Willem Buiter, 16 January 2012

The global crisis inaugurated a new era for central banks in the advanced economies, when their conventional role as interest rate-setters and lenders and market makers of last resort expanded. Central banks have become the custodians of stability for financial markets – a role for which they lack both democratic accountability and political legitimacy, argues Willem Buiter in DP8780. He decries the new “perverse division of labour” between central banks and fiscal authorities and appeals for a reassessment of this pathological arrangement.

Eduardo Levy Yeyati, Luciano Cohan, 12 January 2012

Four years ago, there was growing support for the idea of ‘decoupling’ – that emerging markets were becoming less affected by business cycle swings in developed economies. Then came the global crisis. Focusing on Latin America, this column argues that the 2010s will be a far harder decade. But that might not be such a bad thing if it forces these economies to look again at their growth strategies.

Ralph De Haas, Iman van Lelyveld, 14 December 2011

In the current financial turmoil, does it pay to have domestically owned banks or foreign-owned ones? This column looks at the lending behaviour of multinational banks the last time financial markets were in crisis in late 2008. It concludes that while multinational banks may contribute to financial stability during local bouts of financial turmoil, they also increase the risk of ‘importing’ instability from abroad.

Jaromír Baxa, Roman Horváth, Bořek Vašíček, 17 November 2011

Central bankers focused too much on inflation targets and too little on financial stability – so the criticism goes. This column examines the evidence, with a look at the world’s five major central banks over the last 30 years.

Lucia Dalla Pellegrina, Donato Masciandaro, 17 November 2011

Following the crisis of 2008–09 a period of banking-sector vulnerability occurred in many countries. To what extent did this vulnerability result from light-touch banking regulation? This column examines the ‘unpleasant nexus’ between volatility and light-touch regulation and argues that the crisis proved that such regulation may not be able to reduce systemic risk to acceptable levels.

Daniel Gros, 09 November 2011

As Italy’s debt crisis enters the danger zone the question arises: Can Italy ever overcome its decade-old growth slump? This column shows that Italy’s growth fundamentals are all in pretty good shape, except one - good governance. Worldwide Governance Indicators show a dramatic worsening during the Berlusconi governments especially when it comes to the rule of law, government effectiveness, and control of corruption. Progress on improving these might in the end be more important for growth than the reforms the EU demands.

Friðrik Már Baldursson, 08 November 2011

During the global crisis, Iceland was hit by the biggest banking crisis any country has ever suffered. This column reviews the role of the IMF in Iceland’s recovery. It argues that the IMF programme was not perfectly designed but successful. Iceland re-entered capital markets less than three years after the crisis.

Ernesto Talvi, Ignacio Munyo, 27 October 2011

The global crisis crippled advanced economies, but it also freed up financial resources that flooded emerging markets. This column introduces an index to identify the post-crisis winners and losers, digging into the causes of the new economic geography and exploring the vulnerability of emerging economies to a recurrence of a Lehman-type virus.

Jon Danielsson, 27 October 2011

According to the IMF, Iceland has graduated from its Fund-supported programme with unqualified success. This column begs to differ.

Nicholas Bloom, Scott Baker, Steven Davis, 22 October 2011

Policymakers’ choices dominate headlines in the global crisis. This column distinguishes between economic uncertainty and economic policy uncertainty, constructs an index to measure policy-related uncertainty, and argues that improving policy uncertainty would create millions of US jobs.

Thorvaldur Gylfason, 11 October 2011

As economic protests continue throughout Europe, many wonder whether such efforts will be in vain. This column explores what happened in Iceland, where a “pots-and-pans” revolution in response to the devastating financial crisis gave rise to demands for a new constitution.

Joshua Aizenman, Brian Pinto, 04 October 2011

With the merits of global financial integration in question, this column reviews the policy responses and lessons from two decades of experience in emerging markets in connection with opening up their economies. It also outlines the steps countries have taken to reduce exposure to financial crises and argues that these may be the best option until the collective resolution of global imbalances and capital flow regulation by the G20.

Aaron Tornell, Frank Westermann, 28 September 2011

With economists’ eyes fixed squarely on Greece, this column tries to solve a puzzle. Since 2008, tens of billions of euros have fled Greek bank accounts. Yet somehow the country still has a current-account deficit. Where has this money come from?

Marcus Miller, John Driffill, 27 September 2011

Just what on earth is going on in the global economy? Rather than get caught up in the hysteria, this column says the answers are best found by looking through the pages of history and dusting down some old textbooks.

Avinash Persaud, 23 September 2011

The financial crisis revealed substantive problems that need to be solved, especially in the banking sector. This column argues that Basel III, the new accord on international banking, is an overdue step in the right direction. It should be defended against attempts by bankers and their friends to cut it down, dilute it, and postpone it.

Moonsung Kang, Soonchan Park, 04 September 2011

How have South Korean trade flows responded to the financial crisis of 2008-09? This column, part of a collection of four columns on trade responses to the crisis, finds that although relatively few antidumping duties were initiated, the Korea Trade Commission was more active in imposing these duties.

Stefan Gerlach, Laura Moretti, 26 August 2011

Many observers argue that excessively expansionary monetary policy led to the recent global financial crisis. On the day of Ben Bernanke’s speech in Jackson Hole, this column agrees with the Fed chair that monetary policy was not the main cause. It argues that non-monetary forces drove down real interest rates and lowering nominal rates was the correct response. But central bankers and other regulators vastly underestimated the risks accompanying low short-term interest rates.

John Muellbauer, Keiko Murata, 21 August 2011

The global crisis of 2008-2009 has refocused attention on the lessons of Japan’s lost decade, with many suggesting that Europe and the US are heading the same direction. This makes a thorough understanding of the Japanese case an urgent matter. But this column argues that pushing the analogies too far is a mistake that could prolong the economic pain.

Geert Bekaert, Michael Ehrmann, Marcel Fratzscher, Arnaud Mehl, 12 August 2011

As financial markets take another turn, this column explores lessons from the global crisis of 2007-2009 and discusses the source and determinants of contagion. It argues that real and financial linkages to the US or the global economy played a relatively minor role. Instead the crisis was a “wake-up call” to investors to pay more attention to countries’ policies and fundamentals.

Deniz Igan, Prachi Mishra, 11 August 2011

Did anti-regulation lobbying fuel the subprime crisis? This column shows that there is a strong relationship between financial industry lobbying and favourable financial regulation legislation. It argues that the financial industry fought, and defeated, measures that might have curbed some of the reckless lending practices that many think played a pivotal role in igniting the crisis.

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