Serkan Arslanalp, Reinout De Bock, Matthew Jones, 04 June 2015

Major advanced economies have made mixed progress in repairing the private sector’s balance sheets. This column explores private sector deleveraging trends and calls for a set of policies that will return debt to safer levels. Monetary policies should support private sector deleveraging and policymakers should not ignore the positive impact of debt restructuring and write-offs on non-performing loans.

Philip Lane, 03 November 2014

Contrary to widely held beliefs, the world has not yet begun to ‘delever’ and the global debt-to-GDP is still growing. Growth and inflation are also dangerously low. This Vox Talk discusses the findings and policy recommendations of the 16th Geneva Report. It argues that much more can and should be done to improve resilience to debt shocks and discourage excessive debt accumulation.

Charles Goodhart, Philipp Erfurth, 03 November 2014

There has been a long-term downward trend in labour’s share of national income, depressing both demand and inflation, and thus prompting ever more expansionary monetary policies. This column argues that, while understandable in a short-term business cycle context, this has exacerbated longer-term trends, increasing inequality and financial distortions. Perhaps the most fundamental problem has been over-reliance on debt finance. The authors propose policies to raise the share of equity finance in housing markets; such reforms could be extended to other sectors of the economy.

Pierluigi Bologna, Arianna Miglietta, Marianna Caccavaio, 14 October 2014

Following the financial crisis, European banks have taken steps to revise unsustainable business models by deleveraging. By this metric they have made substantial progress – but this column argues that improper management of the deleveraging process may threaten the recovery. The authors find that equity increases played a much larger role than asset decreases, and recommend increasing the disposal of bad assets.

Marco Di Maggio, Amir Kermani, Rodney Ramcharan, 05 October 2014

After the Crisis, unconventional monetary policy measures were adopted. A major question is whether they have succeeded in boosting aggregate demand. This column exploits adjustable rate mortgages that originated before the Crisis and featured an automatic reset of the interest rate. Low interest rates have stimulated consumption of durable goods, but the expansionary effect is partially dampened by households’ desire to deleverage voluntarily. 

Charles Wyplosz, 12 September 2014

Last week, the ECB announced that it would begin purchasing securities backed by bank lending to households and firms. Whereas markets and the media have generally greeted this announcement with enthusiasm, this column identifies reasons for caution. Other central banks’ quantitative easing programmes have involved purchasing fixed amounts of securities according to a published schedule. In contrast, the ECB’s new policy is demand-driven, and will only be effective if it breaks the vicious circle of recession and negative credit growth.

Emanuele Baldacci, Sanjeev Gupta, Carlos Mulas-Granados, 31 March 2014

The recent debate on the link between austerity and growth has focused on the short run. This column discusses recent research into the link between fiscal consolidation and medium-term growth under different financial conditions. If credit is not available to consumers and investors, private demand is less able to compensate for cutbacks in public demand, so large spending cuts can have a negative effect on growth. Difficult financial conditions probably explain why fiscal adjustments that worked in the 1990s have not produced similar beneficial effects on growth in recent years.

Javier Villar Burke, 14 November 2013

This column discusses the concept of leverage, its components and how to measure and monitor it. It proposes the marginal leverage ratio – a valuable supplement to the traditional absolute leverage ratio – as an early warning tool to signal episodes of excessive leverage and to determine if and how banks deleverage. By capturing the dynamics of leveraging-deleveraging cycles better than the absolute leverage ratio, the marginal leverage ratio provides an indication of risk that a stable absolute leverage ratio can conceal.

Jean-Pierre Landau, 18 April 2013

Low interest rates and bank deleveraging combine to produce slow growth and rising financial risks in advanced economies. This column argues that appropriate macroprudential policies could contribute to redirecting risk taking, promoting growth and reducing uncertainty through more orderly deleveraging in the financial sector.

Galo Nuño, Carlos Thomas, 12 March 2013

Economists tend to agree that explosive deleveraging in the banking sector was a central element of the 2008 global financial crisis. This column argues that such deleveraging is far from unique. In fact, there is a ‘bank leverage cycle’ in which bank leverage, assets and GDP ramp up and down together; and this is true across financial subsectors. Such procyclicality strengthens the case for macroprudential regulations.

Guido Tabellini, 16 July 2009

It’s time to start drawing conclusions about the global crisis. This column, the first of a two-part series, assesses the causes and nature of the problems. Although the crisis originated in financial market failings, policymakers are much to blame. Regulatory failure amplified private sector errors, and poorly planned policy responses exacerbated the troubles.

Luigi Spaventa, 07 May 2008

A prolonged situation of financial distress, which has now lasted for almost a year, is debilitating the financial system. In CEPR Policy Insight 22, Luigi Spaventa examines possible solutions to the immediate and urgent problems.

Luigi Spaventa, 08 May 2008

The global financial system may be caught in a downward spiral as market and funding illiquidity reinforce each other. The author of CEPR Policy Insight 22 presents a radical proposal that would break the feedback loop by not valuing illiquid assets at market prices under crisis conditions.

Events