Carmen Reinhart

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pages: 376 words: 109,092

Paper Promises by Philip Coggan

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, paradox of thrift, peak oil, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, tulip mania, value at risk, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

In John Galsworthy’s series of novels, the Forsyte Saga, the elderly family members relied on their income from Consols, a form of perpetual government debt. Britain has not formally defaulted since 1672, although this record does not apply to its European neighbours. In the nineteenth century, for example, the Austro-Hungarian Empire defaulted or rescheduled its debt five times. In their magisterial study of the subject, This Time Is Different,15 Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff describe a cycle of sovereign defaults, with peaks in the Napoleonic Wars, the 1820s through to the 1840s, the 1870s to the 1890s and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Clearly, wars often played their part in this cycle, with defeated nations highly likely to renege on their debts. But economic and banking crises, often associated with the rise and fall of commodity prices, also played a big part.

As Jeremy Grantham of the fund management company GMO has written, ‘Individuals, as well as institutions, were fooled into believing that the market signals were real, that they truly were rich. They acted accordingly, spending too much or saving too little, all the while receiving less than usual from their overpriced holdings.’1 It is not just investors who are fooled. Policymakers can be too. As Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff put it, ‘Debt-fuelled booms all too often provide false affirmation of a government’s policies, a financial institution’s ability to make outsized profits or a country’s standard of living. Most of these booms end badly.’2 FORTY YEARS OF BUBBLES The last forty years of economic history (since the collapse of Bretton Woods) have been remarkable. Not only have they seen an explosion in debt and in money creation, unprecedented swings in exchange rates and the massive growth of the financial sector.

If creditors could be reassured about their rights, they would lend more money and at lower rates. Good debtors, like Britain and the Netherlands, had financial advantages over bad debtors, like eighteenth-century France. Britain’s financial success encouraged other countries to follow its example. But the willingness of countries to follow prudent financial policies proved no more permanent than the willingness of most January revellers to follow their New Year’s resolutions. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff recount that sovereign default has occurred in a number of waves, starting with the Napoleonic Wars.1 In the 1840s cycle, nearly half the countries in the developed world were in default. There was a 1870s to 1890s wave, associated with falling commodity prices, and a 1930s to 1950s phase, linked to the Great Depression and the war. Since the Second World War, the issue of sovereign default has been associated with developing countries.


pages: 249 words: 66,383

House of Debt: How They (And You) Caused the Great Recession, and How We Can Prevent It From Happening Again by Atif Mian, Amir Sufi

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Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Carmen Reinhart, collapse of Lehman Brothers, debt deflation, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, financial innovation, full employment, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, paradox of thrift, quantitative easing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school choice, shareholder value, the payments system, the scientific method, tulip mania, young professional

Lansing, “Global Household Leverage, House Prices, and Consumption,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Letter, January 11, 2010. 15. International Monetary Fund, “Chapter 3: Dealing with Household Debt,” in World Economic Outlook: Growth Resuming, Dangers Remain, April 2012. 16. Mervyn King, “Debt Deflation: Theory and Evidence,” European Economic Review 38 (1994): 419–45. 17. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, “Is the 2007 US Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different?: An International Historical Comparison,” American Economic Review 98 (2008): 339–44. 18. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time Is Different (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009). 19. Oscar Jorda, Moritz Schularick, and Alan M. Taylor, “When Credit Bites Back: Leverage, Business Cycles, and Crisis” (working paper no. 17621, NBER, 2011). 20. The IMF study also confirms this.

This was analogous to the analysis that Glick and Lansing and the IMF researchers gave twenty years later for the Great Recession. Despite focusing on a completely different recession, King found exactly the same relation: Countries with the largest increase in household-debt burdens—Sweden and the United Kingdom, in particular—experienced the largest decline in growth during the recession. Another set of economic downturns we can examine are what economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff call the “big five” postwar banking crises in the developed world: Spain in 1977, Norway in 1987, Finland and Sweden in 1991, and Japan in 1992.17 These recessions were triggered by asset-price collapses that led to massive losses in the banking sector, and all were especially deep downturns with slow recoveries. Reinhart and Rogoff show that all five episodes were preceded by large run-ups in real-estate prices and large increases in the current-account deficits (the amount borrowed by the country as a whole from foreigners) of the countries.

In 2011 Harvard economist and president emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research Martin Feldstein wrote that the “only real solution” to the housing mess was “permanently reducing the mortgage debt hanging over America.”22 Top economists who met with the president and vice president in 2011 said that the president “could have significantly accelerated the slow economic recovery if he had better addressed the overhang of mortgage debt left when housing prices collapsed.”23 In 2011 Carmen Reinhart concluded that “a restructuring of U.S. household debt, including debt forgiveness for low-income Americans, would be most effective in speeding economic growth.”24 Lessons from History There are sound microeconomic and macroeconomic reasons for government intervention to restructure household debt during a levered-losses episode. U.S. policy makers in the past acted to soften the blow on debtors.


pages: 576 words: 105,655

Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Blyth

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency peg, debt deflation, deindustrialization, disintermediation, diversification, en.wikipedia.org, ending welfare as we know it, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Irish property bubble, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, price stability, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, savings glut, short selling, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, too big to fail, unorthodox policies, value at risk, Washington Consensus

In all cases, private-sector weaknesses ended up creating public-sector liabilities that European publics now have to pay for with austerity programs that make the situation worse rather than better. The fiscal crisis in all these countries was the consequence of the financial crisis washing up on their shores, not its cause. To say that it is the cause is to deliberately, and politically, confuse cause and effect. We really should know better. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, no friends of Keynesian policy, note that a banking crisis is followed by a sovereign debt crisis 80 percent of the time.42 Reinhardt and Rogoff stop short of using the word “cause.” However, as Moritz Schularick and Alan Taylor have shown, sovereign debt crises are almost always “credit booms gone bust.”43 They develop in the private sector and end up in the public sector.

But the lessons of the 1920s suggest that this will come to an end by prompting one of the other options: devaluation, inflation, or default. Is there a more stable alternative future path? Yes, there are two, and neither is great, but they are, as Churchill said about democracy, the worst options except for the alternatives. The first path is usually known by the pejorative sobriquet of financial repression. Carmen Reinhart and M. Belen Sbrancia recently discussed this possible path.36 They concluded, by examining episodes of past high indebtedness, that states restructure their financial systems in periods of crisis in such a way as to allow them to create “captive audiences.” Banks, pension funds, and other long-term debt holders are “encouraged” through capital controls, interest-rate ceilings, and other devices to hold a large amount of government bonds.

By that time global oil supplies may have run out, and the last thing we may care about is sovereign debt. 26. “Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2002,” Executive Office of the President of the United States, 224, table S. 2, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BUDGET-2002-BUD/pdf/BUDGET-2002-BUD.pdf. 27. Alberto Alesina, “Tax Cuts vs. ‘Stimulus’: The Evidence Is In,” Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2010, Opinion; Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff “Growth in a Time of Debt,” American Economic Review, 100, 2 (2010): 573–578. 28. Timothy Noah, “Introducing the Great Divergence,” Slate, September 3, 2010, Part of a series entitled “The United States of Inequality,” http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_great_divergence/features/2010/the_united_states_of_inequality/introducing_the_great_divergence.html. 29.


pages: 524 words: 143,993

The Shifts and the Shocks: What We've Learned--And Have Still to Learn--From the Financial Crisis by Martin Wolf

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air freight, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, deglobalization, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market fragmentation, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, open economy, paradox of thrift, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Real Time Gross Settlement, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, very high income, winner-take-all economy

The weakness of private demand within high-income countries has precluded that and, in particular, the loss of creditworthiness by many households. In all, the legacy of the crises includes deep practical challenges to policymaking almost everywhere. As a result of these unexpected economic developments, crisis-hit countries have been forced to struggle with worse fiscal positions than they had previously imagined. As the work of Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, both now at Harvard University, has shown, fiscal crises are a natural concomitant of financial crises, largely because of the impact on government revenue and spending of declining profits and economic activity, together with rising unemployment. These come on top of the direct fiscal costs of bank bailouts.7 As was to be predicted, in the current crisis the biggest adverse fiscal effects were felt in countries that suffered a direct hit from the financial crises, such as the US, the UK, Ireland and Spain, rather than in countries that suffered an indirect hit, via trade.

In fact, it was a pity that a form of ‘sticker shock’ over the scale of the unexpected deficits frightened policymakers into not giving the discretionary fiscal support then needed and, subsequently, as we shall see further below, into premature retrenchment. Nobody should be surprised by the huge fiscal deterioration that followed the crisis. In their seminal book, This Time is Different, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff argue that: ‘Declining revenues and higher expenditures, owing to a combination of bailout costs and higher transfer payments and debt service costs, led to a rapid and marked worsening in the fiscal balance.’48 In fact, they note from an analysis of crises in thirteen countries, the cumulative increase in real public debt was 86 per cent – close to a doubling.49 What happened after 2007 is in line with that prior experience.

According to Alan Taylor of the University of California, Davis, UK GDP was 3 per cent smaller in 2013 than it would have been if the austerity of 2011–13 had been postponed.21 It is interesting to ask why countries that did have a choice to slow fiscal austerity or even expand deficits temporarily did not do so. In the US, austerity was the result of a political stand-off between the two parties. But in the UK it was a deliberate policy.22An influential argument was that the UK had too much public debt, even though the ratio of debt to GDP has remained below its average of the past three centuries. Research by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, both at Harvard University and celebrated as authors of This Time is Different, a justly influential book on financial and fiscal crises, supported the idea that public debt was becoming dangerously high and so that an early shift towards fiscal austerity was both necessary and wise. Thus, in a paper published in 2010, they argued that growth was close to zero when the ratio of public debt to GDP exceeded 90 per cent.23 Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash and Robert Pollin of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have provided a widely noted critique.24 They argue that the paper contained a coding error, data omissions and strange aggregation procedures.


pages: 310 words: 90,817

Paper Money Collapse: The Folly of Elastic Money and the Coming Monetary Breakdown by Detlev S. Schlichter

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bank run, banks create money, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, currency peg, Fractional reserve banking, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, inflation targeting, Kenneth Rogoff, Long Term Capital Management, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, open economy, Ponzi scheme, price discovery process, price mechanism, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, risk tolerance, savings glut, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Y2K

Ben Bernanke, Remarks before the National Economics Club, Washington, DC, Nov. 21, 2002, http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/speeches/2002/20021121/default.htm 2. Carmen M. Reinhart, Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2009), pp. 204–207. 3. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h8/Current/ 4. Federal Reserve Statistical Release H.6 Money Stock Measures, http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h6/hist/ 5. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, http://fraser.stlouisfed.org/publications/ERP/page/7254/download/46604/7254_ERP.pdf 6. Carmen M. Reinhart, Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, p. 207 7. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, St.

Gallarotti, The Anatomy of an International Monetary Regime: The Classical Gold Standard, 1880–1914. 18. For a historian’s account of these events, see Adam Ferguson, When Money Dies (London: Old Street Publishing, 2010/1975). 19. Peter Bernholz, Monetary Regimes and Inflation, p. 8. 20. Carmen M. Reinhart, Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, p. 112. 21. Milton Friedman/Anna Jacobson Schwartz, A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960, pp. 461–493. 22. Quoted from John Laughland, The Tainted Source, p. 41. 23. Carmen M. Reinhart, Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, pp. 204–206. Part Five: BEYOND THE CYCLE Paper Money Collapse Chapter 8 The Beneficiaries of the Paper Money System By now we have fully exposed the disadvantages and dangers of elastic money.

