John Muellbauer, 27 October 2008

The current financial crisis will probably lead to an unnecessarily deep recession. This column suggests that European central banks, misguided by outdated econometric models, should have cut rates faster and deeper in a coordinated fashion. They should now scrap these models and agree on a large, coordinated cut of 2 percentage points.

Keiichiro Kobayashi, 27 October 2008

Japan’s banking crisis of the late 1990s and early 2000s offer critical lessons on how to deal with the current financial crisis. This column warns against relying on fiscal stimulus, stresses the importance of recapitalising viable bank but letting the ‘zombie banks’ go bust to boost certainty about financial firms’ solvency. In order to avoid a vicious cycle of steady economic decline as in Japan, the G8 and emerging economies should create a "Financial System Stabilisation Fund".

Carmen Reinhart, Vincent Reinhart, 23 October 2008

The standard pattern: capital flows into the new “hot” nation, but then stop or reverses forcing painful adjustment. This column presents research based on such episodes from 181 nations during 1980-2007 and for a subset of 66 nations for the 1960-2007 period. If the pattern of the past few decades holds true, emerging market economies may be facing a darkening future.

Frank Westermann, Romain Rancière, Aaron Tornell, 20 October 2008

The current credit crisis has prompted many calls for regulation to prevent such an event from ever happening again. This column defends a financial system that engenders systemic risk. Economies that risk occasional credit crises enjoy higher long-run growth, and the cost of the US bailout is well within historical norms.

Micael Castanheira, 14 October 2008

Fears that the present crisis might reach 1930s proportions risk becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. To quell them, we must anchor expectations in the right direction. This column advocates a temporary but aggressive expansionary fiscal policy to rebuild confidence. We need to exploit the stability pact in a different way: for the next two years, the pact should constrain national governments to significantly increase all deficits, beyond 3% if needed.

Avinash Persaud, 07 October 2008

Subprime mortgages account for less than 1% of the world’s debt stock. How could they cause the greatest financial crisis in modern times? “Risk sensitivity” is this column’s answer. Regulators gave bankers incentives to combine bad loans with good ones and securitise the package in complex structures. The inseparability of the suspect parts meant problems with one package questioned the value of all packages. The least liquid banks failed, triggering a vicious cycle of fear and failure.

Charles Wyplosz, 20 July 2008

Should taxpayers bail out the banking system? One of the world’s leading international macroeconomists contrasts the Larry Summers “don’t-scare-off-the-investors” pro-bailout view with the Willem Buiter “they-ran-into-a wall-with-eyes-wide-open” anti-bailout view. He concludes that either way, taxpayers are always the losers. The best policy makers can do is to be merciless with shareholders and gentle with bank customers.

Carmen Reinhart, 05 May 2010

This column, first posted 19 April 2008, argues that sovereign debt crises have historically followed financial crises. Although data covering only the last thirty years might have given few hints about Greece's current problems, the Reinhart-Rogoff database spanning eight centuries reveals that today's event are very much in line with historical experience.

Tommaso Monacelli, 20 March 2008

Inflation is rising. This column identifies three sources of inflation and argues that it is very important for central banks to tame inflation now, before we face a vicious cycle of rising inflation and expected inflation.

Guido Tabellini, 19 March 2008

The recent financial trouble has prompted much examination of private financial institutions, but few have asked why regulatory supervision did not prevent the crisis. This column argues that supervisory failure was also due to regulatory competition between national authorities and calls for a consolidated EU authority.

Richard Portes, 22 January 2008

Recent financial market troubles highlight a number of problems with the credit ratings agencies. This column argues only a few of the proposed policy solutions are likely to be both feasible and helpful.

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