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A Series of Unfortunate Events: Common Sequencing Patterns in Financial Crises

  • Carmen M. Reinhart

We document that the global scope and depth of the crisis the began with the collapse of the subprime mortgage market in the summer of 2007 is unprecedented in the post World War II era and, as such, the most relevant comparison benchmark is the Great Depression (or the Great Contraction, as dubbed by Friedman and Schwartz, 1963) of the 1930s. Some of the similarities between these two global episodes are examined but the analysis of the aftermath of severe financial crises is extended to also include the most severe post-WWII crises as well. As to the causes of these great crises, we focus on those factors that are common across time and geography. We discriminate between root causes of the crises, recurring crises symptoms, and common features (such as misguided financial regulation or inadequate supervision) which serve as amplifiers of the boom-bust cycle. There are recurring temporal patterns in the boom-bust cycle and their broad sequencing is analyzed.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17941.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Carmen M. Reinhart, 2011. "A Series of Unfortunate Events: Common Sequencing Patterns in Financial Crises," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 4, pages 11-36, October-D.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17941
Note: ME
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  1. Tamim Bayoumi, 1990. "Saving-Investment Correlations: Immobile Capital, Government Policy, or Endogenous Behavior?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(2), pages 360-387, June.
  2. 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.
  3. Marc Flandreau & Juan H. Flores & Norbert Gaillard & Sebasti�n Nieto‐Parra, 2010. "The End of Gatekeeping: Underwriters and the Quality of Sovereign Bond Markets, 1815–2007," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 53 - 92.
  4. Diaz-Alejandro, Carlos, 1985. "Good-bye financial repression, hello financial crash," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 1-24.
  5. Bordo, Michael D & Flandreau, Marc, 2001. "Core, Periphery, Exchange Rate Regimes and Globalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 3077, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010. "From Financial Crash to Debt Crisis," NBER Working Papers 15795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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