In a system of elastic money, credit cycles are being extended considerably, which means that the price distortions and resource misallocations become much bigger over time. The inevitable consequences of the new infrastructure and policy have become ever more manifest. Since 1971 the decline in the purchasing power of pound and dollar—two of the oldest currencies in the world—has been the steepest in their long history. Debt levels have risen sharply and the financial industry has greatly expanded. As economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff demonstrated in their extensive study of financial crises, the number and intensity of international banking crises has risen markedly since 1971.2 Japan experienced an enormous money-driven housing boom in the 1980s and has still not recovered from the dislocations this created. The United States and Western Europe (with the exception of the Scandinavian countries) have, until recently, escaped major crises.


pages: 183 words: 17,571

Broken Markets: A User's Guide to the Post-Finance Economy by Kevin Mellyn

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banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, disintermediation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Home mortgage interest deduction, index fund, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, lump of labour, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mobile money, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, Real Time Gross Settlement, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Coase, seigniorage, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, the payments system, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, underbanked, Works Progress Administration, yield curve, Yogi Berra

I doubt any of these books will be read or in print a year or two from now. The second category of book involves serious academic research and, at best, the ability to make complex realities simple and interesting. And, unlike the greed-and-corruption literature, they put things in historical context, sometimes centuries. The late Charles Kindleberger was the master in this regard, though for the 2008 crisis This Time Its Different by Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart might represent the gold standard. Certainly the events of the last five years will keep both economists and economic historians busy for generations, as the Great Depression of the 1930s continues to stimulate research and controversy. Like the less substantive financial thrillers, these more serious works tend to leave the “so what?” for the common reader less than clear. The problem with both categories of crisis literature is that they are not, to borrow a term, user friendly.

The good news is that financial repression works in both making high debt levels affordable and in reducing them over time. The bad news is that it massively redistributes wealth from savers and investors to the government. Financial Repression Made Simple In a recent paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), The Liquidation of Government Debt (NBER Working Paper 16893, March 2011) Carmen Reinhart and M. Belen Sbrancia make the case that between 1945 and the 1970s, almost all advanced countries practiced “a subtle type of debt restructuring,” financial repression, to achieve “sharp and rapid” reduction of public debt as a portion of their economies. Financial repression has three key pillars: • First, governments directly or indirectly set interest rates that are below what the market would set.

Under the terms of the current, somewhat naïve political debate, free-market advocates say that getting government off the back of business will allow us to grow our way out from beneath the debt overhang. The “progressive” view is that debt per se is not a problem if taxes are raised on the 1 percent, although they already carry 40 percent or more of the tax burden. As with many such political standoffs, everybody is wrong. The odds of the US economy growing out of our debt overhang are extremely long if past experience is any guide. Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff studied centuries of financial crises—read their indispensible This Time Is Different (Princeton University Press, 2009) for the full picture—and found that public debt levels began to impede economic growth when they moved above 90 percent of GDP. The mean growth drag was 1 percent, and a 1 percent drag on GDP makes a huge difference in the size of an economy over time. To say that we are going to grow our way out of debt when debt is already a significant drag is a bit of a stretch.The old tried-and-true nostrum of tax cuts only accelerates the debt expansion in the short run, though fundamental tax system reform to broaden the base could actually increase revenue and accelerate debt reduction.


pages: 361 words: 97,787

The Curse of Cash by Kenneth S Rogoff

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Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cashless society, central bank independence, cryptocurrency, debt deflation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, ethereum blockchain, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial intermediation, financial repression, forward guidance, frictionless, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, informal economy, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, moveable type in China, New Economic Geography, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, payday loans, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, RFID, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, The Great Moderation, the payments system, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, unconventional monetary instruments, underbanked, unorthodox policies, Y2K, yield curve

Gordon, argue that the root cause of post–financial crisis slow global growth is a sharp trend drop in the rate at which productivity is increasing, due above all to a declining rate of economically valuable inventions. Others, led by my colleague Lawrence Summers, argue that there has been a secular decline in global aggregate demand. Personally, I think it is hard to reach any definitive conclusion on where long-run growth is headed, especially since slow growth periods almost invariably follow deep systemic financial crises (as documented in my 2009 book with Carmen Reinhart).4 Even if real interest rates eventually do rise a couple of percentage points to more normal levels, it is now clear that they can sometimes be very low or even negative for sustained periods. Indeed, it is sobering to realize that Japan’s financial crisis began back in the early 1990s, and yet the country is still struggling with the zero bound two decades later. Exactly how bad is it for an economy to have monetary policy constrained by the zero bound on policy interest rates?

Ben Bernanke has argued forcefully that the right remedy for dealing with debt buildups is so-called macroprudential regulation, for example, putting limits on loan-to-value ratios in housing loans.4 But this is easier said than done. After many years of a long boom, there are strong political economy pressures on regulators to ease up on markets that seem to be doing just fine. Yet it is exactly toward the end of long booms that risks start becoming the greatest, as Carmen Reinhart and I emphasize in our 2009 book on eight centuries of financial crises.5 Beyond that, crafting good financial regulation is not easy, and there will inevitably be important omissions, especially as the private sector will constantly be looking for weak links. The case for using interest rate policy to lean against the wind of a debt-fueled asset-price bubble was perhaps made most eloquently by former Fed governor Jeremy Stein, who said that, unlike macroprudential policy, interest rate policy gets in the “cracks” of the financial system.

Finance and Economics Discussion Series Working Study 1 (March). Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, Washington, DC. Porter, Richard D., and Ruth A. Judson. 1996. “The Location of US Currency: How Much Is Abroad?” Federal Reserve Bulletin, October. Washington, DC. Reifschneider, David L., and John C. Williams. 2000. “Three Lessons for Monetary Policy in a Low-Inflation Era.” Journal of Money, Credit and Banking 32 (4): 936–66. Reinhart, Carmen M., Vincent Reinhart, and Kenneth S. Rogoff. 2015. “Dealing with Debt.” Journal of International Economics 96, suppl. 1 (July): S43–S55. Reinhart, Carmen M., and Kenneth S. Rogoff. 2002. “The Modern History of Exchange Rate Arrangements: A Reinterpretation.” NBER Working Paper 8963 (June). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. ———. 2004. “The Modern History of Exchange Rate Arrangements: A Reinterpretation.”


pages: 356 words: 103,944

The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy by Dani Rodrik

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, frictionless, frictionless market, full employment, George Akerlof, guest worker program, Hernando de Soto, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, microcredit, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, night-watchman state, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, open economy, price stability, profit maximization, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, savings glut, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, tulip mania, Washington Consensus, World Values Survey

Interest rates shoot up, the currency collapses, firms face a credit crunch, and domestic demand contracts, typically aggravated by tight fiscal policies aimed at restoring “market confidence.” By the time it’s all over, the economy will have forfeited, on average, around 20 percent of its GDP.30 None of this should have come as a real surprise. Whenever capital has been free to move around the world, it has produced what the economic historian Charles Kindleberger has memorably called “manias, panics and crashes.”31 Recent research by Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff has quantified what had long been obvious to economic historians. These two economists painstakingly sifted through the historical record to identify every single important instance of banking crisis since 1800. When they superimposed their results on the historic trajectory of capital mobility, they discovered that the two series lined up almost perfectly. As they put it, “Periods of high international capital mobility have repeatedly produced international banking crises, not only famously as they did in the 1990s, but historically.”32 Perhaps increased volatility and crises are the price that the world economy paid for improved financial discipline.

For example, when the European economics network VoxEU.org solicited advice from leading economists on how to address the frailties of the global financial system in the wake of the 2008 crisis, the proposed solutions often took the form of tighter international rules administered by some kind of technocracy: an international bankruptcy court, a world financial organization, an international bank charter, an international lender of last resort, and so on.2 Jeffrey Garten, under secretary of commerce for international trade in the Clinton administration, has long called for the establishment of a global central bank.3 Economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff have proposed an international financial regulator. These proposals may seem like the naive ruminations of economists who don’t understand politics, but in fact they are often based on an explicit political motive. When Reinhart and Rogoff argue for an international financial regulator, their goal is as much to fix a political failure as it is to address economic spillovers across nations; perhaps the political motive even takes precedence over the economic one.

This was the first time that a major policy maker from the United States or Britain, the two leading centers of global finance, has come out in favor of the tax. 28 Luc Leaven and Fabian Valencia, “Systemic Bank Crises: A New Database,” International Monetary Fund, Working Paper WP/08/224, September 2008. 29 Guillermo A. Calvo, “Explaining Sudden Stops, Growth Collapse and BOP Crises: The Case of Distortionary Output Taxes,” in his Emerging Capital Markets in Turmoil: Bad Luck or Bad Policy? (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005). 30 Laeven and Fabian, “Systemic Bank Crises,” p. 25. 31 Charles P. Kindleberger, Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises (New York: Basic Books, 1989). 32 Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, “This Time Is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises,” Unpublished paper, Harvard University, April 16, 2008, p. 7 (http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/ rogoff/files/This_Time_Is_Different.pdf). 33 Research at the IMF has shown that the volatility of consumption in the developing economies rose under financial globalization—M. Ayhan Kose, Eswar S.


pages: 543 words: 147,357

Them And Us: Politics, Greed And Inequality - Why We Need A Fair Society by Will Hutton

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Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, cloud computing, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, debt deflation, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, discovery of the americas, discrete time, diversification, double helix, Edward Glaeser, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, railway mania, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, unpaid internship, value at risk, Washington Consensus, working poor, éminence grise

The country is not prepared for, and does not understand, the degree of swingeing reduction that the coalition government plans. The international environment, plagued by sovereign debt crises and growing assertive national self-interest, is hardly a source of comfort. These are difficult times. Britain is going to be much poorer than it anticipated just a few years ago. Two American economists, Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff, have assessed the aftermath of credit explosions and financial crashes in sixty-seven countries. They paint a sober picture of prolonged loss of output, high unemployment and depressed asset prices, and warn that there is no precedent for what happens after the kind of global crisis through which we have just lived.1 Earlier, I cited Andrew Haldane’s estimates of cumulative lost output, which had a best-case scenario of £1.4 trillion.

Equally problematic is determining a sustainable level of public debt, which is certain to rise to maintain economic activity in almost every country as private debt starts to fall. Most countries can handle public debt up to 90 per cent of GDP; above that level, the ratio of debt service to any reasonable level of tax receipts as a share of GDP starts to nudge above 10 per cent, which causes problems for most states over time. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff say that once ratios of public debt to GDP exceed 90 per cent, median growth rates fall by 1 per cent a year, but there is no association between growth and public debt below 90 per cent.5 Indeed, if rising public debt is associated with an increase in capital investment, it can even stimulate growth rates. In sum, the current levels of private debt, especially in Britain and Japan, are testing the limits of potential sustainability.

See also Julia Jones, Piyamas Nanork and Benjamin Oldroyd (2007) ‘The Role of Genetic Diversity in Nest Cooling in a Wild Honey Bee, Apis florea’, Journal of Comparative Physiology a-Neuroethology Sensory Neural and Behavioral Physiology 193 (2): 159–65. 55 Dean Amel, Colleen Barnes, Fabio Panetta and Carmelo Salleo (2004) ‘Consolidation and Efficiency in the Financial Sector: A Review of the International Evidence’, Journal of Banking and Finance 28: 2493–519. 56 ACT Response to the Turner Review of Banking Regulation, at http://www.treasurers.org/reviewbankingregulation/actresponse/0609. 57 Peter Boone and Simon Johnson, ‘Bernanke on Banking’, Economix, 19 October 2009, at http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/bernankeon-banking/. 58 Manmohan Singh (2010) ‘Collateral, Netting and Systemic Risk in the OTC Derivatives Market’, IMF Working Paper No. 10/99. 59 Michael Lewis (2010) The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, Allen Lane. Chapter Eight: The £5 Trillion Mistake 1 Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff (2010) This Time is Different, Princeton University Press. 2 HM Treasury (2009) Pre-Budget Report 2009: Securing the Recovery: Growth and Opportunity, HMSO. See also Martin Wolf, ‘Britain’s Dismal Choice: Sharing the Losses’, Financial Times, 15 December 2009, at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f693b6a4-e9af-11de-9f1f-00144feab49a,s01=1.html. 3 OECD (2009) OECD Factbook, OECD, with Treasury figures and estimates for 2008 and 2009. 4 Robert Chote, Carl Emmerson and Jonathan Shaw (eds) (2010) The Institute for Fiscal Studies Green Budget, IFS. 5 Francesco Guerrera, ‘Welch Denounces Corporate Obsessions’, Financial Times, 13 March 2009, at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3ca8ec2e-0f70-11de-ba10-0000779fd2ac.html. 6 Max Hastings, ‘The End of Britain’s Long Weekend’, Financial Times, 20 December 2009, at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1e9f7cdc-ed8e-11de-ba12-00144feab49a.html. 7 Internal Cabinet Office analysis. 8 Chris Giles, ‘Manufacturing Fades under Labour’, Financial Times, 2 December 2009, at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f32a3392-df7a-11de-98ca-00144feab49a.html. 9 Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse (1911) Liberalism, at socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/ugcm/3ll3/hobhouse/liberalism.pdf. 10 Buffett, Gates and Simon are all cited in Gar Alperovitz and Lew Daly (2008) Unjust Deserts: How the Rich Are Taking Our Common Inheritance and Why We Should Take It Back, The New Press. 11 Antonio Afonso, Ludger Schuknecht and Vito Tanzi (2005) ‘Public Sector Efficiency: An International Comparison’, Public Choice 123 (3–4): 321–47.


