The Location of Financial Activities: The Impact of New Technologies and the Financial Crisis
The location of financial activities is traditionally characterized by a great deal of inertia. However, the boom in new information and communication technologies, the globalization of economies and the 2007-08 financial crisis have considerably modified the geography of finance. Financial globalization has, first of all, had a heavy impact on the level of spatial concentration / dispersion of activities. The dynamics have not acted in a uniform way – schematically speaking three levels can be distinguished. On the urban scale, financial activities have been spread out (suburbanization), while on the regional scale or the national scale, due to financial globalization, financial activities have been more tightly grouped. Lastly, on the international scale, a movement of dispersion has mainly been observed, along with a specialization of financial centers. The 2007-08 financial crisis might well accentuate this last effect and cause an upheaval in world hierarchy. Actually, the financial centers that are most elastic to the economic situation – London, New York and tax havens – are massively losing jobs, while the stock markets in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Bombay are now upstaging them as major players.
Financial Geography, International Financial Centers, Globalization, Informational Externalities
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