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Banking and capital markets


This module examines the underlying principles and characteristics of banking and financial markets that are the foundation for understanding both their normal role in economies and the headline events.

It concentrates on the theoretical and empirical scientific knowledge produced by modern research on banking. Since such knowledge is never fully established or 'proven', it enables you to examine opposing points of view and to discuss the published studies.

Topics covered

  • Unit 1: Bank-Based vs Market-Based Financial Systems
  • Unit 2: Why do Banks Exist?
  • Unit 3: Why Banks Exist: Explanations Based on their Lending
  • Unit 4: Banks vs Capital Markets
  • Unit 5: Credit Rationing and Overlending
  • Unit 6: Bank Runs and Regulatory Responses
  • Unit 7: Financial Crisis
  • Unit 8: Shadow Banking


  • Two assignments (30%)
  • One three-hour examination in September/October (70%).

Essential reading

Allen, F & D Gale (2000) Comparing Financial Systems, MIT Press.