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Financial Flows, Financial Crises, and Global Imbalances

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  • Obstfeld, Maurice

Abstract

In this lecture I document the proliferation of gross international asset and liability positions and discuss some of the consequences for individual countries’ external adjustment processes and for global financial stability. In light of the rapid growth of gross global financial flows and the serious risks associated with them, one might wonder about the continuing relevance of the net financial flow measured by the current account balance. I argue that global current account imbalances remain an essential target for policy scrutiny, for financial as well as macroeconomic reasons. Nonetheless, it is critically important for policymakers to monitor as well the rapidly evolving structure of global gross assets and liabilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Obstfeld, Maurice, 2011. "Financial Flows, Financial Crises, and Global Imbalances," CEPR Discussion Papers 8611, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8611
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    1. Maurico Obstfeld, 2004. "External adjustment," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 140(4), pages 541-568, December.
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    7. Giavazzi, Francesco & Spaventa, Luigi, 2010. "Why the current account may matter in a monetary union: Lessons from the financial crisis in the Euro area," CEPR Discussion Papers 8008, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Viral V. Acharya & Philipp Schnabl, 2010. "Do Global Banks Spread Global Imbalances? The Case of Asset-Backed Commercial Paper During the Financial Crisis of 2007-09," NBER Working Papers 16079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. Obstfeld, Maurice, 2004. "External Adjustment," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7bw468wx, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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    14. Robert E. Lipsey, 2010. "Measuring The Location Of Production In A World Of Intangible Productive Assets, Fdi, And Intrafirm Trade," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(s1), pages 99-110, June.
    15. Òscar Jordà & Moritz Schularick & Alan M Taylor, 2011. "Financial Crises, Credit Booms, and External Imbalances: 140 Years of Lessons," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 59(2), pages 340-378, June.
    16. Ostry, Jonathan D., 2012. "Managing Capital Flows: What Tools to Use?," Asian Development Review, Asian Development Bank, vol. 29(1), pages 83-89.
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    18. Viral V Acharya & Philipp Schnabl, 2010. "Do Global Banks Spread Global Imbalances? Asset-Backed Commercial Paper during the Financial Crisis of 2007–09," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 58(1), pages 37-73, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    current account balance; financial instability; global imbalances; international asset positions; international financial flows;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration

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