What role have the financial elites in European societies and markets played over time? What was their contribution to the recent financial collapse, and how does this compare to previous crises? How have financial elites adjusted to, or influenced, the evolution of the financial system's regulatory framework over time? Financial Elites and European Banking: Historical Perspectives is a collection of essays dedicated to the European financial elites and the
current debate on the role of experts within society.
The ambiguities of the globalized economy over the last thirty years, epitomized by growing levels of inequality, have generated a feeling of distrust towards experts. Financial elites have become one of the most scrutinized targets of negative public opinion, triggered by the financial crisis, the high compensations enjoyed both before and after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the obscure nature of their activity. Financial Elites in European Banking presents historical
comparisons and country and cross-country case studies on financial elites' adaption and contribution to the transformation of regulatory and cultural context in the wake of a crisis.
Youssef Cassis is Professor of Economic History at the European University Institute, in Florence. His work mainly focuses on banking and financial history, as well as business history more generally. His most recent publications include Capitals of Capital: A History of International Financial Centres, 1780-2005 (Cambridge University Press, 2006, 2nd revised edition, 2009), Crises and Opportunities: The Shaping of Modern Finance (OUP, 2011), and, with Philip Cottrell, Private Banking in Europe: Rise, Retreat and Resurgence (OUP, 2015). He has also recently co-edited, with Richard Grossman and Catherine Schenk, The Oxford Handbook of Banking and Financial History, (OUP, 2016). Professor Cassis was the cofounder, in 1994, of Financial History Review (Cambridge University Press). Giuseppe Telesca currently holds the position of Research Associate at the European University Institute (Fiesole, Italy) where he collaborates with Professor Youssef Cassis on a project on the "Memories of Financial Crises". He obtained his PhD in economic and social history at the University of Florence and undertook post-doctoral research as Jean Monnet Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute. He has published on the history of the Italian banking system, the evolution of European financial elites, and the economic and urban impact of big sport events on host cities/countries.