IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/imk/wpaper/11-2009.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Limits of Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis as an Explanation of the Crisis

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas I. Palley

    () (New America Foundation, Washington DC)

Abstract

The financial crisis has been widely interpreted as a Minsky crisis. This paper argues that interpretation is misleading. The processes identified in Minsky's financial instability hypothesis played a critical role in the crisis, but that role was part of a larger economic drama involving the neoliberal growth model. The neoliberal model inaugurated an era of wage stagnation. In place of wage growth spurring demand growth, it relied on borrowing and asset price inflation. That arrangement was always unsustainable but financial innovation and deregulation warded off the model's stagnationist tendencies far longer than expected. These delay mechanisms is where Minsky's financial instability hypothesis enters the narrative. The interpretation of the financial crisis and Great Recession has enormous significance for economic policy. If interpreted as a purely financial crisis, in the spirit of a pure Minsky crisis, the policy implication is simply to fix the financial system. However, there is no need for reform of the real economy because that is not the source of the problem. If instead, the crisis is interpreted through a new Marxist - Structural Keynesian lens the policy implications are deeper and more challenging. Financial sector reform remains needed to deal with the problems of destabilizing speculation and political capture. However, it does not address the root problem which is the neo-liberal growth model. Restoring stable shared prosperity requires replacing the neoliberal model with a new model that restores the link between wage and productivity growth. That will require adoption of a new labor market agenda, re-fashioning globalization, reversing the imbalance between market and government, and restoring the goal of full employment. Financial sector reform without reform of the neoliberal growth model will leave the economy stuck in an era of stagnation. That is because stagnation is the logical next step of the neoliberal model given current conditions. Ironically, financial sector reform alone may worsen stagnation since financial excess was a major driver of the neoliberal model and that driver would be removed.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas I. Palley, 2009. "The Limits of Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis as an Explanation of the Crisis," IMK Working Paper 11-2009, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:imk:wpaper:11-2009
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.boeckler.de/pdf/p_imk_wp_11_2009.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Thomas Palley, 2007. "Asset-based Reserve Requirements: A Response," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 575-578.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Paulo Nakatani & Rémy Herrera, 2013. "Notes sur Keynes et la crise," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13048, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    2. Thomas Goda, 2013. "The role of income inequality in crisis theories and in the subprime crisis," Working Papers PKWP1305, Post Keynesian Economics Study Group (PKSG).
    3. Dünhaupt, Petra, 2016. "Financialization and the crises of capitalism," IPE Working Papers 67/2016, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    4. Jorge Carrera & Esteban Rodríguez & Mariano Sardi, 2015. "Inequality, Financial Deepening and Current Account Impact," Ensayos Económicos, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department, pages 59-102.
    5. Faruk Ülgen, 2014. "Financialized capitalism and the irrelevance of self-regulation : a Minskyian analysis of systemic viability," Post-Print halshs-01111162, HAL.
    6. Sunanda Sen, 2011. "The Global Crisis and the Remedial Actions: A Nonmainstream Perspective," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_677, Levy Economics Institute.
    7. Eckhard Hein & Nina Dodig & Natalia Budyldina, 2014. "Financial, economic and social systems: French Regulation School, Social Structures of Accumulation and Post-Keynesian approaches compared," Working papers wpaper22, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    8. Jorge Carrera & Esteban Rodríguez & Mariano Sardi, 2015. "Inequality, Financial Deepening and Current Account Impact," Ensayos Económicos, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department, pages 59-102.
    9. Iancu, Aurel, 2014. "Financial Instability, Cycles and the Role of Institutions," Working Papers of National Institute of Economic Research 141007, National Institute of Economic Research.
    10. Alberto Russo, 2014. "Elements of Novelty, Known Mechanisms, and the Fundamental Causes of the Recent Crisis," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(3), pages 743-764.
    11. Filip, Bogdan Florin, 2014. "Financial-Monetary Instability Factors within the Framework of the Recent Crisis in Romania," Working Papers of National Institute of Economic Research 141213, National Institute of Economic Research.
    12. Paulo Nakatani & Rémy Herrera, 2013. "Notes sur Keynes et la crise," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00829891, HAL.
    13. Eckhard Hein & Nina Dodig & Natalia Budyldina, 2014. "Financial, economic and social systems: French Regulation School, Social Structures of Accumulation and Post-Keynesian approaches compared," Working papers wpaper22, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    14. Russo, Alberto, 2013. "Financial Fragility and Macroeconomic Instability in a Heterogeneous Interacting Agents Framework," MPRA Paper 46578, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:imk:wpaper:11-2009. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sabine Nemitz). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/imkhbde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.