Book about how Canadian banks survived the financial crisis wins $50K Donner Prize for best public policy book

Stumbling Giants by industry experts Patricia Meredith and James L. Darroch examines how Canada's big six banks used traditional and tested banking practices, making them a safe harbour at that time.
James L. Darroch and Patricia Meredith are co-authors of Stumbling Giants. (Will Pemulis/Rotman-UTP Publishing)

Patricia Meredith and James L. Darroch won the $50,000 Donner Prize for their nonfiction book Stumbling Giants: Transforming Canada's Banks for the Information Age.  

The Donner Prize is awarded annually to the best book on Canadian public policy research. Stumbling Giants examines how Canada's big six banks survived the 2008 financial crisis by using traditional and tested banking practices, making them a safe harbour at that time.

Darroch is a finance professor at York University and Meredith is a former senior banking executive and advisor. In the book, the co-authors argue a new vision for the financial sector is needed to adapt to changes in digital technology and the global economy. 

"The book is a policy manifesto, developing a compelling case for the need for fundamental change from the branch-focused business model of current Canadian banking, to a model that conforms to the habits of the mobile-app era," said the Donner Prize jury in a press release.

The other Donner Prize finalists will each receive $7,500. They include:

  • Charte canadienne et droits linguistiques by Frédéric Bérard 
  • Pushing the Limits by Kelly Gallagher-Mackay and Nancy Steinhauer 
  • Governing Public-Private Partnerships by Joshua Newman 
  • Too Critical to Fail by Kevin Quigley, Ben Bisset and Bryan Mills 

2018 marks the 20th annivesary for the Donner Prize. Past winners include Donald J. Savoie for What Is Government Good At?Doug Saunders for Arrival City and David E. Smith for The People's House of Commons.

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