The Global Financial Crisis
Until Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy in September 2008, the conventional wisdom was that the crisis was the result of problems in the financial sector. However, after the dramatic falls in industrial production in countries such as Japan and Germany starting in the last quarter of 2008, it became clear that the origins of the crisis were deeper. This paper argues that there was an economic crisis that was due to the bursting of a property and stock bubble in the US and a number of other countries. Just as in Japan in the 1990's, this greatly affected the real economy. The problems in the financial system were a symptom rather than a cause, but there was a strong feedback effect into the real economy. The structure of the global financial system and the nature of banking regulation have been severely inadequate. The paper suggests reforms in the structure of the IMF, the governance of central banks and the form of banking regulation.
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