Prakash Kannan, Fritzi Koehler-Geib, 03 December 2009

The subprime crisis became the global crisis when the 2007 financial shock mutated into a full-blown global economic crisis in September 2008. This column attributes the rapid transmission of financial stress to the surprise of the crisis. Using historical data, it shows that crises with a pronounced surprise element tend to result in more widespread contagion.

Andrew Rose, Mark Spiegel, 03 October 2009

The 2008 financial crisis is sometimes characterised as one where financial difficulties in the US spread to the rest of the world. But is there clear evidence of such international contagion? This column reports research indicating that neither financial nor trade linkages to the US help explain the cross-country incidence of the crisis. If anything, countries more exposed to the US seem to have fared better.

Stephan Danninger, Ravi Balakrishnan, Selim Elekdag, Irina Tytell, 27 April 2009

Financial stress reached unprecedented levels in 2008. This column presents a new IMF financial stress index and puts the current crisis into historical perspective. It also shows that bank-lending linkages appear to be the main driver of the transmission of stress. International financial integration brings both opportunities for growth and risks of contagion.

Helmut Reisen, 06 December 2008

The global credit crisis is testing the resilience and sustainability of emerging markets’ policies, this column warns. Even strong performers are not shielded against pure financial contagion, although they may well recover quickly once confidence is restored. In the future, development finance is likely to rely less on private debt.

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