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Consumer lending in France and America : credit and welfare

Author: Gunnar Trumbull
Publisher: New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Why did America embrace consumer credit over the course of the twentieth century, when most other countries did not? How did American policy makers by the late twentieth century come to believe that more credit would make even poor families better off? This book traces the historical emergence of modern consumer lending in America and France. If Americans were profligate in their borrowing, the French were
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Trumbull, Gunnar.
Consumer lending in France and America
(DLC) 2013042457
(OCoLC)863044057
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Gunnar Trumbull
ISBN: 9781139059046 1139059041
OCLC Number: 885338091
Description: 1 online resource
Contents: 1. Introduction --
2. Commercial banks and consumer credit in the United States --
3. Banks against credit: consumer finance in France --
4. American retailers and credit innovation --
5. Selling France on credit --
6. Credit and reconstruction --
7. The politics of usury --
8. Credit for being American --
9. Deregulation and the politics of overindebtedness --
10. Credit and welfare.
Responsibility: Gunnar Trumbull, Harvard Business School.

Abstract:

This book traces the historical emergence of modern consumer lending in America and France.  Read more...

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'Trumbull pursues the problem of American indebtedness in ways unlike other books published on the subject, and his style is clear and reader-friendly. The central claim that emerges is Read more...

 
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    schema:description ""Why did America embrace consumer credit over the course of the twentieth century, when most other countries did not? How did American policy makers by the late twentieth century come to believe that more credit would make even poor families better off? This book traces the historical emergence of modern consumer lending in America and France. If Americans were profligate in their borrowing, the French were correspondingly frugal. Comparison of the two countries reveals that America's love affair with credit was not primarily the consequence of its culture of consumption, as many writers have observed, nor directly a consequences of its less generous welfare state. It emerged instead from evolving coalitions between fledgling consumer lenders seeking to make their business socially acceptable and a range of non-governmental groups working to promote public welfare, labor, and minority rights. In France, where a similar coalition did not emerge, consumer credit continued to be perceived as economically regressive and socially risky"--"@en ;
    schema:description ""At the beginning of the 20th century, consumer credit in the United States was perceived as unfair and exploitative. Social reformers fought to limit the economic and social impact of small lenders they decried as loan sharks. Reputable businesses steered clear of sales credit because of the questionable consumers that it would attract. By the 1970s, however, credit in America had been reimagined as a legitimate tool of household finance that was understood to have broad social and economic benefits. This transformation in the moral economy of credit accompanied a revolution in lending technologies and the regulatory treatment of consumer credit. Ultimately, these changes allowed American households to amass unprecedented debt -- debt that eventually precipitated the worst financial crisis of postwar America. To understand the origins of that crisis, we need to understand not just the shifting habits of consumers, but also what happened to lenders as the public moved from opposing credit to embracing it. This book traces how that transformation occurred. Nearly all accounts of the origins of American consumer credit have focused exclusively on the U.S. experience. Single-country case studies have their virtues. But they do not allow the observer easily to differentiate what is unusual about the U.S. case from what is common even to countries with very different credit practices"--"@en ;
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