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The East European Financial Crisis

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  • Anders Aslund

Abstract

This paper discusses the global financial crisis of 2008/9 in thirteen countries, the ten new EU members that previously were communist and the three countries of Western former Soviet Union. Their problems were excessive current account deficits and private foreign debt, currency mismatches, and high inflation, while public finances were in good shape. The dominant cause was fixed exchange rates. Many lessons can be drawn from this crisis. A dollar peg makes no sense in this part of the world. The five currency boards in the region have lacked credibility. By contrast, inflation targeting has worked eminently. The euro has proven credible both in the countries that officially adopted it and in the countries that adopted it unilaterally. With the exception of Hungary, all the countries in the region have displayed decent fiscal policies. No government should accept large domestic loans in foreign currency and they can be regulated away. The IMF has successfully returned to the original Washington consensus with relatively few conditions: a reasonable budget balance and a realistic exchange rate policy, while focusing more on bank restructuring. The most controversial issue is the role of the ECB. The ECB should facilitate the accession of willing EU members to the euro by relaxing the ERM II conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Anders Aslund, 2009. "The East European Financial Crisis," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0395, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sec:cnstan:0395
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    File URL: http://www.case-research.eu/upload/publikacja_plik/27584614_CNSA_395_Dec%2017.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sebastian Edwards, 2007. "Capital Controls, Sudden Stops, and Current Account Reversals," NBER Chapters,in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 73-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Sebastian Edwards, 2006. "The Relationship Between Exchange Rates and Inflation Targeting Revisited," NBER Working Papers 12163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    6. Marek Dabrowski, 2006. "Rethinking balance-of-payments constraints in a globalized world," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0330, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    7. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2009. "Financial Instability, Reserves, and Central Bank Swap Lines in the Panic of 2008," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 480-486.
    8. Jean Pisani-Ferry & Adam Posen, . "The euro at ten: the next global currency?," Books, Bruegel, number 303, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Andrea Cornia & Bruno Martorano, 2012. "Development Policies and Income Inequality in Selected Developing Regions, 1980–2010," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 210, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    2. Giovanni Andrea Cornia, 2012. "The New Structuralist Macroeconomics and Income Inequality," Working Papers - Economics wp2012_25.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    3. Richard Connolly, 2010. "The EU Economy: Member States Outside the Euro Area in 2009," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(s1), pages 243-266, September.
    4. Kibritçioğlu, Aykut, 2011. "2006-2011 Küresel Ekonomik Krizinin Bileşenleri ve Karmaşıklığı
      [The Components and Complexity of the Global Economic Crisis of 2006-2011]
      ," MPRA Paper 33515, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 18 Jul 2011.
    5. Richard Pomfret, 2011. "Global Crises, Fiscal Imbalances and Global Instability: Interests and Reactions of Asian Economies," School of Economics Working Papers 2011-33, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.

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