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The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System by James Rickards

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, complexity theory, computer age, credit crunch, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, jitney, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Lao Tzu, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market design, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, risk-adjusted returns, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, working-age population, yield curve

the relationship of U.S. debt and deficits . . . : John H. Makin, “Trillion-Dollar Deficits Are Sustainable for Now, Unfortunately,” American Enterprise Institute, December 13, 2012, http://www.aei.org/outloook/trillion-dollar-deficits-are-sustainable-for-now-unfortunately. Contrary to the oft-cited . . . : Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, “Growth in a Time of Debt,” National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper no. 15639, January 2010, http://www.nber.org/papers/w15639. “The Liquidation of Government Debt”: Carmen M. Reinhart and M. Belen Sbrancia, “The Liquidation of Government Debt,” National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper no. 16893, March 2011, http://www.nber.org/papers/w16893. “A . . . reason why forward guidance may be needed . . .”: Michael Woodford, “Methods of Policy Accommodation at the Interest-Rate Lower Bound,” paper presented at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Symposium, Jackson Hole, Wyo., August 31, 2012, p. 6, emphasis in the original, http://www.kc.frb.org/publicat/sympos/2012/mw.pdf.

Plugging these actual numbers into the PDS framework results in: (2.5 + 1) – 1.5 < 4, or 2 < 4 In this example, real growth plus inflation minus interest expense is less than the primary deficit, which means that debt as a percentage of GDP is increasing. This is the unsustainable condition. Again, what matters in this model is not the level but the trend, as played out in the dynamics of the BRITS and their interactions. Contrary to the oft-cited Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff thesis, the absolute level of debt to GDP is not what triggers a crisis; it is the trend toward unsustainability. One beauty of PDS is that the math is simple. Starting with the identity as 2 < 4 means that to achieve sustainability, either the 2 must go up, the 4 must go down, or both. Real growth in the United States today is stuck at 2.5 percent, partly due to policy uncertainty.

For example, a nominal 2 percent interest rate with 3 percent inflation produces a real interest rate of negative 1 percent. In normal markets, bond buyers would demand higher interest rates to offset inflation, but these are not normal markets. The bond market may want higher nominal rates, but the Fed won’t permit it. The Fed enforces negative real rates through financial repression. The theory of financial repression was explained incisively by Carmen Reinhart and M. Belen Sbrancia in their 2011 paper “The Liquidation of Government Debt.” The key to financial repression is the use of law and policy to prevent interest rates from exceeding the rate of inflation. This strategy can be carried out in many different ways. In the 1950s and 1960s it was done through bank regulation that made it illegal for banks to pay more than a stated amount on savings deposits.


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13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown by Simon Johnson, James Kwak

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Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyman Minsky, income per capita, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit maximization, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sovereign wealth fund, The Myth of the Rational Market, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, yield curve

Quoted in Wessel, In Fed We Trust, supra note 3, at 14, 16. 23. Quoted in Sorkin, Too Big to Fail, supra note 2, at 336. 24. Quoted in Wessel, In Fed We Trust, supra note 3, at 23. 25. Sorkin, Too Big to Fail, supra note 2, at 2. 26. Troubled Asset Relief Program Office of the Special Inspector General, Quarterly Report to Congress, April 21, 2009. 27. See Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, “Is the 2007 U.S. Subprime Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison,” American Economic Review 98 (2008): 339–44; and Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, “The Aftermath of Financial Crises” (paper presented at the meetings of the American Economic Association, January 3, 2009), available at http://www.aeaweb.org/annual_mtg_papers/2009/retrieve.php?pdfid=140. 28. Thomas Hoenig, “Troubled Banks Must Be Allowed a Way to Fail,” Financial Times, May 3, 2009, available at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/46e2f784–380b-11de-9211–00144feabdc0.html.

In January 2008, just as the economy was tipping into recession, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that, by the end of 2018, U.S. government debt would fall to $5.1 trillion, or 22.6 percent of GDP. Surveying the wreckage in August 2009, the CBO projected that debt at the end of 2018 would rise to $13.6 trillion, or 67.0 percent of GDP—a difference of $8.5 trillion.78 This should come as no surprise; Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff have shown that, on average, modern banking crises lead to an 86 percent increase in government debt over the three years following the crisis.79 The financial crisis and the government’s emergency response also increased the likelihood of two bleak scenarios. First, the enormous amount of liquidity that the Federal Reserve poured into the economy created the long-term potential for high inflation; if the Fed cannot “mop up” that liquidity when the economy recovers, all that excess money could make dollars less valuable, driving up prices.

Deficit for 2009 is from Congressional Budget Office, Budget Projections, available at http://cbo.gov/budget/budproj.shtml; historical deficit figures are from Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals/. 78. Congressional Budget Office, The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2008 to 2018, January 2008, available at http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/89xx/doc8917/01–23–2008_BudgetOutlook.pdf; Congressional Budget Office, The Budget and Economic Outlook: An Update, August 2009, available at http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/105xx/doc10521/08–25-BudgetUpdate.pdf. 79. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), 231–32. 80. Maura Reynolds and Janet Hook, “Critics Say Bush Is Not Doing Enough,” Los Angeles Times, March 18, 2008, available at http://articles.latimes.com/2008/mar/18/nation/na-bush18; cited in Sorkin, Too Big to Fail, supra note 2, at 38. 81. “Executive Compensation: Vikram S.


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War and Gold: A Five-Hundred-Year History of Empires, Adventures, and Debt by Kwasi Kwarteng

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Atahualpa, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, California gold rush, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Etonian, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, German hyperinflation, hiring and firing, income inequality, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, market bubble, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, new economy, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, quantitative easing, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, War on Poverty, Yom Kippur War

Certainly by the end of that century, as a consequence of the highly conspicuous examples of French and American revolutionary finance, paper money was associated principally with indebtedness. Such eighteenth-century luminaries as Edmund Burke, Thomas Jefferson and David Hume were all fervent in their denunciations of paper money. Today government debt and deficits are arguably the greatest challenge facing the developed economies of the world. In a widely cited book, This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff analysed the nature of government indebtedness over 800 years of ‘financial folly’. Debt crises have been punctuating world history for centuries, as governments continued to spend beyond their resources. This is the theme of Reinhart and Rogoff’s work.6 My book implicitly argues a rather different case. Britain during the nineteenth century and the United States for much of the twentieth century sustained a remarkable degree of fiscal equilibrium, largely backed by a commitment to ‘hard money’, to the gold standard.

The Greek crisis began, as a market crisis, in October 2009, but its origins lay in the decade preceding that unhappy month. As George Papandreou swept into power after the elections of 4 October 2009, he promised a new beginning. Behind the optimism and the vague and cloudy phrases lay the reality of 200 years of Greek financial history. ‘From 1800 to well after World War II, Greece found itself virtually in continual default,’ noted Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff in their important history of financial crises, This Time is Different.40 Such a history would perhaps have disqualified Greece automatically from ever being considered as a full participant in the euro. But it became such a participant, because political considerations were paramount in the promotion of the European single currency; economics played only a minor part. The Greek panic began when Papandreou, to discredit his political rivals, the nominally centre-right New Democracy, soon after taking office revealed that the budget deficit had reached 12.5 per cent in 2009.

Williamson, ‘The Price of Gold, 1257–2011’, MeasuringWorth, 2012, http://www.measuringworth.com/gold Total world gold stock: ‘Thomson Reuters GFMS Historic Gold Stock’, in James Turk, The Aboveground Gold Stock: Its Importance and Its Size, GoldMoney Foundation, http://www.goldmoney.com/documents/goldmoney-gold-stock.xls Notes Introduction 1John Maynard Keynes, ‘Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren’, in Essays in Persuasion, London, 1972 (1st edn 1931), p. 323. 2Joseph Schumpeter, The Crisis of the Tax State, Vienna, 1919. 3F. W. Maitland, Domesday Book and Beyond, Cambridge, 1907, p. 9. 4Ian Fleming, Goldfinger, London, 1959. 5Philip Coggan, Paper Promises: Money, Debt and the New World Order, London, 2011, p. 3. 6Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton, 2009. 7B. R. Mitchell, British Historical Statistics, Cambridge, 1988, pp. 601–3. 8Niall Ferguson, The Cash Nexus, London, 2001, p. 126. 9A. J. P. Taylor, The Origins of the Second World War, London, 1961, p. 25. 10John Maynard Keynes, General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, London, 2007 (1st edn 1936), p. 383. 11Peer Vries, Public Finance in China and Britain in the Long Eighteenth Century, London School of Economics, Working Papers no. 167/12, London, August 2012, p. 17. 12John Kenneth Galbraith, Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went, 2nd edn, London, 1995 (1st edn 1975), pp. 3–4.


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Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science by Dani Rodrik

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airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, butterfly effect, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, distributed generation, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, fudge factor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, loss aversion, low skilled workers, market design, market fundamentalism, minimum wage unemployment, oil shock, open economy, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, South Sea Bubble, spectrum auction, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, ultimatum game, University of East Anglia, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, white flight

If government can be a force for good and intervene effectively, at least occasionally, then some kind of industrial policy should be favored. If instead government is hopelessly corrupt, industrial policy will likely make things worse. Note how, in this case, research has pushed the disagreement onto a domain—public administration—in which economists have no particular expertise. Models, Authority, and Hierarchy Two well-known economists, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, published a paper in 2010 that would become fodder in a political battle with high stakes.18 The paper appeared to show that public-debt levels above 90 percent of GDP significantly impede economic growth. Conservative US politicians and European Union officials latched on to this work to justify their ongoing call for fiscal austerity. Even though Reinhart and Rogoff’s interpretation of their results was considerably more cautious, the paper became exhibit A in the fiscal conservatives’ case for reducing public spending despite the economic downturn.

Andrew Weiss, Efficiency Wages: Models of Unemployment, Layoffs, and Wage Dispersion (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990). 16. Itzhak Gilboa, Andrew Postlewaite, Larry Samuelson, and David Schmeidler, “Economic Models as Analogies” (unpublished paper, January 27, 2013), 6–7. 17. See, for example, my online debate for the Economist magazine with Harvard Business School professor Josh Lerner, July 12–17, 2010, http://www.economist.com/debate/debates/overview/177. 18. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, Growth in a Time of Debt, NBER Working Paper 15639 (Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2010). 19. Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash, and Robert Pollin, “Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff” (Amherst: University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Political Economy Research Institute, April 15, 2013). 20.


