Successful Dissertation Topics In Banking And Finance

Close behind almost all human activities in the modern world lie banks and financial intermediaries, greasing the wheels of our social, personal, and work lives. So, although the discipline has its core concepts and critical debates, ultimately its impact on human affairs is what makes it deeply relevant, and exciting. With that in mind, we've put together some highly topical examples that demonstrate how you can keep the links to “the real world” and so make the most out of your dissertation in the field.

The long and the short of it

Banks play a critical role in “transforming maturities”. Money that is loaned on a short-term basis (such as in a money market account) may be borrowed for the long term (such as when buying a house). Regulators responded to the global financial crisis by putting severe limits on how much banks could use short-term funding to sell long-term loans. This has caused a decline in lending, which directly impacts young people looking to start homes and families, and has lead to an increased burden on parents who must support their children longer. Banking regulation thus has a substantial impact on social developments. Should regulators explicitly consider such impacts before writing regulation, and perhaps do so in conjunction with sociologists?

Hedge or wreck

In the last decades, derivative financial instruments have brought the promise of allowing firms to manage risks far better than they ever have before. But as the recent crisis showed, their complexity and opaqueness can be far more harmful and destabilising to the economy than they are helpful. Can the system be fixed? Do the recent regulatory moves in transforming derivatives markets address the root causes? Or, indeed, do they go too far?

Ethical banking

Influences run in the opposite direction, too. Consider the rise of “Ethical Banking”. It immediately suggests that banks historically have behaved undesirably by the standards of society, and indeed many of the early proponents of the term have heaped vitriol on bankers. Proponents of “Banktivism” look to banks to use their power in financial markets to address social imbalances, pollution, climate change, and other concerns. Giving that role to banks though, as private corporations, raises many profoundly challenging questions about free markets and the right of people and businesses to gain access to capital.

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