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2020/2021  KAN-CCMVV1905U  Historical Foundations of Financial Institutions and Markets

English Title
Historical Foundations of Financial Institutions and Markets

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Per H. Hansen - Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy (MPP)
Main academic disciplines
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 16-01-2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
Demonstrate a thorough and critical understanding of the course literature through

1) using this literature to analyze problems with relation to the historical role and development of financial markets and financial institutions


2) using this literature to analyze how historical narratives of financial institutions and the financial industry may shape present and future performance
Historical Foundations of Financial Institutions and Markets:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Essay
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Historical Foundations of Financial Institutions and Markets focuses on banks and the shifting role, and view of, of finance in society, and the institutional framework in which finance has been embedded. This means that the course does not attempt to cover all aspects of financial institutions and markets in all its chronological and geographical diversity. Rather, the course provides a historical and institutional perspective on the development of financial markets, financial crises, central banks and regulation as well monetary regimes. The historical focus enables students to critically understand and discuss the development and dynamics of the financial industry, including individual financial firms in their historical context. The course also considers how perceptions of the past constrain strategies and decisions in the present, and how such decisions have contributed to financial instability.

Description of the teaching methods
The course is discussion based, and there will be only few lectures and power-point presentations. Three of the course texts are Harvard Business School cases, which must be purchased (USD12.75) and downloaded from https:/​/​hbsp.harvard.edu/​import/​546007 The rest of the course texts can be downloaded either through CBS Library or other web resource (marked with *) or from Learn (marked with #).

Due to the discussion based character of most classes – whether case based or not – I expect all students to be well prepared for class, and to participate in any groupwork and/or student presentations. Below each class description you will find study questions that you are supposed to use when you prepare for classes. The study questions will also form the basis for class discussion, but other topics may be discussed as well.

Please note that you have quite different educational backgrounds in terms of specialization. We may hold different professional and personal views about the topics we discuss. It is therefore important that class discussion is conducted in a professional and respectful manner.

Finally, please note that use of laptops, tablets or smartphones is not allowed during class.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback in relation to lectures and cases is integrated into the respective classes. In relation to group presentations each group will receive feedback to and evaluation of their presentation.
Student workload
Class teaching 30 hours
Preparation for classes 146 hours
Exam preparation 30 hours
Expected literature

Course literature (preliminary only, changes may still be made)




* Beckert, Jens, "How Do Fields Change? The Interrelations of Institutions, Networks, and Cognition in the Dynamics of Markets", Organization Studies, 2010, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 605-27


* Bordo, Michael, “An historical perspective on the quest for financial stability and the monetary regime”, The Journal of Economic History, vol. 78, no 2, 2018, pp. 319-357


# Calomiris, Charles W. & Stephen H. Haber, “If stable and efficient banks are such a good idea, why are they so rare?”, in Charles W. Calomiris & Stephen H. Haber, Fragile by Design. The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit, Princeton University Press, 2014, pp. 3-26


# Cassis, Youssef, “Banking and finance in Europe since 1945”, In Hesse, Jan et al, Perspectives on European Economic and Social History, Baden-Baden, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2014, pp. 47-72


# Cassis, Youssef & Giuseppe Telesca, “Financial Crises and the Public Discourse on Financial Elites. A Comparison between the Great Depression and the Great Recession”, in Youssef Cassis & Giuseppe Telesca (eds), Financial Elites in European Banking. Historical Perspectives, OUP 2018, pp. 17-39


* Eichengreen, Barry & Peter Temin, “Fetters of Gold and Paper”, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 26, no. 3, 2010, pp. 370-384.


# Feldman, Gerald D, (1994), “Jakob Goldschmidt, the History of the Banking Crisis of 1931, and the Problem of Freedom of Manoeuvre in the Weiman Economy”, in Christoph Buchheim, Michael Hutter & Harold James (eds), Zerissene Zwischenkriegszeit. Wirtschaftshistorische Beiträge. Knut Borchardt zum 65. Geburtstag, Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, pp. 307-27.


