The International Banking Crisis

March 11, 2009

Please join AGI, the JHU Department of Economics, and the Center for Financial Economics for a discussion with Prof. Paul J.J. Welfens on “The International Banking Crisis and Institutional Reforms: German and Transatlantic Economic Perspectives” with comments by Prof. Caroline Fohlin. The discussion will take place on March 11, 2009 at 5pm in the Mason Hall Auditorium in Baltimore, MD. An informal reception will follow.

The international banking crisis has affected Germany and the U.S. in many serious ways. Confidence in the market economy is shrinking in Germany, whose position as a leading net exporter of goods and services has made it quite vulnerable to the global recession. The German banking system faces a serious crisis and protectionism in Germany and the EU is rising. The traditional consensus on framework policies (Ordnungspolitik) has been shaken in Germany; there is considerable confusion about how to cope with the transatlantic banking crisis and fall-out in the real economy – including the conflict over General Motors and its German subsidiary Opel. If financial globalization continues without adequate new national and international rules, then the long term fall of output growth, a declining legitimacy of the market economy, and a rising role of China’s system in Asia are likely outcomes. Improving the transatlantic policy dialogue – particularly between Germany and the U.S. – is crucial for overcoming the systemic crisis and the global recession. The analysis presented points out the fragility as well as economic dynamics in Germany and the Eurozone and suggests new policy options for ending the chaos and inefficiencies in the banking systems.

Prof. Dr. Paul J.J. Welfens is the president of the European Institute of International Economic Relations (EIIW) and the Chair of European Economic Integration and the Chair of Macroeconomics at the Schumpeter School for Business and Economics at the University of Wuppertal. In 1995 he received the prize of the Wolfgang Ritter Foundation, Bremen, and in 2007 the prize of the Kondratieff Foundation, Moscow. In 2007/08 he held the Alfred Grosser Professorship at Sciences Po, Paris. He is a Non-resident Senior Fellow at AGI. He also is a managing co-editor of International Economics and Economic Policy; Welfens is one of Germany’s internationally most published economists.

Dr. Caroline Fohlin is Research Professor of Economics at Johns Hopkins University. Her research spans several areas in financial economics and economic history. Dr. Fohlin is the author of two books, Financial System Design and Industrial Development: International Patterns in Historical Perspective (New York: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming) and Finance Capitalism and Germany’s Rise to Industrial Power (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007). Her latest work turns to a different type of financial intermediary and another period of rapid technological development: the evolution of specialized venture capital organizations in the post-World War II era. Dr. Fohlin earned her PhD in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and is the 2004 recipient of the DAAD Prize for German and European Studies.