One striking weaknesses of our financial architecture, which helped bring on and perhaps deepen the Panic of 2008, is an inadequate appreciation of the past. Information about how the system functioned and the reliability of organizations and institutional controls were drawn from a relatively narrow group of recent examples. History and Financial Crisis: Lessons from the 20th Century is an attempt to broaden the range of historical sources used by policy makers to understand and treat financial crises. Many recent discussions of the 2008 panic and the economic turmoil have found the situation to either be unprecedented or greatly similar to that of 1931. However, the book's wide range of contributors suggest that the economic crisis of 2008 cannot be categorised in this way.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Business History.