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Weathering the financial crisis: good policy or good luck?

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  • Stephen Cecchetti
  • Michael R King
  • James Yetman

Abstract

The macroeconomic performance of individual countries varied markedly during the 2007-09 global financial crisis. While China's growth never dipped below 6% and Australia's worst quarter was no growth, the economies of Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom suffered annualised GDP contractions of 5-10% per quarter for five to seven quarters in a row. We exploit this cross-country variation to examine whether a country's macroeconomic performance over this period was the result of pre-crisis policy decisions or just good luck. The answer is a bit of both. Better-performing economies featured a better-capitalised banking sector, lower loan-to-deposit ratios, a current account surplus, high foreign exchange reserves and low levels and growth rates of private sector credit-to-GDP. In other words, sound policy decisions and institutions reduced their vulnerability to the financial crisis. But these economies also featured a low level of financial openness and less exposure to US creditors, suggesting that good luck played a part.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Cecchetti & Michael R King & James Yetman, 2011. "Weathering the financial crisis: good policy or good luck?," BIS Working Papers 351, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:351
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Montoro & Liliana Rojas-Suarez, 2012. "Credit at times of stress: Latin American lessons from the global financial crisis," BIS Working Papers 370, Bank for International Settlements.
    2. Aysun, Uluc & Brady, Ryan & Honig, Adam, 2013. "Financial frictions and the strength of monetary transmission," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1097-1119.
    3. Feldkircher, Martin, 2014. "The determinants of vulnerability to the global financial crisis 2008 to 2009: Credit growth and other sources of risk," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 19-49.
    4. repec:taf:applec:v:49:y:2017:i:8:p:823-843 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Grégory Levieuge, 2017. "Explaining and forecasting bank loans. Good times and crisis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(8), pages 823-843, February.
    6. Jord�, �scar & Richter, Bj�rn & Schularick, Moritz & Taylor, Alan M., 2017. "Bank Capital Redux: Solvency, Liquidity, and Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 11934, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Jan Willem van den End, 2014. "Financial cycles and macroprudential policy," Chapters,in: Financial Cycles and the Real Economy, chapter 17, pages 293-302 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Neville Arjani & Graydon Paulin, 2013. "Lessons from the Financial Crisis: Bank Performance and Regulatory Reform," Discussion Papers 13-4, Bank of Canada.
    9. Carlos Montoro & Liliana Rojas-Suarez, 2012. "Credit in times of stress: lessons from Latin America," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, September.
    10. Aizenman, Joshua & Noy, Ilan, 2013. "Macroeconomic adjustment and the history of crises in open economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 41-58.
    11. Jesús Crespo Cuaresma & Martin Feldkircher, 2012. "Drivers of Output Loss during the 2008–09 Crisis: A Focus on Emerging Europe," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 2, pages 46-64.
    12. Jan Willem Van den End, 2016. "A macroprudential approach to address liquidity risk with the loan-to-deposit ratio," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(3), pages 237-253, February.
    13. Liliana Rojas-Suarez and Carlos Montoro, 2012. "Credit at Times of Stress: Latin American Lessons from the Global Financial Crisis - Working Paper 289," Working Papers 289, Center for Global Development.
    14. Ewald Nowotny & Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald & Peter Backé (ed.), 2014. "Financial Cycles and the Real Economy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15914.
    15. repec:onb:oenbfi:y:2012:i:2:b:3 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Michiel Bijlsma & Ferry Haaijen & Casper van Ewijk, 2014. "Economic growth and funded pension systems," CPB Discussion Paper 279, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    17. Branimir Jovanovic, 2012. "How Policy Actions Affect Short-term Post-crisis Recovery?," CEIS Research Paper 253, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 05 Oct 2012.
    18. Endrész, Marianna & Skudelny, Frauke, 2016. "Crisis severity and the international trade network," Working Paper Series 1971, European Central Bank.
    19. Lillie Lam & James Yetman, 2013. "Asia's Decoupling: Fact, Fairytale or Forecast?," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 321-344, August.
    20. Aysun, Uluc & Hepp, Ralf, 2013. "Identifying the balance sheet and the lending channels of monetary transmission: A loan-level analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2812-2822.
    21. Pablo Federico, 2012. "Developing an Index of Liquidity-Risk Exposure: An Application to Latin American and Caribbean Banking Systems," Research Department Publications 4811, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    22. Lillie Lam & James Yetman, 2013. "Asia’s decoupling: fact, forecast or fiction?," BIS Working Papers 438, Bank for International Settlements.
    23. repec:udt:wpbsdt:2012-03 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Zhang, Lu & Bezemer, Dirk, 2015. "A global house of debt effect? Mortgages and post-crisis recessions in fifty economies," Research Report 15009-GEM, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).

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    Keywords

    financial crisis; principal components;

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