France and the International Financial Crisis: The Legacy of State-led Finance

David Howarth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the far-reaching liberalization of the French banking system over the past quarter century, French banks suffered far less in the recent international financial crisis than banks in the United Kingdom and Germany. However, the French system also suffered far more – at least in the first stage of the crisis – than the banking systems of Southern Europe. By several measures, French banks were world leaders in financial innovation and the French banking system was highly exposed to international market movements. The limited impact of the crisis, however, owed to the specificities of French ‘market-based banking’. Deliberate state action over the two decades prior to the crisis created a specific kind of banking system and encouraged forms of financial innovation, the unintentional consequence of which was the limited exposure to the securitization that caused the damage wrought during the financial crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369–395
Issue number3
Early online date12 Sep 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013


  • Varieties of Capitalism
  • Banking
  • Political Economy
  • France
  • Financial Crisis


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