Richard Clarida, 16 March 2009

Policymakers have committed substantial sums to addressing the global recession and the global financial crisis, but there is real doubt about their effectiveness. This column explains why the fiscal stimulus might fail.

Peter Draper, 16 March 2009

The gathering economic crisis has induced major economic problems for African countries. This column highlights several key priorities for (South) African representatives to take into the London Summit, including maintaining access to finance, open markets and redoubling African economic reform efforts.

Willem Buiter, 14 March 2009

Zombie banks need fixing. Good Bank and Bad Bank solutions are the leading contenders. This column reviews the implications for distributional, incentive, and financial stability effects. It argues that too-big-too-fail bank should immediately be taken into public ownership and restructured decisively through a mandatory debt-to-equity conversion or debt write-down. The Fed and Treasury have been captured by save-unsecured-creditors reasoning pushed by special interest groups.

Lars Jonung, 14 March 2009

Sweden's fix of its banks in the early 1990s is considered a model for today’s policymakers. This column reviews the main features of the Swedish approach and discusses its applicability to today’s banking problems. Policy must be carried out swiftly and openly, aiming at saving banks, not their owners or managers.

Biagio Bossone, 14 March 2009

The crisis has revealed many gaps in global economic governance – problems that G20 leaders should address at the London Summit. This column describes a proposal by the “Group of Lecce”, which argues that global economic decision-making should take place within the IMF and World Bank transformed by more responsible, representative, and powerful “Governing Councils”.

Cédric Tille, 12 March 2009

The biggest risk facing the Swiss economy is its large financial sector with substantial international exposure. Foreign currencies, mostly held by UBS and Credit Suisse, account for nearly two-thirds of banks’ balance sheets – an amount equivalent to four times annual GDP. This column suggests splitting the two large banks’ domestic and foreign operations, so that losses on the latter do not jeopardise the domestic financial system.

Willem Buiter, 06 March 2009

Standard macroeconomic theory did not help foresee the crisis, nor has it helped understand it or craft solutions. This columns argues that both the New Classical and New Keynesian complete markets macroeconomic theories not only did not allow the key questions about insolvency and illiquidity to be answered. They did not allow such questions to be asked. A new paradigm is needed.

Richard Baldwin, Simon Evenett, 05 March 2009

This column introduces a new ebook presenting in-depth analysis of i) the collapse of global trade, and ii) the new, murkier protection emerging as governments around the world massively increase their role in the economy. A negative protection-recession spiral is one of the few things that have not yet gone wrong in this crisis. The book presents concrete steps that G20 leader should take to avoid such a spiral and the threat it would pose to global recovery.

Richard Baldwin, Simon Evenett, 05 March 2009

This eBook presents concrete steps that G20 leaders should take to avoid a negative protection-recession spiral and the threat it would pose to a global recovery.

Ricardo Caballero, 05 March 2009

The Obama team’s strong words are followed by policies focused on getting a ‘deal’ for taxpayers. Here one of the world’s leading macroeconomists argues that squeezing current stakeholders for political appearance is short-sighted and self-defeating. Until the systemic panic is alleviated, the crisis will continue. This requires the investment of massive political capital right now; we are running out of time.

Viral Acharya, 04 March 2009

The de Larosiere report is an important contribution to the future global financial architecture, especially its proposals for reform of EU regulatory supervision and global coordination. There is a surprisingly broad consensus on what needs to be done to fix the global financial system emerging. One hopes that the G20 summit will be a platform to launch key international reforms.

Olivier Jeanne, 03 March 2009

This column proposes the organisation of a round of "multilateral consultation", under the auspices of the IMF, on how to avoid worldwide deflation. Ineffective fiscal and financial policies mean that attention will inevitably return to monetary policy – policymakers should be prepared. Getting the main central banks to agree on a basic set of principles would reduce the fog of Knightian uncertainty prolonging the crisis.

Patrick Honohan, Philip Lane, 28 February 2009

Ireland’s huge exports to GDP ratio and privileged position in global supply chains helped it grow rapidly in the 1990s, but are now amplifying its downturn. This column argues that Ireland’s looming banking and public finance crises can be fixed. The government must find new sources of tax revenue and craft a package in which all social partners can claim ownership.

Barry Eichengreen, 02 March 2009

The G20 replaced the G7, but it has its own problems of legitimacy, size, and inconsistence with other governance vehicles. This column argues that the G20 membership should be re-jigged and the G20’s four separate work programmes should be merged to foster a “Grand Bargain”. Most of all, the G20 needs a vision.

Erik Berglöf, 28 February 2009

Eastern European nations are on the edge. In this column, the Chief Economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development argues that widespread banking crises are possible, if Western governments fail to coordinate. The situation is manageable, but it needs to be managed.

Matthew Richardson, 26 February 2009

Sometimes the best way to repair a severely dilapidated house is to knock it down and rebuild it. This column argues for bank nationalisation as the best hope for maintaining a private banking system. Risky, and it could go wrong, but it is the surest path to avoid a “lost decade” like Japan.

Robert Hall, Susan Woodward, 24 February 2009

Japan’s woes in the 1990s were prolonged by allowing ‘zombie’ banks to continue doing business (deleveraging slowly). Preventing this is a priority in today’s crisis, hence the many schemes for creating good/bad banks. This column, coauthored by one of the world’s leading macroeconomist, suggests a novel way of separating existing banks into good and bad entities.

Ricardo Caballero, 22 February 2009

Banks must be fixed as their troubles are at the heart of the economic recession. In this column, one of the world’s most distinguished macroeconomists suggests a radical alternative to current policies. Governments should promise to buy twice the number of outstanding bank shares in 5 years at twice their recent prices. Markets would immediately price-in this pledge, and the resulting price boom would allow banks to raise necessary capital from private sources.

Charles Wyplosz, 21 February 2009

Some European governments are contemplating bailouts of other European governments. This column argues that violating the Eurozone’s no-bailout clause this soon would be a mistake. Much as it was necessary to let Lehman Brothers go down before bailing out the remaining banks, it may be necessary to let a profligate government default and ask for IMF assistance.

Biagio Bossone, 18 February 2009

This column summarises the global crisis debate on institutional reforms to build global financial governance. While various authors disagree about the G20’s suitability and effectiveness, there is agreement that a number of IMF reforms are needed. Moreover, many call for the IMF to significantly increase its lending resources.

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