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The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma

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3D printing, Asian financial crisis, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business climate, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, colonial rule, Commodity Super-Cycle, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency peg, dark matter, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, moral hazard, New Economic Geography, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working-age population

* I focused only on large economies because the current account in smaller ones can swing sharply with one big investment from abroad, skewing the results. Large is defined as an economy representing at least 0.2 percent of global GDP, which in 2015 would be an economy of more than $150 billion. † I say “of some kind” because this definition includes banking, currency, inflation, or debt crises as defined by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. Data on these kinds of crises is available for 34 of the 40 cases, and 31 of them, or 91 percent, suffered at least one of these crises. ‡ The revival of savings is demonstrated, in technical terms, by the global correlation between domestic savings and domestic investment, which fell from 0.8 in 1980 to −0.1 in 2007 and has since climbed back up to 0.7. 9 THE KISS OF DEBT Is debt growing faster or slower than the economy?

† By 2015, I should note, some private financial industry researchers were publishing pieces on the connection between credit binges and slower economic growth, including “Untangling China’s Credit Conundrum” from Goldman Sachs that January and “Keeping a Wary Eye on the EM Credit Cycle” by JP Morgan that November. ‡ In most of these cases, GDP growth was strong during the five-year period when credit was growing dangerously fast, so credit growth was the main reason the credit/GDP ratio was rising § Here I use financial crisis to mean a banking crisis as defined by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff in This Time Is Different (2009), which captures bank runs that force a government to close, merge, bail out, or take over one or more financial institutions. ¶ In twenty-six of the thirty cases, the average annual rate of growth fell over the next five years. The other four—Malaysia, Uruguay, Finland, and Norway—experienced a serious contraction in the economy, but the recovery came soon enough to lift the average rate of growth for the next five years

VTB Capital, November 20, 2014. Harvey, Oliver, and Robin Winkler. “Dark Matter: The Hidden Capital Flows That Drive G10 Exchange Rates.” Deutsche Bank Markets Research, March 6, 2015). Hyman, Ed. “Bond Yields Up But S&P Advances.” Evercore ISI, February 18, 2015. “Is That a Kleptocrat in Your Balance of Payments?” Financial Times Alphaville, March 10, 2015. Kaminsky, Graciela, Saul Lizondo, and Carmen Reinhart. “Leading Indicators of Currency Crises.” International Monetary Fund, 1998. Keohane, David. “China, When a Hot Money Outflow Threatens to Become a Torrent.” Financial Times Alphaville, May 13, 2015. Lowther, Ed. “A Short History of the Pound.” BBC News, February 14, 2014. “NRIs Sent Home $65 Billion in Past Six Months:Lord Swraj Paul.” Press Trust of India, April 22, 2015. “Pushing the Limits of International Trade Policy.”


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Expected Returns: An Investor's Guide to Harvesting Market Rewards by Antti Ilmanen

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Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, backtesting, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, commodity trading advisor, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, debt deflation, deglobalization, delta neutral, demand response, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, dividend-yielding stocks, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, framing effect, frictionless, frictionless market, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, Google Earth, high net worth, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, income inequality, incomplete markets, index fund, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, law of one price, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market friction, market fundamentalism, market microstructure, mental accounting, merger arbitrage, mittelstand, moral hazard, New Journalism, oil shock, p-value, passive investing, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price stability, principal–agent problem, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, riskless arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, savings glut, Sharpe ratio, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, stochastic volatility, systematic trading, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, value at risk, volatility arbitrage, volatility smile, working-age population, Y2K, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

The main drivers of pre-industrial European inflation were demographics (population expansions boosted demand and caused food and energy prices to rise) and wars (debt monetization was an alternative to debt default). Figure 17.4. Sustained inflation only became pervasive in the 20th century: Median inflation rate (5-year moving average) for all countries, 1500–2010. Sources: Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff (2008), “This time is different: A panoramic view of eight centuries of financial crises,” NBER working paper 13882, March 2008. Carmen M. Reinhart (2010), “This time is different chartbook: Country histories on debt, default, and financial crises,” NBER working paper 15815. Reproduced by permission of Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff. During the gold standard (Britain adopted it in 1717, other developed countries in the 19th century), inflations and deflations took turns with no persistence, and long-run inflation expectations were likely near zero most of the time.

Some quip that the riskless return in Treasuries has morphed into a returnless risk. After a quarter-century when bearing duration risk was amply rewarded, Treasuries may provide neither safety nor performance in the coming decade. Figure 27.6. Global perspective on inflation and external default histories. Source: Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff (2008), “This time is different: A panoramic view of eight centuries of financial crises,” NBER working paper 13882. Reproduced by permission of Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff. Figure 27.7. Sovereign CDS spreads, July 2007–July 2010. Source: Bloomberg. Finally, the last innings of the debt supercycle may arrive even before the demographic costs balloon. Market participants are turning their focus on the magnitude of the fiscal problem just when G7 economies face extraordinary borrowing needs and sharply rising debt/GDP ratios.

Most exhibits display total returns denominated in U.S. dollars; but some exhibits show real (inflation-adjusted) returns or excess returns over cash or over maturity/duration-matched Treasuries. I especially thank Elroy Dimson, Paul Marsh, and Mike Staunton for the use of their 110-year-long return histories and Robert Arnott for even older data used in Arnott–Bernstein (2002). I am grateful to Michael Afreh (Nomura), Andrew Ang, David Blitz (Robeco), Giuliano de Rossi (UBS), Eric Falkenstein, Kenneth Froot, Robin Greenwood, Campbell Harvey, Sharon Kozicki, Carmen Reinhart, Matti Suominen, Arthur Warga, and Mungo Wilson for sending me some of their research data. I also thank Professors Kenneth French, Morris Davis, Amit Goyal, Lubos Pastor, Robert Shiller, Stephen Wilcox, and Jeffrey Wurgler for data available on their websites. Finally, a few graphs are directly extracted from other works, as credited below them: Figures 9.8 Rosenberg–Maurer, 17.4 Reinhart–Rogoff, 18.1 Hasbrouck, 18.2 Naes–Skjeltorp–Odegaard, 19.7 Buraschi–Kosowski–Trojani, 19.9 Frazzini–Pedersen, 27.6 Reinhart–Rogoff.


pages: 353 words: 98,267

The Price of Everything: And the Hidden Logic of Value by Eduardo Porter

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Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Credit Default Swap, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Glaeser, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, happiness index / gross national happiness, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, means of production, Menlo Park, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, new economy, New Urbanism, pension reform, Peter Singer: altruism, pets.com, placebo effect, price discrimination, price stability, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, ultimatum game, unpaid internship, urban planning, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, young professional

Financing an unknown foreigner to sail the unknown deep in three cockleshell boats in the hope of discovering a mythical Zipangu cannot, by the wildest exercise of language be called a ‘conservative investment.’” What’s more, whatever we do to prevent financial turmoil, we must acknowledge an important limitation: we are unlikely to stamp out bubbles and crashes entirely. Financial crises spawned by investment surges, credit booms, and asset bubbles appear to be a standard feature of the landscape of capitalism. Economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff found that of the world’s sixty-six major economies—including developed nations and the largest developing countries—only Portugal, Austria, the Netherlands, and Belgium had avoided a banking crisis between 1945 and 2007. By the end of 2008 no country was unscathed. Every time investors become enthusiastic about some new investment proposition, they assure us that this time will be different.

Lansing, “Speculative Growth, Overreaction, and the Welfare Cost of Technology-Driven Bubbles,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper, August 2009 (www.frbsf.org/publications/economics/papers/2008/wp08-08bk.pdf, accessed 08/08/2010); and James Edward Meeker, The Work of the Stock Exchange (New York: The Ronald Press Company, 1922), p. 419. The tally of countries that have escaped banking crises is by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, “Banking Crises: An Equal Opportunity Menace,” NBER Working Paper, December 2008. 236-239 What Rationality?: Eugene Fama’s quote is in Douglas Clement, “Interview with Eugene Fama,” The Region, Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota, December 2007. Keynes’s quote is in John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1965), p. 161.


pages: 391 words: 97,018

Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline . . . And the Rise of a New Economy by Daniel Gross

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset-backed security, Bakken shale, banking crisis, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demand response, Donald Trump, Frederick Winslow Taylor, high net worth, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, illegal immigration, index fund, intermodal, inventory management, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk tolerance, risk/return, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, Wall-E, Yogi Berra, Zipcar

The weight of history suggested that the United States, overextended and debt-ridden, was likely to suffer the same fate in the early twenty-first century that befell the British Empire in the mid-twentieth. “It’s not a thousand years that separates imperial zenith from imperial oblivion,” he said in a May 2010 speech. “It’s really a very, very short ride from the top to the bottom.”1 Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, economists who data-mined history in This Time Is Different, a comprehensive look at financial debacles going back to the 1300s, arrived at a similar conclusion. Centuries worth of data on finance-induced crises suggest the United States won’t be bouncing back any time soon, they concluded. The moment Barack Obama was sworn in as president, a wave of economic declinism swamped the political right.

These recessions were unusually shallow too, with 1.49 and 0.62 percent declines in output from peak to trough, respectively.7 The only contraction worse than the one we just lived through was the Great Depression, a forty-three-month doozy that ran from August 1929 to March 1933. Our balance sheets, bank accounts, egos, and psyches simply weren’t prepared for the depth and degree of shrinkage. Or for the slowness of the recovery. As Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart document in This Time Is Different, not all recessions are created equal. Economies recover relatively quickly from downturns that are natural outcomes of the business cycle. Having produced too much or too exuberantly, companies idle capacity until inventories are worked down, and then reopen factories when demand rises again. By contrast, contractions precipitated by financial crises last longer, are slower to dissipate, and can retard economic growth for a decade.

Blindside: How to Anticipate Forcing Events and Wild Cards in Global Politics by Francis Fukuyama

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Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive bias, cuban missile crisis, energy security, flex fuel, income per capita, informal economy, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Norbert Wiener, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, packet switching, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Yom Kippur War

What investors did not see in 1997 was the connection between the banking problems and the dollar leveraging. In 1983–85, devaluation did not set the stage for a wave of bankruptcies, so before the crisis hit in 1997 this remained the expectation of most observers. In retrospect, the analysis that came closest to predicting the dynamics of the East Asian crisis was a March 1996 U.S. Federal Reserve report by Carmen Reinhart and Graciela Kaminsky on banking crises and balance-of-payment problems.5 The paper examined the history of financial crises in several countries, looking specifically at the link between banking problems and the exchange rate. After reviewing the experience of several countries, Reinhart and Kaminsky found a pattern in which countries deregulated their financial systems and experienced a surge of lending that produced credit-quality problems.

“Key Judgments from October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate,” Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, presented at background briefing by a senior administration official, released by the White House (July 18, 2003). Chapter Five 1. Paul Krugman, “The Myth of Asia’s Miracle,” Foreign Affairs (November/December, 1994). 2. Jim Walker, Credit Lyonnais Securities. 3. Simon Ogus and Danny Truell, “The Myth of Asian Growth” (London: SBC Warburg, June 1996). 4. UN report. 5. Graciela L. Kaminsky and Carmen M. Reinhart, “The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems,” International Finance Discussion Papers 544 (Washington: Federal Reserve System, March 1996). Chapter Six 1. Carlotta Perez, Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital (Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar, 2002). See also Robert D. Atkinson, The Past and Future of America’s Economy—Long Waves of Innovation That Power Cycles of Growth (Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar 2004). 2.


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European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain

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3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar

Along with Alesina’s claptrap, another flawed economic study that was influential with eurozone policymakers, notably European Commission fiscal enforcer Olli Rehn, purported to show that the economy grinds to a halt once public debt exceeds 90 per cent of GDP.202 Since government debt in the eurozone as a whole was nearing that apparent threshold in 2010 – and had exceeded it in several countries – this appeared to warrant immediate, front-loaded austerity.203 But the “findings” in the paper published in January 2010 by Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff were always dubious – and they were later discredited.204 Reinhart and Rogoff found that high public debt was associated with slow growth but did not establish that the former caused the latter. While high debt may lead to slow growth, it is more plausible that slow growth leads to high debt, and that a third factor may determine both. That is obvious in Europe today: in both Spain and Britain, for example, the recession caused public debts to soar, rather than public debts causing the recession.

