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External Imbalances and Financial Crises

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  • Alan Taylor

Abstract

Consider two views of the global financial crisis. One view looks across the border: it blames external imbalances, the unprecedented current account deficits and surpluses in recent years. Another view looks within the border: it faults domestic financial systems where risks originated in excessive credit booms. We can use the lens of macroeconomic and financial history to confront these dueling hypotheses with evidence. The credit boom explanation is the most plausible predictor of crises since the late nineteenth century; global imbalances have only a weak correlation with financial distress compared to indicators drawn from the financial system itself.

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  • Alan Taylor, 2013. "External Imbalances and Financial Crises," IMF Working Papers 13/260, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:13/260
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    Cited by:

    1. Leroi RAPUTSOANE, 2015. "Alternative Measures of Credit Extension for Countercyclical Buffer Decisions in South Africa," Turkish Economic Review, KSP Journals, vol. 2(4), pages 210-221, December.
    2. Mikkel Hermansen & Oliver Röhn, 2017. "Economic resilience: The usefulness of early warning indicators in OECD countries," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2016(1), pages 9-35.
    3. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller, 2014. "Growth Policies and Macroeconomic Stability," OECD Economic Policy Papers 8, OECD Publishing.
    4. Claudio Borio & Piti Disyatat, 2015. "Capital flows and the current account: Taking financing (more) seriously," BIS Working Papers 525, Bank for International Settlements.
    5. Kalatie, Simo & Laakkonen, Helinä & Tölö, Eero, 2015. "Indicators used in setting the countercyclical capital buffer," Research Discussion Papers 8/2015, Bank of Finland.
    6. Oliver Röhn & Aida Caldera Sánchez & Mikkel Hermansen & Morten Rasmussen, 2015. "Economic resilience: A new set of vulnerability indicators for OECD countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1249, OECD Publishing.
    7. Colvin, Christopher L. & de Jong, Abe & Fliers, Philip T., 2015. "Predicting the past: Understanding the causes of bank distress in the Netherlands in the 1920s," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 97-121.
    8. Karsten Staehr & Robert Vermeulen, 2016. "How competitiveness shocks affect macroeconomic performance across euro area countries," DNB Working Papers 515, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    9. te Kaat, Daniel Marcel & Dinger, Valeriya, 2015. "Global Imbalances and Bank Risk-Taking," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112866, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Juan Carlos Cuestas & Karsten Staehr, 2015. "The Great Leveraging in the GIIPS Countries: Domestic Credit and Net Foreign Liabilities," Working Papers 2015012, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    11. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller, 2013. "Growth-promoting Policies and Macroeconomic Stability," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1091, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit expansion; Current account; Business cycles; Capital flows; Capital controls; Financial crisis; Financial crises; International finance; United States; financial openness; external imbalances; credit booms; recessions; recession; General; Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance; General; International; or Comparative;

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations

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