Banking historiography often does not sufficiently take into account bankers’ deliberations of their decision making, but rather limits investigation to considerations of profit maximisation. This book shows that the decision-making processes of nineteenth-century bankers contemplating high-risk financial markets like Greece are just as complex as present-day investment decisions.
The book, now published in English after a first German edition, offers in-depth studies of decision making in concrete historical situations, considering political and economic circumstances and also the individual background of the actors concerned, including a reflection on the influence of cultural movements such as Philhellenism. Employing methodological inspirations from the field of behavioural finance, the book analyses a broad range of published and unpublished English, French, Greek, German and Swiss sources on European investment in Greece between 1821 and the Balkan wars. Additionally, rich insights into Greek economic history, the economic integration of the country into Europe and long-lasting European stereotypes of Southern Europe and Greece are provided; this furthers understanding of the historical background of the Greek financial crisis after 2009.
In combining the perspectives of financial, economic, political and cultural history, this book is primarily significant for students of various fields of historiography. Due to its strong awareness of methodological questions, it is also of great interest to academic historians. In addition, the strong public interest in the Greek financial crisis after 2009 and its consequences for Europe will, thirdly, attract the interest of a broader public.