misunderstanding financial crises
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If you’ve got some money in the bank, chances are you’ve never seriously worried about not being able to withdraw it. But there was a time in the United States, an era that ended just over a hundred years ago, in which bank customers had to pay close attention to whether the banking system would remain solvent, knowing they might have to rush to retrieve their savings before the bank collapsed. During the National Banking Era (1863–1913), before the establishment of the Federal Reserve, widespread banking panics were indeed rather common. Yet these pre-Fed banking panics, as Gary B. Gorton and Ellis W. Tallman show, bear striking similarities to our recent financial crisis. In both cases, something happened to make depositors—whether individual customers or corporate investors—“act differently” and find reason to question the value of their bank debt. Fighting Financial Crises thus turns to the past for a fuller understanding of our uncertain present, investigating how panics during the National Banking Era played out and how they were eventually quelled and prevented. Gorton and Tallman open with a survey of the period’s “information environment,” tracing the development of national bank notes, checks, and clearing houses to show how the key to keeping order was to disseminate information very carefully. Identifying the most effective responses based on the framework of the National Banking Era, they then consider the Fed’s and the SEC’s reactions to the recent crisis, building an informative new perspective on how the modern economy works.
"Once-in-a-lifetime" financial crises have been a recurrent part of life in the last three decades. It is no longer possible to dismiss or ignore them as aberrations in an otherwise well-functioning system. Nor are they peculiar to recent times. Going back in history, asset price bubbles and bank-runs have been an endemic feature of the capitalist system over the last four centuries. The historical record offers a treasure trove of experience that may shed light on how and why financial crises happen and what can be done to avoid them - provided we are willing to learn from history. This book interweaves historical accounts with competing economic crisis theories and reveals why commentaries are often contradictory. First, it presents a series of episodes from tulip mania in the 17th century to the subprime mortgage meltdown. In order to tease out their commonalities and differences, it describes political, economic, and social backgrounds, identifies the primary actors and institutions, and explores the mechanisms behind the asset price bubbles, crashes, and bank-runs. Second, it starts with basic economic concepts and builds five competing theoretical approaches to understanding financial crises. Competing theoretical standpoints offer different interpretations of the same event, and draw dissimilar policy implications. This book analyses divergent interpretations of the historical record in relation to how markets function, the significance of market imperfections, economic decision-making process, the role of the government, and evolutionary dynamics of the capitalist system. Its diverse theoretical and historical content of this book complements economics, history and political science curriculum.
Financial Crises: Causes, Consequences, and Policy Responses provides a comprehensive overview of research into financial crises and policy lessons learned. The book covers a wide range of crises, including banking, balance of payments, and sovereign debt crises. It begins with an overview of the various types of crises and introduces a comprehensive database of crises. Broad lessons on crisis prevention and management, as well as the short-term economic effects of crises, recessions, and recoveries are discussed. The medium-term effects of financial crises on economic growth, as well as policy measures to prevent booms, mitigate busts, and avoid crises are analyzed. Finally, policy measures for mitigating the adverse impact of crises and ways to restructure banks, households, and sovereigns are presented. The collection of research in this book provides an excellent overview of critical policy areas, with valuable lessons on how countries can better monitor their economies and financial systems.
After the financial crisis of 2007-2008, analysts continue to question the security of banking sectors in nations in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Why do such crises recur? What is it about the accumulation of bank debt that potentially jeopardizes national and global banking systems? There is no one better-equipped to answer such questions than Gary Gorton, who has been studying financial crises since his PhD thesis in 1983. The Maze of Banking contains a collection of his academic papers on the subjects of banks, banking, and financial crises. The papers in this volume span almost 175 years of U.S. banking history, from pre-U.S. Civil War private bank notes issued during the U.S. Free Banking Era (1837-1863), followed by the U.S. National Banking Era (1863-1914) before there was a central bank, through loan sales, securitization, and the financial crisis of 2007-2008. Banking changed profoundly during these 175 years, yet it did not change in fundamental ways. The forms of money changed, resulting in associated changes in the information structure of the economy. Bank debt evolved as an instrument for storing value, smoothing consumption, and transactions, but its fundamental nature did not change. In all its forms, it is vulnerable to bank runs without government intervention. Comprehensive and informative, the collection is the definitive volume on the history of the U.S. banking system. These papers provide the framework for understanding how the financial crisis of 2007-2008 developed and steps to promote a stable banking industry, thereby preventing future economic crises. The Maze of Banking is essential reading material for students and academics with an interest in economics, finance, and the history of banking.
