Financial Locations: Frankfurt's place and perspectives
Reinhard H. Schmidt
The introduction of a common currency as well as the harmonization of rules and regulations in Europe has significantly reduced distance in all its guises. With shrunken costs of overcoming space, this emphasizes centripetal forces and it should foster consolidation of financial activity. In a national context, as a rule, comparable developments have led to the emergence of one financial center. Hence, Europeanization of financial and monetary affairs could foretell the relegation of some European financial hubs such as Frankfurt and Paris to third-rank status. Frankfurt’s financial history is interesting insofar as it has lost (in the 1870s) and regained (mainly in the 1980s) its preeminent place in the German context. However, because Europe is still characterized by local pockets of information-sensitive assets as well as a demand for variety, the national analogy probably does not hold. There is room in Europe for a number of financial hubs of an international dimension, including Frankfurt.
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