The 2008 financial crisis rippled across the globe and triggered a worldwide recession. Unlike the American banking system which experienced massive losses, takeovers, and taxpayer funded bailouts, Canada’s banking system withstood the crisis relatively well and maintained its liquidity and profitability. The divergence in the two banking systems can be traced to their distinct institutional and political histories.
From Wall Street to Bay Street is the first book for a lay audience to tackle the similarities and differences between the financial systems of Canada and the United States. Christopher Kobrak and Joe Martin reveal the different paths each system has taken since the early nineteenth-century, despite the fact that they both originate from the British system. The authors trace the roots of each country’s financial systems back to Alexander Hamilton and insightfully argue that while Canada has preserved a Hamiltonian financial tradition, the United States has favoured the populist Jacksonian tradition since the 1830s. The sporadic and inconsistent fashion in which the American system have changed over time is at odds with the evolutionary path taken by the Canadian system. From Wall Street to Bay Street offers a timely and accessible comparison of financial systems that reflects the political and cultural milieus of two of the world’s top ten economies.