John Quiggin, 03 December 2010

John Quiggin of the University of Queensland talks to Viv Davies about his recently published book, which describes some of the economic ideas that he believes played a role in creating the global financial crisis. He refers to the Great Moderation, the efficient markets hypothesis, DSGE, ‘trickle-down’ economics and privatisation as ‘zombie’ ideas, which should have been killed off by the financial crisis, yet for some reason still live on in the minds of many economists and policy-makers. The interview was recorded in London in November 2010. [Also read the transcript]

Max Bruche, Gerard Llobet, 09 August 2010

Bank bailouts have been controversial from the outset, with some commentators saying that they reward banks for making risky loans. This column investigates the idea of an asset buyback in which a special purpose vehicle buys bad loans from banks' balance sheets. It argues that these buybacks could be structured to avoid windfall gains.

Marco Leonardi, Giovanni Pica, Julián Messina, 04 March 2010

How do financial crises alter the effects of employment protection legislation? This column argues that firms with insufficient access to credit are even less able to rationalise their costs by switching from labour to capital – reinforcing the negative effects on productivity. But policymakers should also consider that, in countries with less-developed financial markets, employment protection provides insurance against labour-market risk.

Dirk Schoenmaker, 14 January 2010

There are calls to establish a separate resolution fund to deal with future financial crises. This column says such a fund is not desirable. It likely would be procyclical, counterproductive, and give a false sense of safety. Rather, governments should levy Pigouvian taxes on the financial system to address negative externalities.

Charles Goodhart, 17 December 2009

The structure of contracts in financial markets is deeply rooted in history. This column retraces the origins of financial contracting and explains why mutual fund banking proposals are wrong headed. It proposes to shift more of the functions of our current banking system away from limited liability back into partnerships. This would involve requiring hedge funds to be entirely separated from banks.

Prakash Kannan, 19 November 2009

Will the economic recovery be U-, V-, W-, or L-shaped? This column warns that recoveries from recessions caused by financial crises are slower than others, due to stressed credit conditions that persist even after output begins to recover. It thus recommends policies aimed at recapitalising financial institutions, resolving distressed financial assets, ensuring adequate provision of liquidity, and expediting bankruptcy proceedings.

Javier Suarez, Enrico Perotti, 07 November 2009

Liquidity risk charges were proposed in February 2009 as a new macro-prudential tool to discourage systemic risk creation by banks. CEPR Policy Insight No. 40 refines this proposal in order to clarify challenging issues surrounding the implementation of liquidity risk charges.

Carmen Reinhart, Vincent Reinhart, 22 August 2009

Developed economies are implementing massive fiscal stimulus packages. Should emerging economies? This column warns them that fiscal multipliers are not certain, financing budget deficits will not be easy, the risk of default looms, and central bank independence may be eroded.

Daniel Gros, Stefano Micossi, Jacopo Carmassi, 13 August 2009

Why is there so much disagreement about the causes of the crisis? This column says that lax monetary policy and excessive leverage are to blame. It argues that many alleged causes are simply symptoms of these policy errors. If that is correct, then the recommended corrective is remarkably simple – there is no need for intrusive regulatory measures constraining non-bank intermediaries and innovative financial instruments.

Donato Masciandaro, María Nieto, Marc Quintyn, 11 August 2009

The impact of the current financial crisis on EU members has introduced a sense of urgency to the coordination/centralization of financial supervision debate. This CEPR Policy Insight on the micro-prudential supervisory framework.

Donato Masciandaro, María Nieto, Marc Quintyn, 11 August 2009

The financial crisis introduced a sense of urgency to the debate on the desirable structure of financial supervision in the EU. This column, which accompanies a new CEPR Policy Insight, provides two policy recommendations. First, policymakers could consider the harmonisation of supervisors´ governance arrangements. Second, consideration should be given to the introduction of a European mandate for national supervisors in order to better align incentives in the EU supervisory framework for micro-prudential supervision.

Zsolt Darvas, 23 July 2009

The crisis has revealed the serious asymmetry of unpunished fiscal profligacy in euro-area member countries and painful austerity in euro-area applicant countries. This column argues that the stakes are now very high and euro-area members ought to change the entry criteria to make them more reasonable.

David Brackfield, Joaquim Oliveira Martins, 11 July 2009

Most narratives of the crisis start with problems in the financial sector that then spilled over into the real economy. This column looks at the real side first and shows that labour productivity growth declined significantly in the years prior to the crisis, particularly in the US construction sector. Financial markets may have failed in that they didn’t detect the deterioration of structural productivity trends in the early 2000s.

Francesco Columba, Wanda Cornacchia, Carmelo Salleo, 01 July 2009

As discussed in the first column in this series, greater leverage and incentives encouraging managers to take excessive risks drove a pro-cyclical new financial accelerator. This column discusses policy options to keep those forces in check.

Francesco Columba, Wanda Cornacchia, Carmelo Salleo, 30 June 2009

The current crisis has made obvious the power of the financial sector to amplify business cycle dynamics. This column, the first half of a series, focuses on how leverage, capital regulation, and managers’ incentives contributed to the crisis.

Daniel Gros, 11 June 2009

Why should the existence of current account “imbalances” provoke the biggest financial crisis in living history? This column says one has to take into account the way current account deficits are financed and how flow imbalances accumulated into large stock disequilibria. It explains the securitisation leading to the crisis as the product of a maturity mismatch between foreign savers seeking short-term assets and excess supply of long-term US mortgage debt.

Con Keating, 02 June 2009

The desire to regulate to avoid repeating this financial crisis is commendable, but this column says that the haste with which new regulations are being promulgated is unnecessary and dangerous. Precursory analysis that is incomplete, incorrect, or inadequate creates substantial potential for unintended consequences. We should take the time to appropriately analyse, design, and implement new regulation.

Nicolas Véron, 30 May 2009

Some blame poor accounting standards for the crisis, and many now place accounting reform atop the global agenda. But the International Accounting Standards Board suffers significant institutional weaknesses, this column argues. While the International Financial Reporting Standards are not doomed to failure, there is significant risk of globally fragmented and divergent accounting standards, which would be a loss for everyone.

Stijn Claessens, M. Ayhan Kose, Marco Terrones, 22 May 2009

Many analysts suggest the economic recovery may have started but others worry that the sorry state of developed countries’ financial systems will prolong the recession. Can economic activity revive absent a recovery in credit and housing markets? This column presents new research suggesting that a “creditless recovery” is possible, but it would likely be slow and shallow.

John Cotter, 19 May 2009

Each economy has suffered a unique variant of the global financial crisis. This column details the perilous situation facing Ireland’s banking and property sectors. It says that the government responded poorly, particularly early in the crisis. Most indicators remain quite negative, though there are glimmers of evidence that the economy may begin to improve.

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