1/20/06 Contact: Roy Summerford, 334/844-9999 (summero@auburn.edu)
David Granger, 334/844-9999 (grangdm@auburn.edu)

BARTH CO-AUTHORS BOOK ON INTERNATIONAL BANKING INDUSTRY

AUBURN – James Barth, Lowder Eminent Scholar in Finance in AU's College of Business, has co-authored the book "Rethinking Bank Regulation: Till Angels Govern," which was recently published by Cambridge University Press.

Barth teamed with international banking experts Gerard Caprio and Ross Levine on the project, which assembles and presents a new database on bank regulation in more than 150 countries. The book examines the impact of bank regulation on the operation of banks and assesses the approach to bank regulation recommended by an influential group of banking officials known as the Basel Committee.

In evaluating the historic debate about the proper role of government in the economy, the authors examine various approaches to bank regulation and analyze the role of politics in determining regulatory approaches to banking.

The authors find that domestic political factors shape both regulations and their effectiveness. Their findings indicate that banking system performance is hampered by restrictions on the entry of new banks, government ownership of banks and restrictions on bank activities.
Caprio is director of operations and policy for the financial sector of the World Bank. Levine is the Harrison S. Kravis University Professor of Economics at Brown University.

The Basel Committee monitors developments in global financial markets for central banks in the world's 10 largest economies. The committee functions through the Bank for International Settlements, which is based in Basel, Switzerland, and provides economic services to the central banks.

Auburn University is a preeminent land-grant and comprehensive research institution with more than 23,000 students and 6,500 faculty and staff. Ranked among the top 50 public universities nationally, Auburn is Alabama's largest educational institution, offering more than 230 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs.

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