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Keywords:

  • global financial crisis;
  • grid-group theory;
  • banking

The banking crisis and the recession it induced provide a salient backdrop to domestic and international politics.2TheInternational Monetary Fund (IMF 2010)estimates that total banking losses between 2008 and 2010 exceeded US$2.3 trillion. This article uses grid-group theory to review the existing literature on the causes of the banking crisis and, in doing so, distinguishes between hierarchical, individualist, egalitarian and fatalist accounts of what went wrong and of what needs to be done to prevent another crisis from occurring. It is argued that the existing reform agenda is underpinned by a hierarchical analysis of the causes of the crisis and that this risks narrowing the support base for the reform process.