In fact, the lurch towards austerity plunged the economy into deep recession, punching a hole in both banks’ balance sheets and the government’s. “Stability Programme for Spain, 2011–2014” http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/nrp/sp_spain_en.pdf 200 http://www.cnbc.com/id/38987325/Austerity_Equals_Confidence_Trichet 201 http://www.ecb.int/pub/pdf/annrep/ar2010annualaccounts_en.pdf 202 For example, in a speech to the Council of Foreign Relations in Brussels on 1 June 2011, Olli Rehn said "Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff have coined the ‘90 per cent rule’, that is, countries with public debt exceeding 90 per cent of annual economic output grow more slowly. High debt levels can crowd out economic activity and entrepreneurial dynamism, and thus hamper growth. This conclusion is particularly relevant at a time when debt levels in Europe are now approaching the 90% threshold, which the US has already passed." http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-11-407_en.htm Even in February 2013, when the devastating consequences of austerity were apparent, Rehn wrote to EU finance ministers stating that "it is widely acknowledged, based on serious academic research, that when public debt levels rise above 90 per cent they tend to have a negative impact on economic dynamism, which translates into low growth for many years.

This conclusion is particularly relevant at a time when debt levels in Europe are now approaching the 90% threshold, which the US has already passed." http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-11-407_en.htm Even in February 2013, when the devastating consequences of austerity were apparent, Rehn wrote to EU finance ministers stating that "it is widely acknowledged, based on serious academic research, that when public debt levels rise above 90 per cent they tend to have a negative impact on economic dynamism, which translates into low growth for many years. That is why consistent and carefully calibrated fiscal consolidation remains necessary in Europe.” http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/rehn/documents/cab20130213_en.pdf 203 Eurostat, general government consolidated gross debt. Code: tsieb090. In the eurozone as a whole this was 85.4 per cent of GDP in 2010, 87.3 per cent in 2011 and 90.6 per cent in 2012. 204 Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, "Growth in a Time of Debt", NBER working paper 15639, January 2010 205 http://www.nextnewdeal.net/rortybomb/guest-post-reinhartrogoff-and-growth-time-debt 206 A point eloquently made by Adam Posen here: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a6d94b02-a774-11e2-9fbe-00144feabdc0.html 207 Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash and Robert Pollin, "Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth?


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Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles by Ruchir Sharma

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3D printing, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American energy revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, cloud computing, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, eurozone crisis, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, informal economy, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, land reform, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population

Since 2008 total debt has risen from 115 to 170 percent of GDP, and the richer that China gets the less likely it is to be hard on itself. The growing ties between nations over the last decade have made every one of them less inclined to allow their trade partners to go under. For all the current discussion about debt defaults, stemming from the crisis in Greece, the reality is that default has largely disappeared from the international economic scene. In their book, This Time Is Different, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff chart how surprisingly commonplace default used to be: In a typical year between the 1920s and 2003, nations representing at least 5 to 10 percent of global income were in default, and that proportion spiked up to 40 percent during the Depression and World War II, and close to 15 percent in the late 1980s. But since 2003, when the synchronized global boom began, the share of defaulting nations has dropped from 5 percent in any year to zero.

Since the crisis of 2008, most Americans have grown accustomed to gloom. The high debt burden is indeed weighing on the long-term U.S. growth rate, which is widely believed to have fallen from 3.4 percent between 1950 and 2007 to 2 percent, which is slower than during the recovery phase of most postwar recessions. There is a widespread sense that America has lost its mojo. In a recent paper, however, Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff point out that the relevant comparison is not previous U.S. recessions but the very different case of systemic financial crises. These are much more traumatic and rare, and by this standard the United States is recovering lost per capita output faster than it did following previous systemic crises, from the meltdown of 1873 through the Great Depression, and faster than most Western nations following the systemic crisis of 2008.


pages: 515 words: 132,295

Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar

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3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, bank run, Basel III, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vanguard fund

On top of this, it’s quantitatively increasing market volatility and risk of the sort that wiped out $16 trillion in household wealth during the Great Recession.59 Evidence shows that the number of wealth-destroying financial crises has risen in tandem with financial sector growth over the last several decades. In their book This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, academics Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff describe how the proportion of the world affected by banking crises (weighed by countries’ share of global GDP) rose from some 7.5 percent in 1971 to 11 percent in 1980 and to 32 percent in 2007.60 And economist Robert Aliber, in updating one of the seminal books on financial bubbles, the late Charles Kindleberger’s Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises, issued a grave warning in 2005, well before the 2008 meltdown: “The conclusion is unmistakable that financial failure has been more extensive and pervasive in the last thirty years than in any previous period.”61 This is a startling illustration of how finance has transitioned from an industry that encourages healthy risk taking to one that simply creates debt and spreads unproductive risk in the market system as a whole.

I must also thank the many other important people who gave their valuable time to sit for interviews and share their thoughts—among them are Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Sherrod Brown, Gary Gensler, Damon Silvers, Warren Buffett, Jack Bogle, Andy Haldane, Lord Adair Turner, Richard Trumka, William Lazonick, Mike Konczal, Nell Abernathy, Felicia Wong, Anat Admati, Gerald Davis, Stephen Cecchetti, James Galbraith, Edmund Phelps, Wallace Turbeville, Thomas Hoenig, Charles Morris, Joe Nocera, Charles Ferguson, Bob Lutz, Lisa Donner, Rebecca Henderson, Margaret Heffernan, Andrew Lo, Dominic Barton, Nitin Nohria, Rakesh Khurana, Emanuel Derman, Mark Bertolini, Andrew Smithers, Lynn Stout, Sam Palmisano, Greg Smith, Joseph Blasi, David Rothkopf, Ken Miller, Marc Fasteau, Robert R. Locke, Ruchir Sharma, Gautam Mukunda, Saule Omarova, Eileen Appelbaum, and Sherle Schwenninger. Thanks also to the many academics and policy thinkers whose research I relied heavily on, including but not limited to: Greta Krippner, Moritz Schularick, Alan M. Taylor, Robin Greenwood, David Scharfstein, Raghuram G. Rajan, Carmen Reinhart, Ken Rogoff, Thomas Philippon, Robert Atkinson, J. W. Mason, Luigi Zingales, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman, Jeff Madrick, George Akerlof, Robert Shiller, John Coates, Karen Ho, Enisse Kharroubi, Claudia Goldin, Lawrence Katz, David Graeber, Charles Calomiris, Stephen H. Haber, Allan H. Meltzer, Robert Reich, Alan Blinder, John Asker, Joan Farre-Mensa, Alexander Ljungqvist, Kimberly Krawiec, Thomas Ferguson, Gerald Epstein, Michael Spence, Sarah Edelman, Monique Morrissey, Mariana Mazzucato, Atif Mian, and Amir Sufi.

Greenwood and Scharfstein, “The Growth of Finance,” 1. 18. Turner, Between Debt and the Devil. See also Atif Mian and Amir Sufi, House of Debt: How They (and You) Caused the Great Recession and How We Can Prevent It from Happening Again (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014). 19. Raghuram G. Rajan, Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010), 21. 20. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009). 21. McKinsey Global Institute, “Debt and (Not Much) Deleveraging,” February 2015, 98–99. 22. Greenwood and Scharfstein, “The Growth of Finance,” 21. 23. Financial efficiency is defined here as the amount of money and engagement that finance provides to Main Street, rather than to the capital markets themselves. 24.


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The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Gini coefficient, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, naked short selling, Naomi Klein, Negawatt, new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private military company, quantitative easing, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, short selling, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade liberalization, tulip mania, working poor

Some economists may define this technically as a recovering and growing economy, but it certainly is not a healthy one. Moreover, much of this apparent growth has come about because of enormous injections of stimulus and bailout money from the Federal government. Subtract those, and the GDP growth of the past year or so almost disappears. On the basis of historical analysis of previous financial crises, economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff conclude that the economic crisis of 2008 will have “. . .deep and lasting effects on asset prices, output and employment. Unemployment rises and housing price declines extend out for five and six years, respectively. On the encouraging side, output declines last only two years on average. Even recessions sparked by financial crises do eventually end, albeit almost invariably accompanied by massive increases in government debt....

During the 20th century, global growth averaged about 3 percent per annum. See Stephen Broadberry et al., “British Economic Growth, 1270–1870,” University of Warwick, UK, published online December 6, 2010. 7. “GDP United States (Recent History),” Data360.org, data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=353&page=3&count=100. 8. “‘Great Recession’ Over, Research Group Says,” msnbc.msn.com, posted September 20, 2010. 9. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, “The Aftermath of Financial Crises,” (presented at the meeting of the American Economic Association, San Francisco, CA, January 3, 2009). 10. In philosophy this is called the problem of induction. One cannot infer that a series of events will happen in the future just as they have in past. For example, if all the swans I’ve ever seen are white, I may conclude that all swans are white.

James Galbraith, “Why We Don’t Need to Pay Down the National Debt.” The Atlantic, 9/21/2010theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/09/why-we-dont-need-to-pay-down-the-national-debt/63273. 17. For a perspective on why US government debt may not face limits anytime soon, as long as the economy returns to growth, see James K. Galbraith, “Casting Light on ‘The Moment of Truth,’” The Huffington Post, posted December 3, 2010. 18. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2009). 19. See Paul Krugman, “The burden of debt,” New Y Times. 4/28/2009. krugman.blogs. nytimes.com/2009/08/28/the-burden-of-debt/; Daniel Berger, “The Deficit: Size Doesn’t Matter” (2009). Roosevelt Institute. rooseveltinstitute.org/new-roosevelt/deficit-size-doesn-t-matter. 20.


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The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse by Mohamed A. El-Erian

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Airbnb, balance sheet recession, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, currency peg, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, financial repression, Flash crash, forward guidance, friendly fire, full employment, future of work, Hyman Minsky, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, income inequality, inflation targeting, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Khan Academy, liquidity trap, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, oil shale / tar sands, price stability, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, yield curve

They avoided talking about debt reduction despite the fact that their emergency liquidity support to highly indebted countries was associated with growth rates that consistently undershot their own expectations and projections. And they underestimated the societal and political implications of a prolonged period of economic underperformance and financial insecurity. The harmful consequences have been material. As Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff have noted, because the advanced economies have not been able to also use other options, such as debt restructuring and conversions, which were used in the 1930s, they have been undermined by a “forgotten lesson.”6 It is high time to change this. 4. GETTING THE ARCHITECTURE RIGHT (OR, AT LEAST, LESS WRONG) A. EUROPE Finally, there is the issue of the regional and global architecture.

Michael Spence, “Five Reasons for Slow Growth,” Project Syndicate, September 29, 2014, http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/slow-economic-growth-reasons-by-michael-spence-2014-12. 4. “The Fund’s Lending Framework and Sovereign Debt,” International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C., June 2014, http://www.imf.org/external/np/pp/eng/2014/052214a.pdf. 5. See, for example, “Debt Relief Under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative,” IMF Factsheet, Washington, D.C., September 2014, https://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/hipc.htm. 6. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, “Financial and Sovereign Debt Crises: Some Lessons Learned and Those Forgotten,” IMF Working Paper, WP/13/266, December 2013, https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2013/wp13266.pdf. 7. “Bleak Words and Difficult Homework from the IMF,” Financial Times, October 5, 2014, http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/53516aec-4af6-11e4-b1be-00144feab7de.html. 8. Mohamed A. El-Erian, “The New Isolationism: Why the World’s Richest Countries Can’t Work Together,” Atlantic, September 3, 2013, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/09/the-new-isolationism-why-the-worlds-richest-countries-cant-work-together/279282/.


pages: 268 words: 74,724

Who Needs the Fed?: What Taylor Swift, Uber, and Robots Tell Us About Money, Credit, and Why We Should Abolish America's Central Bank by John Tamny

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Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, Carmen Reinhart, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, NetJets, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Uber for X, War on Poverty, yield curve

FDR and Morgenthau had nicknamed him “Old Pink Whiskers.” It did not matter what the Federal Reserve said.1 In 1933, FDR made the decision to devalue the dollar from 1/20th of an ounce of gold to 1/35th of an ounce.2 Forgetting the lesson of the early 1920s, when the integrity of the dollar was maintained, Roosevelt devalued the dollar and thereby marked the first time the United States defaulted on its debt. As Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff describe in This Time Is Different (2009), “The abrogation of the gold clause in the United States in 1933, which meant that public debts would be repaid in fiat currency rather than gold, constitutes a restricting of nearly all the government’s domestic debt.”3 With the United States heavily in debt thanks to spending that was logically failing to stimulate the economy, FDR reduced the value of the dollars being returned to holders of U.S. debt.

Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/profile/taylor-swift/. 2. Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson, 43. 3. John Balassi and Josie Cox, “Apple Wows Market with Record $17 Billion Bond Deal,” Reuters, April 30, 2013. 4. Smith, Dead Bank Walking, 163. 5. Ibid. CHAPTER TWENTY 1. Amity Shlaes, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression (New York: HarperCollins, 2007), 147. My emphasis. 2. Lewis, Gold: The Once and Future Money. 3. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2009). 4. Thiel, Zero to One, 44. 5. Shlaes, Forgotten Man, 148. 6. Eric Rauchway, The Money Makers: How Roosevelt and Keynes Ended the Depression, Defeated Facism, and Secured a Prosperous Peace (New York: Basic Books, 2015). 7. Steil, Battle of Bretton Woods, 177. 8.


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The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot

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active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, Bonfire of the Vanities, Broken windows theory, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, centre right, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Doha Development Round, epigenetics, financial independence, future of work, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Kenneth Rogoff, Kibera, labour market flexibility, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, New Urbanism, obamacare, paradox of thrift, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, road to serfdom, Simon Kuznets, Socratic dialogue, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, The Spirit Level, trickle-down economics, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working poor

As so often, what should be an informed debate about evidence is a none-too-veiled contest about prior political beliefs, or short-term low-level politics. It is difficult for a non-economist to penetrate the argument and form an independent judgement. It can be noted that the intellectual case for austerity has suffered a couple of recent blows. Austerians have cited, among others, the Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, who set out to show that when national debt climbs above 90 per cent of GDP, economic growth slows.30 They showed it, except that a graduate student checking their figures found elementary errors that cast considerable doubt on their conclusions.31 Second, the IMF, which arguably has wreaked great havoc globally with its universal prescription to cut government spending, has published new estimates that austerity has a bigger effect on slowing economic growth than it used to think.32 In Britain, the Office of Budget Responsibility says that it subscribes to the widely held assumption that fiscal contraction damages growth.

The second piece of background, more relevant to globalisation and health, is that Iceland had suffered a catastrophic economic meltdown in 2008. It had gone from being a well-organised society based on fishing and huge supplies of geothermal energy – hence aluminium smelting – to housing three private banks that represented everyone’s worst nightmare of what reckless cowboys can do when let loose on the global economy. In Chapter 6, I referred to the debate around the work of Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff who showed that when national debt climbs above 90 per cent of GDP, economic growth slows.2,3 At its peak, Iceland’s debt was 850 per cent of GDP! Icelandic banks bought assets round the world, as though all curves go ever upwards without a day of reckoning. The butterfly that flapped its wings might have been the collapse of sub-prime mortgages in the USA, but it caused a hurricane in Iceland and, predictably, the castles in the air were reduced to rubble.


pages: 662 words: 180,546

Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown by Philip Mirowski

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Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, constrained optimization, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, full employment, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, incomplete markets, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, loose coupling, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market design, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, precariat, prediction markets, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, random walk, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, school choice, sealed-bid auction, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Myth of the Rational Market, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, working poor

Yet the nightmare cast its shroud in the guise of a contagion of a deer-in-the-headlights paralysis: beyond their pretense of expertise, no one who fancied themselves opposed to neoliberal decadence really possessed solid convictions concerning where the intellectual failure behind the crisis should have been well and truly situated. They seemed united by nothing more than a vague disaffection from the status quo in economics. And worse, while the authorities dithered, the Ghoulish Creatures of the Right had gotten back up, dusted themselves off, and discovered renewed strength. Economists such as Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart had the audacity to stand up at INET and treat the contemporary world crisis as just another ho-hum business cycle: nothing untoward or unprecedented had happened here. Thus doctrines concocted at the American Enterprise Institute and the Cato Institute began their slow seepage back into respectability. The INET crowd kept trying to wake up from—what?—neoclassical microeconomics, rational expectations, the efficient markets hypothesis, Black-Scholes, the Coase theorem, faux-Keynesian macroeconomics, optimality, public choice theory, baroque fiduciary mathematics, the end of history—what exactly?

Team Regulation often has quipped a quick one-liner justification for its prescription: there were no financial crises (often left unstated: in the United States) from the 1940s to the mid-1980s; therefore, all we need do is reset all the dials back to that Golden Era. In subscribing to this notion, the left unconsciously accepts the key notion of the populist right and the neoclassical orthodoxy, that “nothing is substantially different between then and now.” Markets are timeless entities with timeless laws, they insist. Indeed, this is the identical premise of some of the most popular crisis books of the last few years, from Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart’s This Time Is Different to David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5,000 Years.24 Yet that is precisely where the polemical divergence should originate on the left. Things are profoundly different about the economy, the society, and in the global political arena than they were during the Cold War: some recent neoliberal innovations have lent the current crisis its special bitter tang; understanding precisely how and where they are different is a necessary first step in developing a blueprint for a better world.

., Agreement on Demand: Consumer Theory in the 20th Century (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2006). Roberts, David. Victorian Origins of the British Welfare State (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960). Robin, Corey. The Reactionary Mind (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). Robison, Richard. The Neoliberal Revolution: Forging the Market State (London: Palgrave, 2006). Rogoff, Kenneth, and Carmen Reinhart. This Time Is Different (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009). Roncaglia, Alessandro. Why Economists Got It Wrong: The Crisis and Its Cultural Roots (London: Anthem, 2010). Rose, Nikolas. Inventing Our Selves: Psychology, Power and Personhood (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1996). Rose, Nikolas. “The Neurochemical Self and Its Anomalies,” in R. Ericson, ed., Risk and Morality (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003), pp. 407–37.


pages: 267 words: 71,123

End This Depression Now! by Paul Krugman

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airline deregulation, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, debt deflation, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gordon Gekko, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, mortgage debt, paradox of thrift, price stability, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Upton Sinclair, We are the 99%, working poor, Works Progress Administration

So here was another area where policy utterly failed to rise to the occasion. The Road Not Taken Historically, financial crises have typically been followed by prolonged economic slumps, and U.S. experience since 2007 has been no different. Indeed, U.S. numbers on unemployment and growth have been remarkably close to the historical average for countries experiencing these kinds of problems. Just as the crisis was gathering momentum, Carmen Reinhart, of the Peterson Institute of International Economics, and Kenneth Rogoff, of Harvard, published a history of financial crises with the ironic title This Time Is Different (because in reality it never is). Their research led readers to expect a protracted period of high unemployment, and as the story unfolded, Rogoff would note that America was experiencing a “garden-variety severe financial crisis.”


pages: 280 words: 79,029

Smart Money: How High-Stakes Financial Innovation Is Reshaping Our WorldÑFor the Better by Andrew Palmer

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, bank run, banking crisis, Black-Scholes formula, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edmond Halley, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, family office, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, income inequality, index fund, Innovator's Dilemma, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, Northern Rock, obamacare, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, transaction costs, Tunguska event, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Vanguard fund, web application

If anything, it weakens it, because it underlines that the real problem with finance lies not on the front line of innovation but in the journey that products take from idea to established market. 2. From Breakthrough to Meltdown The previous chapter described how breakthroughs in finance have helped to propel enterprise and realize ambitions throughout human history. But anyone who seeks to defend the industry must also recognize how often, and how badly, it goes wrong. In This Time Is Different, their excellent survey of debt crises across the centuries, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff analyze episodes of banking crises. Such meltdowns are depressingly common in both developed and emerging economies: Britain, America, and France have experienced twelve, thirteen, and fifteen episodes of banking crisis, respectively, since 1800, for example.1 The first bailout in the United States happened way back in 1792, when a bubble and then a slump in the price of the country’s federal debt helped spark widespread panic.

Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day by John H. Johnson

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Black Swan, business intelligence, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, obamacare, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, randomized controlled trial, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Reagan, statistical model, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tim Cook: Apple, wikimedia commons, Yogi Berra

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) F allows foods with less than half a gram of fat per serving to still be called “­fat-​­free.” So, if you eat more than one serving of a few “­fat-​­free” foods per day, you could easily be consuming a few grams of fat.27 n Tough ­cell—​­It was, as Bloomberg Business called it, “the Excel Error that Changed History.”28 Two Harvard University ­economists—​ ­Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth ­Rogoff—​­ended up in the headlines for all the wrong reasons when they made a spreadsheet mistake in a paper that examined the effects of government debt on economic growth. n 221158 i-xiv 1-210 r4ga.indd  97 2/8/16  5:58:50 PM 98 E V E R Y D ATA They forgot to include five rows in one of their calculations, which made a key result turn out to be ‑0.1 percent instead of +0.2 percent.


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After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead by Alan S. Blinder

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, double entry bookkeeping, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, financial innovation, fixed income, friendly fire, full employment, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, McMansion, moral hazard, naked short selling, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, the payments system, time value of money, too big to fail, working-age population, yield curve, Yogi Berra

Greece probably would soon have experienced an export boom, led by tourism, and the Greek recession might have ended right there. Instead, the euro kept Greece expensive, and antiausterity riots scared tourists away. The third critical difference between the United States and Europe is perhaps too obvious to state: They had to deal with Greece; we didn’t. The Greek situation is, if you’ll pardon the Latin, sui generis. Greece has a dismal fiscal history. Economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff found that Greece has been in default on its public debt roughly 50 percent of the time since gaining independence in the 1830s! More recently, Greece’s budget deficits were large before the crisis and huge thereafter. The Greeks also turn out to be pretty poor tax collectors—some would say they hardly try. And while the government doesn’t collect taxes very well, it does keep lots of workers on its payroll—people who expect to be paid and to retire young.

.), 58 causes of, 58–59 and credit default swaps (CDS), 65–68, 131–32 and credit-rating agencies, 80–81 and derivatives, 60–64 and efficient markets hypothesis, 64–65 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), 58 and Glass-Steagall repeal, 266–67 Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OTS), 57–58 and political pressure, 59 and shadow banking system, 59–64 and structured investment vehicles (SIVs), 57 and subprime mortgages, 58–59 Reid, Harry, 183–84, 226 Reinhart, Carmen, 413 Reinhart, Vincent, 110, 113 Republicans anticonsumer protection, 312 anti-Dodd-Frank Act, 306, 317–18 anti-Keynesian, 211, 235–36, 350–51 antistimulus, 225–28, 234, 351, 393–94 anti-TARP, 192–93 backlash by, areas of, 346–53 blood sport, engaging in, 439, 441 congressional gains (2010), 347–48 Obama bipartisan goals with, 220, 227 populist movement. See Tea Party Repurchase agreements (repos) risk of, 53 in shadow banking system, 60 Reserve Primary Fund, break the buck redemptions, 143–44 Risk of default.

