During the 1980s, the centre of financial market power moved from the United States to Japan and Germany. Having made the classic lending mistakes, American bankers were mauled in cut-throat competition. By the end of the decade, however, the inflection point had been reached and new competitive and economic forces had begun to shift the centre of power once again. In "Global Champions", Roy Smith shows how the bases of banking competitiveness are changing, from the size of assets and profitable systems protected by regulation to market know-how, innovation, and technology. He reviews the past and present of the US, European and Japanese financial systems, and provides insights into their futures. European banks, he demonstrates, are in the early stages of a free-market renaissance for which many are ill-prepared. For the powerful German banks, events in Eastern Europe and eastern Germany will be a continuing distraction. Japanese banks and brokers, weakened by losses and scandal, have passed their peaks as superpowers. They now face major regulatory changes that will disrupt their once sage and profitable franchises.
As the title indicates, Smith foresees a revival in the competitive position of US banking and finance. He shows how US banking will split into two distinct parts: large, technologically advanced retail companies and market-oriented investment bankers and wholesalers. As the 1990s unfold, survivors of the wild ride of the 1980s will adapt to life on the cutting edge of competition and will spearhead a recovery of American financial power.