TARGET balances, Bretton Woods, and the Great Depression

Michael Bordo 21 March 2014

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During the Eurozone crisis, an analogy was made between the events in Europe between 2007 and 2012 and the collapse of the Bretton Woods System between 1968 and 1971. There has been a build-up of TARGET liabilities since 2007 by some central banks (notably Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain, or the ‘GIPS’), and of TARGET assets by Germany and others.

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Topics:  Economic history International finance

Tags:  ECB, eurozone, euro, global imbalances, Central Banks, financial crisis, Great Depression, Eurosystem, Eurozone crisis, Bretton Woods, TARGET

Monetary alchemy, fiscal science

Jeffrey Frankel 29 January 2013

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The year 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of two major institutional innovations in US economic policy:

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Topics:  Global crisis Macroeconomic policy

Tags:  monetary policy, Federal Reserve, fiscal policy, Great Depression, Keynes

Jobless recoveries and the disappearance of routine occupations

Henry Siu, Nir Jaimovich 06 November 2012

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Economic recoveries aren’t what they used to be. Since the end of the Great Recession in June 2009:

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Topics:  Global crisis Labour markets Poverty and income inequality

Tags:  unemployment, Great Depression, jobs, Great Recession, labour

New preface to Charles Kindleberger, The World in Depression 1929-1939

J. Bradford DeLong, Barry Eichengreen 12 June 2012

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The parallels between Europe in the 1930s and Europe today are stark, striking, and increasingly frightening. We see unemployment, youth unemployment especially, soaring to unprecedented heights. Financial instability and distress are widespread. There is growing political support for extremist parties of the far left and right.

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Topics:  Economic history Global crisis Global economy

Tags:  Great Depression, Eurozone crisis, Kindleberger

How did US and EU trade policy withstand the Great Recession?

Chad P Bown, Meredith Crowley 28 April 2012

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During the Great Recession, import protection increased around the world (Evenett, 2011). Popular policies included antidumping tariffs, safeguards, and other temporary trade barriers (Bown 2011a,b). Despite this, for high-income economies such as the US and EU, such trade barriers increased much less than initially feared. In this column, we ask how and why.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  trade policy, Great Depression, protectionism

A tale of two depressions redux

Barry Eichengreen, Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke 06 March 2012

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Topics:  Global crisis Macroeconomic policy

Tags:  fiscal policy, Great Depression, Great Recession

Right-wing political extremism in the Great Depression

Alan de Bromhead, Barry Eichengreen, Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke 27 February 2012

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The impact of the global crisis has been more than just economic.

  • In both parliamentary and presidential democracies, governments have been ousted.
  • Hard economic times have bred support for nationalist and right-wing political parties, including some that are actively hostile to the prevailing political system.

All this gives rise to fears that economic hard times will feed political extremism, as it did in the 1930s.

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Topics:  Politics and economics

Tags:  elections, Great Depression, Fascism

When markets freeze: Tobin’s q and QE

Marcus Miller, John Driffill 27 September 2011

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The economies of the North Atlantic look in poor shape. But it could be worse. Central banks have been doing their best to save capitalism from its own self-fulfilling fears, using the policy of quantitative easing to take frozen assets onto their balance sheets until confidence returns. Why they are doing this – and why it matters – can best be seen in the light of history.

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Topics:  Global crisis Monetary policy

Tags:  monetary policy, Central Banks, Great Depression, global crisis, quantitative easing

What caused the recession of 1937-38?

Douglas Irwin 11 September 2011

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The recession of 1937-38 is sometimes called “the recession within the Depression.” It came at a time when the recovery from the Great Depression was far from complete and the unemployment rate was still very high. In fact, it was a disastrous setback to the recovery. Real GDP fell 11% and industrial production fell 32%, making it the third-worst US recession in the 20th century (after 1929-32 and 1920-21).

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Topics:  Economic history Global crisis Macroeconomic policy Monetary policy

Tags:  US, monetary policy, recession, Great Depression, gold standard

An historical perspective on the Great Recession

Nicholas Crafts 24 February 2011

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The Great Recession of 2008/9 came as a big shock to economists as well as the general public. They had become accustomed to the serene conditions of the so-called Great Moderation – low inflation, smooth growth, and low unemployment. This led to triumphalist claims that “boom and bust” had been abolished. A complacent belief arose:

inflation-targeting by independent central banks will inevitably deliver steady growth with low inflation.

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Topics:  Economic history Global crisis Macroeconomic policy Monetary policy

Tags:  economic history, Great Depression, Great Recession

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