This course gives students first insights into the post-war evolution of finance, its regulation and its relationship to the other sectors of the economy. The historical evolution, continuities and innovations, will be explored in a comparative perspective. Second, we take up topical debates in the political economy of finance literature. Two questions run through the course: first, how does the US experience differ from or resonate with discernible trends in European countries and the experience of European integration? And how do non-financial actors (governments, transnational firms, middle-class households) support the rise of finance even though the risks involved are not well understood and hard to manage?