Peter Auer, Raphael Auer, Simon Wehrmüller, 21 November 2008

What is causing the mass US layoffs, decreased demand or more expensive financing? This column presents new research showing that two-thirds of the variation in employment across companies is due to their varying dependence on credit. In short, cheap capital is important for employment.

Joshua Rauh , Luigi Zingales, 19 November 2008

A GM bailout would delay restructuring and ultimately destroy jobs. Restructuring under Chapter 11 is the best solution, but credit market conditions require the US government to provide transitional, “Debtor in Possession” financing. To avoid political interference, the actual lending decisions should be made by a commercial bank with a stake in the outcome

Nicholas Bloom, 18 November 2008

Every economist is predicting a macabre 2009, but no one knows for sure how bad things will get or who will survive. This column, by comparing the current crisis to uncertainty shocks of the last 40 years, predicts GDP growth could be reduced by as much as 4.5%. But, if politicians protect free markets, growth should be back in 2010.

Carmen Reinhart, Vincent Reinhart, 09 May 2010

First posted 17 November 2008, this column's analysis is more relevant than ever. It asks why investors rush to government securities when the US was at the epicentre of the financial crisis? This column attributes the paradox to key emerging market economies’ exchange practices, which require reserves most often invested in US government securities. America’s exorbitant privilege comes with a cost and a responsibility that US policy makers should bear in mind as they address financial reform.

Lasse Pedersen, 15 November 2008

What is liquidity? Why is it at the heart of the crisis? How can we fix it? This column explains it all in terms any trained economist can understand.

Peter Draper, 14 November 2008

This column suggests that South Africa should focus on four broad issues at the coming G20 Summit: supporting global growth, supporting regulatory reform and reconfiguring the IMF, supporting reform of Asian currency management practices, and underlining support for the Doha Round of WTO negotiations.

Richard Portes, 12 November 2008

The financial crisis offers opportunities for reform. This column argues the IMF and Financial Stability Forum should be refocused and beefed up, the G7 scrapped, the G20 reshuffled, and group memberships suited to the issues. On November 15, leaders should agree on principles, rather than getting bogged down in details, and explain their reforms to the public.

Zsolt Darvas, 11 November 2008

Some new EU member states that have not yet adopted the euro have come under much greater pressure during the financial crisis than nations in the euro area. This column says that that does not mean the Maastricht criteria for euro entry ought to be relaxed. New member states suffering in the crisis are paying the price for their policy mistakes.

Arvind Subramanian, 01 November 2008

Financially integrated India has been hit by the financial contagion. This column explains what Indian policymakers need to do in order to restore confidence in the financial system and avoid the risks of easing monetary policies. The time has come for the Reserve Bank of India to use its foreign exchange reserves to inject liquidity into the financial system.

Daniel Gros, Stefano Micossi, 30 October 2008

The euro is plunging and EU banks are coming under renewed pressure. There is a strong demand for ‘European’ bonds as well as a need for massive government capital infusions to prevent the crisis from getting worse in the banking sector and the European periphery. This is why the EU should set up a massive European Financial Stability Fund.

Luc Laeven, 31 October 2008

A new IMF database, which covers the universe of systemic banking crises from 1970 to 2007, shows that the average fiscal cost was about 15% of GDP, or three times the US’s $700 billion. This column points out that quick action often lowers the ultimate cost. Moreover wishful thinking teamed with regulatory forbearance and bank liquidity plans often raises the cost by delaying vital, but politically painful, government action.

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.

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