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Financial Crash, Commodity Prices, and Global Imbalances

  • Gourinchas, Pierre-Oliver
  • Farhi, Emmanuel
  • Caballero, Ricardo J.

The current financial crisis has its origins in global asset scarcity, which led to large capital flows toward the United States and to the creation of asset bubbles that eventually burst. In its first phase the crash exacerbated the shortage of assets in the world economy, which triggered a partial re-creation of the bubble in commodities markets, and oil markets in particular. This bubble in turn led to an increase in petrodollars seeking financial assets in the United States, which became a source of stability for the U.S. external balance. The second phase of the crisis is more conventional and began to emerge in the summer of 2008, when it became apparent that the financial crisis would permeate the real economy and sharply slow global growth. This slowdown worked to reverse the tight commodity market conditions required for a bubble to develop, ultimately destroying the commodity bubble.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3229095.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Brookings Papers on Economic Activity
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3229095
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  1. Boyan Jovanovic, 2007. "Bubbles in Prices of Exhaustible Resources," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001414, David K. Levine.
  2. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2008. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 358-93, March.
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  7. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2008. "The Effect of Monetary Policy on Real Commodity Prices," NBER Chapters, in: Asset Prices and Monetary Policy, pages 291-333 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi & Filipa Sa, 2005. "International Investors, the U.S. Current Account, and the Dollar," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(1), pages 1-66.
  9. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Krishnamurthy, Arvind, 2006. "Bubbles and capital flow volatility: Causes and risk management," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 35-53, January.
  10. Daniel O. Beltran & Laurie Pounder Demarco & Charles P. Thomas, 2008. "Foreign exposure to asset-backed securities of U.S. origin," International Finance Discussion Papers 939, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Dahl, Carol & Sterner, Thomas, 1991. "Analysing gasoline demand elasticities: a survey," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 203-210, July.
  12. William D. Nordhaus, 1980. "Oil and Economic Performance in industrial Countries," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 11(2), pages 341-400.
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