A complete and accessible explanation of the factors contributing to the onset of the 2007 financial and economic crisis. The myriad factors are explained in an orderly way with simple terms. The anticipation (or not) and reception of the crisis by mainstream economists and by Austrian economics leads to reflection on the state of economic theory.
Rapid improvements and constant advancements in information technology have inevitably lead to significant changes for businesses across the globe. As a result, some of these large shifts have unfortunately ended in major financial crises. Technology and Financial Crisis: Economical and Analytical Views investigates financial crises from unique points of view. Not only does this publication consider the broader economical implications that a financial crisis can have on one business or on a whole country, but it also thoroughly discusses the smaller areas which are affected or contribute to the downfall. This book is intended to be of use to the public sector, researchers, practitioners, and educators who are interested in the affects of a financial crises and possible ways to reduce such large scale problems in the future.
The editors of this book have pulled together a collection of chapters that review the spate of financial crises that have occurred in recent years starting with Mexico in 1994 and moving on to more recent crises in Turkey and Argentina. With impressive contributors such as Douglas Gale, Gabriel Palma and Andrew Gamble, the book is a timely and authoritative study. Global Governance and Financial Crises provides a new understanding of this important area with a combination of economic history and political economy as well as the most recent developments in analytical economic theory. Students, researchers and policy makers would do well to read it and learn some important lessons for the future.
A timely contribution and incisive analysis, this is the story of the British experiment in privatizing the nuclear power industry and its subsequent financial collapse. It tells how the UK's pioneering role in nuclear power led to bad technology choices, a badly flawed restructuring of the electricity industry and the end of government support for nuclear power. In this volume Simon Taylor has combined interviews with former executives, regulators and analysts with his own unique insight into the nuclear industry to provide an analysis of the origins of the crisis and the financial and corporate strategies used by British Energy plc. Arguing that the stock market was a major factor in the company's collapse by misunderstanding its finances, over-valuing the shares and giving wrong signals to management and that the government policy of trying to put all responsibility for nuclear liabilities in the hands of the private sector was neither credible nor realistic. The book concludes that failure was not inevitable but resulted from a mixture of internal and external causes that casts doubt on the policy of combining a wholly nuclear generator with liberalized power markets. This book will be of great interest to students engaged with the history of nuclear power in the UK, privatization, regulation and financial and corporate strategy, as well as experts, policy makers and strategists in the field.
The book discusses the nature of Marxist theory of crisis and applies it to the global financial crisis which began in 2007. Is the contemporary crisis simply the usual periodic upturn and downturn or is there something more fundamental? Is there a structural crisis of capitalism, from which there is no immediate solution? Is capitalism managed and does it have a strategy? Is the financial crisis representative of a failure in capitalism itself to subject banks and other financial institutions to the overall economy? The book discusses Marx’s view on crises, as well as ideas on money and finance. It considers the different modern Marxist ideas on the causes of crises – falling rate of profit, disproportionality and underconsumption. It goes into detail as to the nature of the present crisis, its course and causes in a spirited and independent manner. Apart from the United States, it considers the situation in the two countries, in which protests erupted: Iran and Greece. They are taken as examples of the effect of the crisis on the country, the society and the economy as well as its politics. This book was originally published as a special issue of Critique.