Investment: A History by Norton Reamer, Jesse Downing

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Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, backtesting, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Brownian motion, buttonwood tree, California gold rush, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, colonial rule, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, equity premium, estate planning, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial innovation, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, index fund, interest rate swap, invention of the telegraph, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, land tenure, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, margin call, means of production, Menlo Park, merger arbitrage, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Own Your Own Home, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, statistical arbitrage, technology bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, underbanked, Vanguard fund, working poor, yield curve

To use the vernacular, the financial crisis was “right up there with the best of them”; nevertheless, the economic impact, while severe, was clearly contained. Given the still novel nature of many of the monetary responses and the almost accidental nature of some, but not all, of the fiscal support, it is unfortunate that a significant number of Americans seem to have drawn incorrect interpretations of the efficacy of what was done as well as the intended purpose. Not surprisingly, in view of the research published by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, the recovery has been slow and not extraordinarily dynamic. Through an exhaustive historical compilation of past economic crises, Reinhart and Rogoff seem to have established that a serious recession accompanied by a financial crisis normally results in a slow, drawn-out recovery.50 In fact, that is what the United States appears to have experienced since 2009. The more important lesson to be learned is that there is a place for activist monetary and fiscal policy in the face of severe economic crises, and there is evidence that the primary focus of the activist policies undertaken by the Fed and both the Bush and Obama administrations was on stabilizing employment.

Stewart, “Volcker Rule, Once Simple, Now Boggles,” New York Times, October 21, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/22 /business/volcker-rule-grows-from-simple-to-complex.html. Ibid.; Dan Kedmey, “2 Years and 900 Pages Later, the Volcker Rule Gets the Green Light,” TIME.com, December 11, 2013, http://business.time .com/2013/12/11/2-years-and-900-pages-later-the-volcker-rule-gets -the-green-light. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011), xliv–xlv and 238–239. 7. THE EMERGENCE OF INVESTMENT THEORY 1. Jean-Michel Courtault et al., “Louis Bachelier on the Centenary of Théorie de la Spéculation,” Mathematical Finance 10, no. 3 (July 2000): 342–343. 370 7. The Emergence of Investment Theory 2.


pages: 488 words: 144,145

Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream by R. Christopher Whalen

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Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, California gold rush, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, conceptual framework, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, debt deflation, falling living standards, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global reserve currency, housing crisis, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, non-tariff barriers, oil shock, payday loans, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, women in the workforce

“Instead, every such loan has been subjected to major currency devaluation, rolled over, suspended, rescheduled, or otherwise restructured, repudiated, reduced, cancelled, or forgiven. The more drastic steps, leading to eventual, partial or complete cancelation of debt have been surprisingly frequent.”39 The views of researchers such as Walker Todd and Gerry O’Driscoll on foreign lending are confirmed in the more recent work of Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time it is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly. The book is another monumental research effort in the fine tradition of Freidman and Schwartz’s Monetary History of the United States and Allan Meltzer’s updates of that work, albeit focused on the foreign debt component of the economic story. Reinhart and Rogoff nicely document the fact that foreign lending between sovereign states or private parties has always been problematic, but in the post-WWII era the fiscal and external imbalances of the United States have become the key factor.


pages: 350 words: 103,270

The Devil's Derivatives: The Untold Story of the Slick Traders and Hapless Regulators Who Almost Blew Up Wall Street . . . And Are Ready to Do It Again by Nicholas Dunbar

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asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, bonus culture, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delayed gratification, diversification, Edmond Halley, facts on the ground, financial innovation, fixed income, George Akerlof, implied volatility, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, price mechanism, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, statistical model, The Chicago School, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, Vanguard fund, yield curve

Together with a plan to “stress test” EU banks (following in the footsteps of the United States, which had performed a similar exercise a year before), the measures only temporarily arrested the contagion. By the end of 2010, Ireland was forced into using the new facility, with Portugal anticipated to follow suit. The creeping malaise caused by too much debt was never going to be easy to fix. What was clear by the end of summer 2010 was that a crisis forged in the workshops of investment bank financial innovators had metamorphosed into a crisis all too familiar to economic historians. As Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff point out in their book, This Time Is Different, there is a clear pattern to the credit booms that have bankrupted banks and nation states over the past eight centuries.5 What was different in 2010 was the global scale of the problem, and how regulators in the world’s developed countries, led by the United States and Britain, were ill suited to handle the burden of their failed consumer finance and banking systems.

For example, see the report Global Banks—Too Big to Fail?, published by J.P. Morgan Chase in February 2010, www.jpmorgan.com. 2. See U.K. Office of Budget Responsibility prebudget report, June 2010, http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/index.html. 3. James Sassoon, interview by author, November 2009. 4. Nicholas Dunbar, “Revealed: Goldman Sachs’ Mega-Deal for Greece,” Risk, July 2003, 20. 5. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009). Acknowledgments Someone who fits Amartya Sen’s description of a rational fool would be fairly close to a psychopath. The economic world is full of these psychopaths: they are corporations. Corporations don’t have emotions . . . they have PR departments that make up accounts of the company’s motivations to fit a situation . . .


pages: 142 words: 45,733

Utopia or Bust: A Guide to the Present Crisis by Benjamin Kunkel

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anti-communist, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, David Graeber, declining real wages, full employment, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, late capitalism, liquidity trap, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Occupy movement, peak oil, price stability, profit motive, savings glut, Slavoj Žižek, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration

The first decades after World War II, before the US abandoned the gold standard, saw an inflationary erosion of the value of money; over the past generation, by contrast, the major currencies of the capitalist core, lacking any metallic basis, have nevertheless stubbornly resisted rapid inflation. In other words, the years of gold’s long goodbye were less, not more, propitious for creditors than the virtual money era that followed. As Carmen Reinhart established in a paper cited by Coggan, the real rate of interest (taking inflation into account) was, from 1945 to 1980, as often negative as positive across developed economies; in any given year, a lender was as likely to be losing as gaining real wealth. If this didn’t quite bring about Keynes’s “euthanasia of the rentier,” it did amount to the pacification of the rentier, even as profit rates reached historic heights: the main way for capitalists to beat inflation was by investing money, not by lending it.


pages: 180 words: 61,340

Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis

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Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, fiat currency, full employment, German hyperinflation, Irish property bubble, Kenneth Rogoff, offshore financial centre, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, South Sea Bubble, tulip mania, women in the workforce

Still, he wondered if perhaps he was missing something. “I went looking for someone, anyone, who knew something about the history of sovereign defaults,” he said. He found the leading expert on the subject, a professor at Harvard named Kenneth Rogoff, who, as it happened, was preparing a book on the history of national financial collapse, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, with fellow scholar Carmen Reinhart. “We walked Rogoff through the numbers,” said Bass, “and he just looked at them, then sat back in his chair, and said, ‘I can hardly believe it is this bad.’ And I said, ‘Wait a minute. You’re the world’s foremost expert on sovereign balance sheets. You are the go-to guy for sovereign trouble. You taught at Princeton with Ben Bernanke. You introduced Larry Summers to his second wife. If you don’t know this, who does?’


pages: 484 words: 136,735

Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis by Anatole Kaletsky

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bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, global rebalancing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, market design, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, paradox of thrift, peak oil, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, statistical model, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Washington Consensus

But correlation is not causation. The question that needs to be asked about the Japanese experience is whether government support for struggling banks and overindebted borrowers caused the twenty years of stagnation or whether twenty years of economic stagnation prevented a recovery for weak borrowers and banks. A similar question must be asked about a fascinating and much-quoted historic study, coauthored by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, the IMF’s former chief economist, which looked at the macroeconomic effect of financial crises in dozens of countries over the past six hundred years. This study concluded that recessions accompanied by banking crises are generally much longer and deeper than recessions in which banks avoid serious losses.12 The question is whether this historic evidence proves that banking crises cause particularly severe recessions or that particularly severe recessions cause banking crises, which then make these recessions even worse.

Available from http://krugman.blogs. nytimes.com/2009/01/27/a-dark-age-of-macroeconomics-wonkish/. 3 Best estimates for 2010 general government borrowing relative to GDP were: United States 10.7 percent, Japan 8.2 percent, Germany 5.3 percent, France 8.6 percent, Italy 5.4 percent, UK 13.3 percent, Canada 5.2 percent. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), OECD Outlook 86 (November 2009). 4 There has been a long history of debt defaults by sovereign governments, and in every case creditors have been left with no legal or political redress. See Anatole Kaletsky, The Costs of Default, and Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly. 5 The figures for Treasury securities exclude the notional holdings owned by the federal government itself through the Social Security Trust Fund and other purely notional accounting entities. Federal Reserve Board, “Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States: Flows and Outstandings, Third Quarter 2009,” December 10, 2009. 6 Strictly speaking, the current account deficit is slightly different from the trade deficit, as explained in the text. 7 The current account deficit for the first three quarters of 2009, annualized, was $407 billion. 8 To be precise, real incomes sixty years from now will be 3.2 times higher if U.S. growth averages 1.96 percent per head, as it has since 1950, and 1.8 times higher if growth slows to 1 percent per head. 9 This assumes real economic growth of 3 percent real and 2 percent inflation. 10 International Monetary Fund, “Fiscal Implications of the Global Economic and Financial Crisis,” IMF Staff Position Note SPN/09/13, June 2009. 11 Japan suffered five recessions in the twenty years since 1990, while the United States had three recessions and Britain and the eurozone suffered two each. 12 Reinhart and Rogoff, This Time Is Different. 13 Kaletsky, The Costs of Default. 14 See “Continental Illinois and ‘Too Big to Fail,’” in FDIC Division of Research and Statistics, History of the Eighties—Lessons for the Future, vol. 1, 235-257.


pages: 460 words: 122,556

The End of Wall Street by Roger Lowenstein

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Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Brownian motion, Carmen Reinhart, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial deregulation, fixed income, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, interest rate derivative, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Northern Rock, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, race to the bottom, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, the payments system, too big to fail, tulip mania, Y2K

The “others” were China and other countries, many from the Third World—once profligate but lately transformed into paragons of thrift. Bernanke argued that their dollars had to flow somewhere, and the United States was merely an attractive destination. The curious financing of rich nations by poor ones reversed a long tradition. During previous eras, the U.S. had loaned money to developing nations, and had often come to rue the day. This time, as two professors, Carmen Reinhart of the University of Maryland and Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard, put it, “a large chunk of money had been recycled to a developing economy that exists within the United States’ own borders [emphasis added].”8 Surplus credit was flowing not to weak borrowers overseas, but to a Subprime Nation inside the United States. Generally, it is the job of the Fed to mitigate potentially destabilizing financial currents.

ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/02-04-2003/0001885208&EDATE=. 3 David Andrukonis, e-mail, September 7, 2004. 4 Mortgage Bankers Association. 5 Meredith Whitney, Oppenheimer equity research report, December 11, 2008. Household growth was 2.5 percent. 6 Martin Wolf, “Asia’s Revenge,” Financial Times, October 9, 2008, and also Martin Wolf, “Seeds of Its Own Destruction,” Financial Times, March 9, 2009. 7 Ben S. Bernanke, Sandridge Lecture, Virginia Association of Economics, Richmond, March 10, 2005. 8 Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, draft of “Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison,” February 5, 2008; subsequently published in American Economic Review, May 2009. 9 Fannie Mae found 932 articles in a Google search of “housing bubble” in the first four months of 2005, and 1,248 such articles in just the next two months—a sharp acceleration.


pages: 483 words: 134,377

The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor by William Easterly

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air freight, Andrei Shleifer, battle of ideas, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, discovery of the americas, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, greed is good, income per capita, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, M-Pesa, microcredit, Monroe Doctrine, oil shock, place-making, Ponzi scheme, risk/return, road to serfdom, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, World Values Survey, young professional

When financial markets and institutions mobilize savings from disparate households to invest in these promising projects, this represents a second crucial step in fostering growth.33 There may indeed be more scope in finance than in goods markets for activities that generate private returns that are not social returns, such as deception, embezzlement, and outright Ponzi schemes. As explained by the great book satirically titled This Time Is Different, by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, cheating in finance did not start with the horrific financial crisis of 2007 to 2008; it has been happening for centuries.34 Yet somehow, despite the cheating, finance keeps providing the essential services without which large-scale success would not be possible. ADAM SMITH AND DEVELOPMENT In 1986, just as Hyundai was cracking the US market, the Journal of Political Economy, one of the most prestigious journals in economics, published an article titled “Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth.”

