The book is split into two distinct and thematic parts to expose the different attitudes to banks and finance before and after the Great Depression of the 1930s. Part I explores the period from the turn of the 20th century to the late 1930s, when many important economists devoted great attention to banks and credit relations in their explanations of the working of market economies. Part II discusses the post-war period up until the modern day, when banks and financial markets ceased to be a major concern of mainstream macroeconomics. The 2007-8 crisis gave rise to a renewed interest in credit relations, but many problems inherited from the past still remain open. The authors stress, in particular, the implications of the uneasy, if not impossible, coexistence of the endeavour to set macroeconomics within the framework of general equilibrium theory with the attempt to develop the analysis of the monetary and financial features of actual economies.
Macroeconomists will greatly benefit from this timely book as it examines the historical evolution of the discipline, pointing out the major factors that have largely prevented the development of satisfactory analyses of the interrelations of credit, finance and the macroeconomy. Those involved in current economic policy debates will also benefit from the lessons offered in this book.
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