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Global Imbalances and the Financial Crisis: Products of Common Causes

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  • Obstfeld, Maurice
  • Rogoff, Kenneth

Abstract

This paper makes a case that the global imbalances of the 2000s and the recent global financial crisis are intimately connected. Both have their origins in economic policies followed in a number of countries in the 2000s and in distortions that influenced the transmission of these policies through U.S. and ultimately through global financial markets. In the U.S., the interaction among the Fed’s monetary stance, global real interest rates, credit market distortions, and financial innovation created the toxic mix of conditions making the U.S. the epicenter of the global financial crisis. Outside the U.S., exchange rate and other economic policies followed by emerging markets such as China contributed to the United States’ ability to borrow cheaply abroad and thereby finance its unsustainable housing bubble.

Suggested Citation

  • Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "Global Imbalances and the Financial Crisis: Products of Common Causes," CEPR Discussion Papers 7606, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7606
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    current account deficit; financial crisis; financial reform; global imbalances; housing bubble;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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