During the 1980s, the center of financial market power moved from the United States to Japan and Germany. Having made the classic lending mistakes, American bankers were mauled in cut-throat competition. By the end of the decade, however, the inflection point had been reached, and new competitive and economic forces had begun to shift the center of power once again. In Comeback Champions Roy Smith shows how the bases of banking competitiveness are changing, from the size of assets and profitable systems protected by regulation to market know-how, innovation, and technology. He reviews the past and present of the U.S., European, and Japanese financial systems, and provides insights into their futures. European banks, he demonstrates, are in the early stages of a free-market renaissance for which many are ill-prepared. For the powerful German banks, events in Eastern Europe and Eastern Germany will be a continuing distraction. Japanese banks and brokers, weakened by losses and scandal, have passed their peaks as superpowers. They now face major regulatory changes that will disrupt their once safe and profitable franchises.
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