The Swedish Financial Revolution

Edited by Anders Ögren
Palgrave Macmillan, 2010


How could Sweden go from a financially backward country to one with a well-functioning financial system? Why did this financial revolution occur after the mid-nineteenth century and not before? What was the role of politics and what was the role of economics in this change? What did this financial revolution mean for the economic development, market integration and financial crises? These are some of the issues explored in this book.

Today the existence of a financial system might be taken for granted in all economically developed countries. It is hard to imagine society without one. Despite financial setbacks and problems, as today during the financial crisis, there is no doubt that a well-functioning financial system promotes economic wealth. However, in Sweden finance was, for a long time and until recently, a matter that concerned only a few people. During a short period of time from the 1850s to the 1870s many institutional and organizational changes spurred a rapidly increasing financial deepening that took off in the late 1860s. But as finance becomes a matter for the general public, so do financial crises. This books tells us why and how this financial revolution took place and how it affected not only all sectors of the economy but also politics.

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