The financial crisis of 2007-2008 triggered a worldwide recession. The American and European banking systems experienced massive losses, takeovers, and taxpayer-funded bailouts.  Lehman Brothers, Northern Rock, European debt crisis, … and the after-effects are still being felt.

Canada’s banking system did have some shaky moments, as a recently published analysis of its asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) predicament showed. On the whole, however, Canada’s banks withstood the financial crisis relatively well and the financial system maintained its liquidity, solvency, and profitability.

Book Cover_from Wall St to Bay St


The history of the divergence in the Canadian and American banking systems is recounted in a new book. From Wall Street to Bay Street: The Origins and Evolution of American and Canadian Finance , by Christopher Kobrak and Joe Martin, was published in 2018 by University of Toronto Press. It traces the distinct institutional and political history of the Canadian banking system in comparison to its nearest neighbour. It wasn’t all fun and games in Canadian banking; the Home Bank did collapse in 1923 and that sounded a warning to the government.

Home Bank_bankruptcy_1923

Click here to read the review of From Wall Street to Bay Street, appearing in Canada’s History (May 2018). ª


ESCP Europe Finance Professor Christopher Kobrak was a well-respected academic who died before completion of this book. He is remembered by colleagues and students through his work, including the Youtube video.

University of Toronto Adjunct Professor of Strategic Management Joe Martin was instrumental in setting up the Canadian Business History Association – l’association canadienne pour l’histoire des affaires (CBHA/ACHA). He is the Director of the Canadian Business & Financial History Initiative at Rotman School of Business, University of Toronto, and is President Emeritus of Canada’s History Society.