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Puzzling over the Anatomy of Crises: Liquidity and the Veil of Finance

Author

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  • Guillermo Calvo

    (Columbia University and NBER (E-mail: gc2286@columbia.edu))

Abstract

The paper claims that conventional monetary theory obliterates the central role played by media of exchange in the workings and instability of capitalist economies; and that a significant part of the financial system depends on the resiliency of paper currency and liquid assets that have been built on top of it. The resilience of the resulting financial tree is questionable if regulators are not there to adequately trim its branches to keep it from toppling by its own weight or minor wind gusts. The issues raised in the paper are not entirely new but have been ignored in conventional theory. This is very strange because disregard for these key issues has lasted for more than half a century. Are we destined to keep on making the same mistake? The paper argues that a way to prevent that is to understand its roots, and traces them to the Keynes/Hicks tradition. In addition, the paper presents a narrative and some empirical evidence suggesting a key channel from Liquidity Crunch to Sudden Stop, which supports the view that liquidity/credit shocks have been a central factor in recent crises. In addition, the paper claims that liquidity considerations help to explain (a) why a credit boom may precede financial crisis, (b) why capital inflows grow in the run-up of balance-of-payments crises, and (c) why gross flows are pro-cyclical.

Suggested Citation

  • Guillermo Calvo, 2013. "Puzzling over the Anatomy of Crises: Liquidity and the Veil of Finance," IMES Discussion Paper Series 13-E-09, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
  • Handle: RePEc:ime:imedps:13-e-09
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    File URL: http://www.imes.boj.or.jp/research/papers/english/13-E-09.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:sajeco:v:85:y:2017:i:1:p:3-27 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Cavallo, Eduardo & Powell, Andrew & Pedemonte, Mathieu & Tavella, Pilar, 2015. "A new taxonomy of Sudden Stops: Which Sudden Stops should countries be most concerned about?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 47-70.
    3. Haakon Kavli & Nicola Viegi, 2017. "Are Determinants of Portfolio Flows Always the Same? - South African Results from a Time Varying Parameter Var Model," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 85(1), pages 3-27, March.
    4. Agnese, Pablo & Hromcová, Jana, 2015. "Bubble Economics and Structural Change: The Cases of Spain and France Compared," IZA Discussion Papers 8942, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Haakon Kavli and NIcola Viegi, 2015. "Portfolio Flows in a two-country RBC model with financial intermediaries," Working Papers 550, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    6. Cachanosky, Nicolás & Lewin, Peter, 2016. "An empirical application of the EVA® framework to business cycles," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 60-67.
    7. Cachanosky, Nicolas, 2014. "The effects of U.S. monetary policy on Colombia and Panama (2002–2007)," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 428-436.
    8. repec:kap:revaec:v:30:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11138-016-0368-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Andreas Hardhaug Olsen, 2015. "Wilhelm Röpke and Richard C. Koo On Secondary Deflations and Balance Sheet Recessions," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(2), pages 215-224, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial Crises; Bubbles; Sudden Stop;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements

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