Financial Statecraft by Benn Steil and Robert Litan

As the Lincoln quote below indicates, governments subject financial companies to political drama and political muscle. From the author's definition of financial statecraft, "those aspects of economic statecraft that are directed at influencing capital flows." we can see the trauma that will unfold as almost certainly occurs when people control other people's money.

The authors discuss instances across time, however, their summary policy advice seems flawed: rid the world of unwanted currencies, the US should stop demanding capital account liberalization from Less Developed Countries, and depoliticize IMF decision-making. Countries maintain currencies so they can run monetary policy instead of only having fiscal policy (say they peg to the dollar, they get whatever the Federal Reserve chooses for short-term rates, which means that if they need to slow down and the US needs a perkier economy, all they can do is shrink government spending). Giving up that control seems politically unlikely for countries that want that flexibility. And since countries are aware of the power of financial statecraft, the likelihood of depoliticizing the IMF seems remote.

Finally, unless someone backs up international claims on capital with real political threats, capital control'd countries will entice less money from investors, as they can't withdraw their funds when political change threatens them with losses. However, since investors are human and do wacky things, gov'ts then find themselves at the other end of Lincoln's stick, when influential capital holders push for political change.

In December 1861, Lincoln submitted to Congress a bill that would require nationally chartered banks to deposit with the Treasury government bonds equal to at least one-third of their capital.
-- Banking and Foreign Policy
Sometimes when we think of economics, we think we're only dealing with economics. The background to all the Bretton Woods agreements, however, was war and peace, and when people don't think in those terms, I think they're making a major mistake.
-- Rep. Jim Leach, The Security Dimensions of Currency Crises