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Financial Instability - a Result of Excess Liquidity or Credit Cycles?

  • Christian Heebøll-Christensen

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

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    This paper compares the financial destabilizing effects of excess liquidity versus credit growth, in relation to house price bubbles and real economic booms. The analysis uses a cointegrated VAR model based on US data from 1987 to 2010, with a particulary focus on the period preceding the global financial crisis. Consistent with monetarist theory, the results suggest a stable money supply-demand relation in the period in question. However, the implied excess liquidity only resulted in financial destabilizing effect after year 2000. Meanwhile, the results also point to persistent cycles of real house prices and leverage, which appear to have been driven by real credit shocks, in accordance with post-Keynesian theories on financial instability. Importantly, however, these mechanisms of credit growth and excess liquidity are found to be closely related. In regards to the global financial crisis, a prolonged credit cycle starting in the mid-1990s - and possibly initiated subprime mortgage innovations - appears to have created a long-run housing bubble. Further fuelled by expansionary monetary policy and excess liquidity, the bubble accelerated in period following the dot-com crash, until it finally burst in 2007.

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    File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/english/research/publications/wp/dp_2011/1121.pdf/
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    Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 11-21.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1121
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    1. Adalid, Ramón & Detken, Carsten, 2007. "Liquidity shocks and asset price boom/bust cycles," Working Paper Series 0732, European Central Bank.
    2. Charles Goodhart & Boris Hofmann, 2008. "House prices, money, credit, and the�macroeconomy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 180-205, spring.
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    5. John B. Carlson & Benjamin D. Keen, 1996. "MZM: a monetary aggregate for the 1990s?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q II, pages 15-23.
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    9. Greiber, Claus & Setzer, Ralph, 2007. "Money and housing: evidence for the euro area and the US," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2007,12, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
    10. Kaufmann, Sylvia & Valderrama, Maria Teresa, 2007. "The role of credit aggregates and asset prices in the transmission mechanism: a comparison between the euro area and the US," Working Paper Series 0816, European Central Bank.
    11. Thomas Helbling & M. Ayhan Kose & Christopher Otrok & Raju Huidrom, 2010. "Do Credit Shocks Matter? A Global Perspective," IMF Working Papers 10/261, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Stefan Gerlach & Wensheng Peng, 2003. "Bank Lending and Property Prices in Hong Kong," Working Papers 122003, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    13. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973, April.
    14. Hyman P. Minsky, 1992. "The Financial Instability Hypothesis," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_74, Levy Economics Institute.
    15. Souphala Chomsisengphet & Anthony Pennington-Cross, 2006. "The evolution of the subprime mortgage market," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 31-56.
    16. Lemke, Wolfgang & Greiber, Claus, 2005. "Money demand and macroeconomic uncertainty," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,26, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
    17. Allan H. Meltzer, 1995. "Monetary, Credit and (Other) Transmission Processes: A Monetarist Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 49-72, Fall.
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