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Lessons from the 2007 Financial Crisis

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  • Buiter, Willem H

Abstract

The paper studies the causes of the current financial crisis and considers proposals for mitigation and prevention of future crises. The crisis is was the product of a ‘perfect storm’ bringing together a number of microeconomic and macroeconomic pathologies. Among the microeconomic systemic failures were: wanton securitisation, fundamental flaws in the rating agencies’ business model, the procyclical behaviour of leverage in much of the financial system and of the Basel capital adequacy requirements, privately rational but socially inefficient disintermediation, and competitive international de-regulation. Proximate local drivers of the specific way in which these problems manifested themselves were regulatory and supervisory failure in the US home loan market. Among the macroeconomic pathologies that contributed to the crisis were, first, excessive global liquidity creation by key central banks and, second, an ex-ante global saving glut, brought about by the entry of a number of high-saving countries (notably China) into the global economy and a global redistribution of wealth and income towards commodity exporters that also had, at least in the short run, high propensities to save. In the UK, failures of the Tripartite financial stability arrangement between the Treasury the Bank of England and the FSA, weaknesses in the Bank of England’s liquidity management, regulatory failure of the FSA, an inadequate deposit insurance arrangement and deficient insolvency laws for the banking sector contributed to the financial disarray. Despite this, it may well be possible to minimize the spillovers over from the crisis beyond the financial sectors of the industrial countries and the housing sectors of the US and a few European countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6596.

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Date of creation: Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6596

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Related research

Keywords: collateral; financial stability; leverage; liquidity; rating agencies; regulation; securitization;

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Cited by:
  1. Albulescu, Claudiu Tiberiu, 2008. "Central Bank or Single Financial Supervision Authority: The Romanian Case," MPRA Paper 17225, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Jan 2009.
  2. Marc Hayford & Anastasios Malliaris, 2010. "Asset Prices and the Financial Crisis of 2007–09: An Overview of Theories and Policies," Forum for Social Economics, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 279-286, October.
  3. Jack R. Rogers, 2013. "Monetary Transmission to UK Retail Mortgage Rates before and after August 2007," Discussion Papers 1307, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  4. Signorino, Rodolfo, 2010. "Economics in the mirror of the financial crisis," MPRA Paper 39470, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Orlowski, Lucjan T., 2008. "Stages of the 2007/2008 Global Financial Crisis Is There a Wandering Asset-Price Bubble?," Economics Discussion Papers 2008-43, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  6. Ahn, Jung-Hyun & Breton, Régis, 2014. "Securitization, competition and monitoring," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 195-210.
  7. Ines Drumond, 2009. "Bank Capital Requirements, Business Cycle Fluctuations And The Basel Accords: A Synthesis," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(5), pages 798-830, December.
  8. Frédéric Marty, 2008. "Crise des subprimes et finances publiques locales : Le cas des « obligations municipales » américaines," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2008-20, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  9. Eickmeier, Sandra & Hofmann, Boris, 2010. "Monetary policy, housing booms and financial (im)balances," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2010,07, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  10. Willem Buiter, 2008. "Economic, Political, and Institutional Prerequisites for Monetary Union Among the Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 19(5), pages 579-612, November.
  11. Eickmeier, Sandra, 2009. "Analyse der Übertragung US-amerikanischer Schocks auf Deutschland auf Basis eines FAVAR," Working Papers 04/2009, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung.
  12. Michel Aglietta & Sandra Rigot, 2008. "The regulation of hedge funds under the prism of the financial crisis," EconomiX Working Papers 2008-20, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  13. Rötheli, Tobias F., 2010. "Causes of the financial crisis: Risk misperception, policy mistakes, and banks' bounded rationality," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 119-126, April.
  14. Eickmeier, Sandra, 2009. "Analyse der Übertragung US-amerikanischer Schocks auf Deutschland auf Basis eines FAVAR," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,35, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  15. Jiang, John (Xuefeng) & Harris Stanford, Mary & Xie, Yuan, 2012. "Does it matter who pays for bond ratings? Historical evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 607-621.
  16. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Jakob de Haan & Eelco Zandberg, 2009. "Auswirkungen von Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrisen auf die wirtschaftliche Entscheidungsfreiheit," KOF Analysen, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, vol. 3(4), pages 51-64, December.
  17. Lucjan T. Orlowski, 2008. "Stages of the Ongoing Global Financial Crisis: Is There a Wandering Asset Bubble?," IWH Discussion Papers 11, Halle Institute for Economic Research.

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