International Financial Centres after the Global Financial Crisis and Brexit, by Youssef Cassis and Dariusz Wojcik (Eds), Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press, 2018.
Reviewed by: Simone Franzi Virginia, Polytechnic Institute and State University
How was the geography of global finance affected by the Global Financial Crisis (GFC)? Cassis and Wojcik’s book, International Financial Centres after the Global Financial Crisis and Brexit analyzes the impact of the crisis on International Financial Centres (IFC) and illustrates that this last decade has been characterized by continuity and resilience of the same group of cities at the top of the hierarchy of IFC. By providing empirical observations, as well as an analytical assessment of the economic and regulatory evolution of different cities, the book contributes to our understanding of the geography of global finance and provides us with theoretical explanations on how the dominant players in global finance maintained their positions. The long-term stability of the hierarchy of IFCs can be attributed to various factors but especially to the capacity of the leading cities to reinvent themselves and the support of state actors, among others.
From a geographical perspective, the case selection is biased on the spikes of the global economy. As IFCs play an important role not just as intermediaries but also as the places where power and wealth concentrates, investigating the relation between IFCs and their peripheries could develop into a crucial research area. With financial geography becoming an established academic subdiscipline, the book is a welcome addition on the literature that intersect economic geography, economic history, and finance. It provides a comprehensive view of the evolution and interconnectedness of IFCs and it introduces a very attractive lens through which we can understand changes in financial geography, i.e. the concept of “Global Financial Networks” (GFNs), that is networks of financial and business services (FABS), financial centers, and offshore jurisdictions. In the interconnected world of global finance, this conceptual device can help us further understand the organization and evolution of financial centers in the global economy.
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