# Fichtner, Ullrich, Hauke Goos & Martin Hesse, “The Deutsche Bank Downfall. How a Pillar of German Banking Lost Its Way”, Spiegel Online, October 28, 2016, http:/​/​www.spiegel.de/​international/​business/​the-story-of-the-self-destruction-of-deutsche-bank-a-1118157.html


# Grossman, Richard S., “Regulation” in Richard Grossman, Unsettled Account. The Evolution of Banking in the Industrialized World Since 1800, Princeton University Press 2010, pp. 128-168


# Hamilton, Stewart & Alicia Micklethwait, ”Enron: Paper Profits, Cash Losses”, in Greed and Corporate Failure. The Lessons From Recent Disasters, Palgrave MacMillan: New York 2006. Chapter 3, pp. 33-58


* Ho, Karen, “Disciplining Investment Bankers, Disciplining the Economy: Wall Street’s Institutional Culture of Crisis and the Downsizing of “Corporate America”, American Anthropologist, Vol. 111, No. 2, June 2009, 177-89


* Hansen, Per H., “Organizational Culture and Organizational Change: A Narrative analysis of the Transformation of Savings Banks in Denmark, 1965-1990”, Enterprise & Society, Vol. 8, no. 4, 2007, pp. 920-53


* Hansen, Per H., “Making Sense of Financial Crisis and Scandal. A Danish Bank Failure in the Era of Finance Capitalism.” Enterprise & Society, 2012, vol 13, no. 4, 672-706


* Hansen, Per H., "From finance capitalism to financialization: A Cultural and narrative perspective on 150 years of financial history", Enterprise & Society, 2014, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 605-42


* Huertas, Thomas F. & Silverman, Joan L. (1986), “Charles E. Mitchel: Scapegoat of the Crash”, Business History Review, Vol. 60, No. 1, pp. 81-103. https:/​/​doi-org.esc-web.lib.cbs.dk:8443/​10.2307/​3115924


# Jenkins, Patrick & Laura Noonan, ”How Deutsche Bank’s high-stakes gamble went wrong”, Financial Times, November 9, 2017, https:/​/​www.ft.com/​content/​60fa7da6-c414-11e7-a1d2-6786f39ef675


* Jones, Geoffrey & Ingrid Vargas, ”Ivar Kreuger and the Swedish Match Empire”, HBS Case, 9-804-078, 2016 (HBS Case, download from https:/​/​hbsp.harvard.edu/​import/​546007 )


* McNamara Christian M., Thomas Piontek, and Andrew Metrick, “Basel III A: Regulatory History” Yale Program on Financial Stability Case Study 2014-1A-V1, November 2014. (Yale Case, download from https:/​/​som.yale.edu/​case/​2014/​basel-iii-regulatory-history )


* McNamara, Christian M., Michael Wedow, and Andrew Metrick, Basel III B:  Basel III Overview, Yale Program on Financial Stability Case Study 2014-1B-V1, November 2014. (Yale Case, download from https:/​/​som.yale.edu/​case/​2014/​basel-iii-b-basel-iii-overview )


# Moss, David, ”The Deutsche Bank”, in Thomas McCraw, Creating Modern Capitalism. How Entrepreneurs, Companies, and Countries Triumphed in Three Industrial Revolutions, Harvard University Press, 1997, pp. 229-63


* Moss, David, Cole Bolton & Andrew Novo, Danatbank, HBS Case, 2010 (HBS Case, download from https:/​/​hbsp.harvard.edu/​import/​546007 )


* Moss, David, Cole Bolton & Eugene Kintgen, The Pecora Hearings, HBS Case, 2010 (HBS Case, download from https:/​/​hbsp.harvard.edu/​import/​546007 )


# North, Douglas C., “Institutions and the Performance of Economies Over Time” in Claude Menard & Mary M. Shirley, Handbook of New Institutional Economics, Dordrecht, 2005, pp. 21-30.


# Schäfer, Daniel, “Deutsche Bank Economist criticises the Josef Ackermann era”, Handelsblatt.com, 21 May, 2018, https:/​/​www.handelsblatt.com/​finanzen/​banken-versicherungen/​david-folkerts-landau-im-interview-chefvolkswirt-der-deutschen-bank-rechnet-mit-der-aera-von-josef-ackermann-ab/​22580552.html (English Translation)

Last updated on 16-01-2020