The southern and eastern Mediterranean area at the EU’s borders constitutes a heterogeneous geopolitical and cultural entity. This issue, which is devoted to Mediterranean finance, explores and takes stock of finance in this vast region. Unsurprisingly, what emerges is that the financial systems there are also characterized by heterogeneity, although some common features can be identified, such as the predominant role of banks and the low level of financial inclusion. The issue is divided into four sections. The first notes the economic and financial heterogeneity of the countries in the region. The second section is devoted to analyzing the banking systems, which are overwhelmingly these economies’ main mode of financing. The third section deals with other modes of financing and observes that they are weak, with very different situations depending on the country. Finally, the last section outlines the transformations needed to best be able to finance the economy, and therefore growth. Among them greater financial inclusion seems indispensable.
The column on financial history is an article by Charles Calomiris and Matthew Jaremski analyzing the effects of deposit insurance by looking at its introduction in the American banking system at the end of the 19th century. Finally, two other articles take up choosing the mode of regulation of Fintech and the development of the Sukuk market in sub-Saharan Africa.