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The Global Financial Crisis of 2007-08: Is it Unprecedented?

  • Michael D. Bordo
  • John S. Landon-Lane

This paper compares the recent global crisis and recession to earlier international financial crises and recessions. Based on existing chronologies of banking, currency and debt crises we identify clusters of crises. We use an identification of extreme events and a weighting scheme based on real GDP relative to the U.S. to identify global financial crises since 1880. For banking crises we identify five global ones since 1880: 1890-91, 1907-08, 1913-14, 1931-32, 2007-2008. In terms of global incidence the recent crisis is fourth in ranking and comparable to 1907-08. We also calculate output losses during the recessions associated with global financial crises and again the recent crisis is similar in severity to 1907-08 and is fourth in ranking. On both dimensions the recent crisis is a pale shadow of the Great depression. The relatively mild experience of the recent crisis may reflect institutional and policy learning.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16589.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16589
Note: DAE ME
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  1. Michael D. Bordo & Alberto F. Cavallo & Christopher M. Meissner, 2007. "Sudden Stops: Determinants and Output Effects in the First Era of Globalization, 1880-1913," NBER Working Papers 13489, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lars Jonung & Thomas Hagberg, 2005. "How costly was the crisis of the 1990s? A comparative analysis of the deepest crises in Finland and Sweden over the last 130 years," European Economy - Economic Papers 224, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  3. Luc Laeven & Fabian Valencia, 2010. "Resolution of Banking Crises; The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," IMF Working Papers 10/146, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Marc Flandreau, 1997. "Central Bank Cooperation in Historical Perspective: A Sceptical View," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 50(4), pages 735-763, November.
  5. Michael D. Bordo & Alan M. Taylor & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Introduction to "Globalization in Historical Perspective"," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 1-10 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael D. Bordo & Alan M. Taylor & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Globalization in Historical Perspective," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord03-1, October.
  7. Odell, Kerry A. & Weidenmier, Marc D., 2004. "Real Shock, Monetary Aftershock: The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and the Panic of 1907," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(04), pages 1002-1027, December.
  8. Michael D. Bordo & Anna J. Schwartz, 1998. "Under What Circumstances, Past and Present, Have International Rescues of Countries in Financial Distress Been Successful?," NBER Working Papers 6824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Michael D. Bordo & Thomas F. Helbling, 2010. "International Business Cycle Synchronization in Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 16103, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Michael D. Bordo & Antu Panini Murshid, 2002. "Globalization and Changing Patterns in the International Transmission of Shocks in Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 9019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Don Harding & Adrian Pagan, 2000. "Disecting the Cycle: A Methodological Investigation," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1164, Econometric Society.
  12. Maddison, Angus, 2007. "Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199227204, March.
  13. Christopher M Meissner & Michael D Bordo, 2006. "The Role of Foreign Currency Debt in Financial Crises: 1880-1913 vs. 1972-1997," WEF Working Papers 0001, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
  14. Don Harding & Adrian Pagan, 1999. "Knowing the Cycle," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp1999n12, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  15. 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.
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