regulatory policy challenges in Europe and in the United States (C. Dziobek, J.R. Garrett). The management of financial risks at German nonfinancial firms: the cast of metallgesellschaft (A.B. Frankel, D.E. Palmer). IV European Monetary Unification. Is a 2-speed system in Europe the answer to the conflict between the German and the Anglo-Saxon models of monetary control? (M. Demertzis et al.). Monetary integration between economies with different financial structures (S. Collignon). V Financial Structure for Transition Economies. Towards universal banking - risks and benefits for transition economies (C.M. Buch). Financial integration in North America and Europe among neighboring countries at different stages of development (G.M. von Furstenberg, B. Hofer). Index.
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