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Extroverted financialization: how US finance shapes European banking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1723-1745
Issue number5
Early online date9 Jul 2021
Accepted/In press5 Jun 2021
E-pub ahead of print9 Jul 2021
Published3 Sep 2022


King's Authors


This paper reconceptualizes the impact of US finance on European banking as a process of ‘extroverted financialisation’. This impact is commonly associated with the rise of ‘market-based banking’ (MBB). While MBB exposes how commercial banking has been deeply transformed by disintermediation and borrowing from wholesale markets, the concept struggles to capture the distinct imperatives of this process, and its uneven nature. By contrast, the concept of extroverted financialization captures the problems European banks faced adapting to US-led financialization. More specifically, the concept portrays the financialization of European banking as an outcome of new funding practices, called liability management (LM), developed in US money markets from the 1960s onwards. I show how this put pressures on European lenders because it allowed US banks to leverage extensively. To catch up, European banks had to improve their access to liquid USD, which
forced them to find a way into the Eurodollar markets and into the US money markets. To operate in these markets, they had to gradually implement the practices of LM. This process of extroversion made their own banking models highly fragile and dependent on US money market funding. Despite adopting LM, they could not reduce their structural disadvantages vis-a-vis US banks.

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