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By Niklaus Blattner, Hans Genberg, ALexander Swoboda

"Once upon a longish time in the past, Swiss bankers have been solemn males to whom you took the money stashed lower than your bed so Oliver Landmann they can stash it less than theirs. no longer now". (The Economist, February 2d, 1991) because the Economist has famous, the banking company is topic to thorough switch. conventional aggressive merits are misplaced, new ones needs to be sought. And chiefly, the speedy globalization of fmancial markets within the contemporary previous has enormously intensified foreign festival in banking. In view of those advancements, the problem of competitiveness in banking has develop into an pressing learn precedence. The contributions gathered during this convention quantity current the ftrst result of a joint examine venture of the Labour and business Economics study Unit on the collage of Basel, the foreign Centre for financial and Banking reports, and the Graduate Institute for foreign stories in Geneva at the Swiss monetary area. TIle convention was once held in Basel on could sixteen - 17, 1991. The study undertaking, directed by means of Professors Alexander Swoboda, Niklaus Blattner and Hans Genberg, is a part of the nationwide study Programme Nr. 28, commissioned by means of the Swiss govt and administered by means of the Swiss nationwide technological know-how starting place. The programme is dedicated to the exterior fiscal demanding situations confronted by way of Switzerland. The suggestion of competitiveness is on the very middle of this examine programme.

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In contrast, it is a priori not clear what one means when one refers to 'competition among fmancial centers'. A financial center involves many different fmns which do not usually act as a team. In the absence of a local cartel agreement, there is little coordination between them. They compete among each other as much as they compete with firms in other fmancial centers. In contrast to the case of a football team, the lack of coordination and the lack of a common objective among the fmns in a given center are considered to be the rule rather than the exception (except perhaps by an adherent of the medieval guild system).

1980), "The Ascent of Tokyo as an International Financial Center", in: Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 3. S. (1985), Cost Margins in Banking: Statistical Supplement 1978-1982, OECD, Paris. A. (1982), "Structure-Perfonnance Studies in Banking: An Update Summary and Evaluation", in: Federal Reserve Bulletin, Washington. San Paolo Group (1989, 1990), Europe's Main Banking Groups: Growth and Strategies, Torino. Sheldon, G. (1991), "Measuring and Explaining the Swiss Position in the Market for International Bank Deposits", in: Blattner et al.

The analyst tries to account for this by looking at competition among firms in terms of many different types of games. But then it seems as though the definition of 'competitiveness' has to be newly adapted each time one looks at a new model of competition among firms. This makes it doubtful that there should be any simple set of factors to explain 'competitiveness' in a wide variety of contexts. 45 3. 'Competitiveness' and the Role of Prices Discussions of competitiveness frequently involve prices, in particular factor prices and exchange rates.

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