For generations government regulations and business traditions confined financial activities within national borders. Lenders and borrowers maintained relationships with domestic bankers, who offered little in the way of innovation or advantage. But the abolition of fixed exchange rates, along with hyper-inflation in the 1970s, spelled the beginning of the end for this system. By the 1980s, the financial game in America, Japan, and the United Kingdom was being played with some important new rules-and by many new players. The old world of "relationship" banking had given way to financial transactions based upon price and product innovation. Macroeconomic forces and the policies of central bankers have profoundly altered international trade, exchange rates, and the flow of capital around the world. Yet their true impact on financial systems has been dimly understood. In Breaking Financial Boundaries, David Meerschwan explains these economic forces clearly, describes the dramatic effects of deregulation in the major centers of finance, and shows how financial services firms have had to alter their strategies and develop new skills in order to compete.
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