Ross Levine, “In Defense of Wall Street: The Social Productivity of the Financial System,” in The Role of Central Banks in Financial Stability: How Has It Changed? eds. Douglas Evanoff, Cornelia Holthausen, George Kaufman, and Manfred Kremer (Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Company, 2013), 2011 working paper available at http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/ross_levine/Papers/2011_ChicagoFed_DefenseofWallStreet.pdf, accessed September 12, 2013. 34. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009). CHAPTER 12: TECHNOLOGY: HOW TO SUCCEED WITHOUT KNOWING HOW 1. Broadband Commission, The State of Broadband 2012: Achieving Digital Inclusion for All (Geneva, Switzerland: International Telecommunication Union, 2012), 5, 35, 43. Available at: http://www.broadbandcommission.org/Documents/bb-annualreport2012.pdf, accessed August 31, 2013. 2.


pages: 370 words: 102,823

Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth by Michael Jacobs, Mariana Mazzucato

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3D printing, balance sheet recession, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business climate, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collaborative economy, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Detroit bankruptcy, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, facts on the ground, fiat currency, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Internet of things, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, non-tariff barriers, paradox of thrift, price stability, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the built environment, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, very high income

The presumption that ‘the self-interest of organisations, specifically banks, is such that they were best capable of protecting shareholders and equity in the firms’ had proved incorrect.8 Contrary to the claims of the ‘efficient markets hypothesis’ which underpinned that assumption, financial markets had systematically mispriced assets and risks, with catastrophic results.9 The financial crash of 2008 was the most severe since that of 1929. But as Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff have pointed out, since most countries undertook financial liberalisation in the 1970s and 1980s, there has been a marked increase in the frequency of banking crises (see Figure 1).10 Globally, in the period 1970 to 2007, the International Monetary Fund has recorded 124 systemic bank crises, 208 currency crises and 63 sovereign debt crises.11 For modern capitalism instability has become, not the exception, but a seemingly structural feature.


pages: 300 words: 77,787

Investing Demystified: How to Invest Without Speculation and Sleepless Nights by Lars Kroijer

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Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, BRICs, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, compound rate of return, credit crunch, diversification, diversified portfolio, equity premium, estate planning, fixed income, high net worth, implied volatility, index fund, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, market bubble, passive investing, pattern recognition, prediction markets, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, sovereign wealth fund, too big to fail, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, yield curve, zero-coupon bond

If you have a longer investment horizon, then match the investment horizon with the maturity of your minimal risk bond portfolio. You will have to accept interest rate risk even if you avoid inflation risk by buying inflation-adjusted bonds. 1 For those who don’t think government bonds can default I would encourage you to read This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff (Princeton University Press, 2011). The authors make a mockery of the belief that governments rarely default and that we are somehow now protected from the catastrophic financial events of the past. 2 There are cases where the yield curve is reversed and shorter-term bonds yield more than longer-term ones, but these cases are less frequent. 3 Imagine the scenario where you want to hold one-month government bonds.

Rethinking Money: How New Currencies Turn Scarcity Into Prosperity by Bernard Lietaer, Jacqui Dunne

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, business climate, business process, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clockwork universe, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, conceptual framework, credit crunch, discounted cash flows, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, happiness index / gross national happiness, job satisfaction, Marshall McLuhan, microcredit, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, Occupy movement, price stability, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, urban decay, War on Poverty, working poor

Transcript published in The Culture of Counterculture (Rutland, VT: C. E. Tuttle, 1999), 59. 2. Gerard Caprio and Daniela Klingebiel, “Bank Insolvencies: Cross- Country Experience,” Policy Research Working Paper, no. 1620 (Washington, DC: World Bank, Policy and Research Department, 1996); J. Frankel and A. Rose, “Currency Crashes in Emerging Markets: An Empirical Treatment,” Journal of International Economics 4 (1996): 351– 366; Graziela L. Kaminsky and Carmen M. Reinhart, “The Twin Crisis: The Causes of Banking and Balance of Payment Problems,” American Economic Review 89, no. 3 (1999): 473– 500; and, for the data after 2006, Luc Laevan and Fabian Valencia, “Resolution of Banking Crises: The Good, the Bad, 225 226 NOTES and the Ugly,” IMF Working Paper 10/146 (Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund, 2010), 4. www.imf.org /external /pubs/ft /wp/2010/wp10146.pdf /. 3. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2012/wp12202.pdf and www.telegraph.co.uk /fi nance/comment/9623863/IMFs-epic-plan-to-conjure-away-debt-and- deth rone -bankers.html. 4.

Luc Laevan and Fabian Valencia, “Resolution of Banking Crises: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” IMF Working Paper 10/146 (Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund, 2010), 4. www.imf.org /external /pubs/ft /wp/2010/wp10146.pdf; Gerard Caprio and Daniela Klingebiel, “Bank Insolvencies: Cross- Country Experience,” Policy Research Working Paper PRWP1620 (Washington, DC: World Bank, 1996); Graziela L. Kaminsky and Carmen M. Reinhart, “Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems,” American Economic Review, American Economic Association, 89, no. 3 (June 1999): 473– 500. 6. Fritz Schwartz, Das Experiment von Wörgl (Bern, Switzerland: Genossenschaft Verlag Freiwirtschaftlicher Schriften, 1951). 7. See M. Amato, L. Fantacci, and L. Doria, Complementary Currency Systems in a Historical Perspective (Milan: Bocconi University, Department of Economic History, 2003). 8.


pages: 829 words: 186,976

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-But Some Don't by Nate Silver

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airport security, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Carmen Reinhart, Claude Shannon: information theory, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, Donald Trump, Edmond Halley, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, Freestyle chess, fudge factor, George Akerlof, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, high batting average, housing crisis, income per capita, index fund, Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, locking in a profit, Loma Prieta earthquake, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pets.com, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, security theater, short selling, Skype, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons

“You may know what to pay for House A versus House B versus House C because you can say one has a kitchen with gadgets that is worth $500 more than House B, which has a kitchen with no gadgets. But you don’t know what the price of a house should be.” 86. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, “The Aftermath of the Financial Crisis,” Working Paper 14656, NBER Working Paper Series, National Bureau of Economic Research, January 2009. http://www.bresserpereira.org.br/terceiros/cursos/Rogoff.Aftermath_of_Financial_Crises.pdf. 87. Carmen M. Reinhart and Vincent R. Reinhart, “After the Fall,” presentation at Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Jackson Hole Symposium, August 2010. http://www.kcfed.org/publicat/sympos/2010/reinhart-paper.pdf. 88. This is one reason why it may not be harmful—some studies have even claimed that it may be helpful—for a president to experience a recession early in his term.

“We had too much greed and too little fear,” Summers told me in 2009. “Now we have too much fear and too little greed.” Act III: This Time Wasn’t Different Once the housing bubble had burst, greedy investors became fearful ones who found uncertainty lurking around every corner. The process of disentangling a financial crisis—everyone trying to figure out who owes what to whom—can produce hangovers that persist for a very long time. The economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, studying volumes of financial history for their book This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, found that financial crises typically produce rises in unemployment that persist for four to six years.86 Another study by Reinhart, which focused on more recent financial crises, found that ten of the last fifteen countries to endure one had never seen their unemployment rates recover to their precrisis levels.87 This stands in contrast to normal recessions, in which there is typically above-average growth in the year or so following the recession88 as the economy reverts to the mean, allowing employment to catch up quickly.


pages: 441 words: 136,954

That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andy Kessler, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, full employment, Google Earth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, obamacare, oil shock, pension reform, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, WikiLeaks

By 2011, it had reached $14 trillion—the equivalent of the country’s GDP—with the prospect of increasing to $16 trillion by 2012 without countervailing steps. “Total American general government debt today is at a phenomenal level,” said Kenneth Rogoff, a professor of economics and public policy at Harvard University and formerly the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. Rogoff is also the co-author with Carmen Reinhart of This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, which surveys the history of debt and financial crises. “By our benchmark,” Rogoff added, “when you take local, state, and federal government debt together we are at our all-time high—above 119 percent of GDP. That is even higher than at the end of World War II, which is the only time before now that we have ever been that high … We are at the outer edge of the envelope of the last two hundred years of experience.


pages: 288 words: 16,556

Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller

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bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, financial innovation, full employment, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, income inequality, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market design, means of production, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Occupy movement, passive investing, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, profit maximization, quantitative easing, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Simon Kuznets, Skype, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Vanguard fund, young professional, Zipcar

But the past several decades have witnessed the rise of nancial capitalism: a system in which nance, once the handmaiden of industry, has taken the lead as the engine driving capitalism. Much ink has been spilled over the purely economic aspects of financial capitalism. I too have contributed to this discussion, in my scholarly writings on market volatility and in books such as Irrational Exuberance. The current severe nancial crisis has called forth questions not only about the system’s parts but also about nancial capitalism as a whole. This crisis—dubbed by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogo as the “Second Great Contraction,” a period of weakened economies around the world starting in 2007 but continuing for years after, mirroring the Great Contraction that followed the nancial crisis of 1929—has led to angry rejections of the value of financial capitalism. Given this experience, many wonder, what is the role of nance in the good society? How can nance, as a science, a practice, and a source of economic innovation, be used to advance the goals of the good society?


pages: 518 words: 147,036

The Fissured Workplace by David Weil

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, barriers to entry, business process, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, employer provided health coverage, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, intermodal, inventory management, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, law of one price, loss aversion, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, occupational segregation, performance metric, pre–internet, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, Rana Plaza, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, ultimatum game, union organizing, women in the workforce, Y2K, yield management

National income is the sum of employee, proprietor, rental, corporate, interest, and government income less the subsidies paid by government to any of those groups. Analysis of the percentage of gross domestic product shows the same trends: corporate profits after tax hit an all-time high as a percentage of GDP (over 10%), while the share of GDP going to wages and salary fell to an all-time low of 44%. 47. Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart have objected that the term “Great Recession” itself is unhelpful since it implies that the recent recession is similar to typical downturns, just a particularly deep one. Instead, they refer to it as the “second great contraction” (the first being the Great Depression). See Reinhart and Rogoff (2009). 48. Empirical research on the relation of employment and output growth in the 1970s and 1980s tended to show lower employment response to increases in output than expected by macroeconomic models.


pages: 1,205 words: 308,891

Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, BRICs, British Empire, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, clockwork universe, computer age, Corn Laws, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, European colonialism, experimental economics, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, greed is good, Howard Zinn, income per capita, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Economic Geography, New Urbanism, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, V2 rocket, very high income, working poor, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

The National Debt is a very Good Thing and it would be dangerous to pay it off, for fear of Political Economy.”37 That the British state did not then use the wealth acquired by such a Good Thing to obstruct economic growth and destroy political liberty — as so many states enriched by, say, drilling for oil have done — had nothing to do with the imitation under William III of bourgeois, Dutch methods of drilling for loans, and building the Bank of England to refine them in. An historian of Parliament noted of its transcendent power, “despotic power was only available intermittently before 1688, but it was always available thereafter.”38And as the economists Carmen Reinhart, and Kenneth Rogoff put the point, “It is not clear how well the institutional innovations noted by North and Weingast would have fared had Britain been a bit less fortunate in the many wars it fought in subsequent years.”39 Britain got a military-financial complex up and running in the 1690s and had the good fortune of Churchills and Clives and Wolfes and Nelsons and Wellesleys in its operation.


pages: 394 words: 85,734

The Global Minotaur by Yanis Varoufakis, Paul Mason

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banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, full employment, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, paper trading, planetary scale, post-oil, price stability, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, structural adjustment programs, systematic trading, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Yom Kippur War

These words were written by Karl Marx in 1844, in the text entitled Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts. Chapter 2 1. See Jared Diamond (2006) Guns, Germs and Steel, New York: Norton. 2. Ibn Khaldun (1967) The Muqaddimah: An introduction to history, trans. Franz Rosenthal, Bollingen Series XLIII, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 3. For a good account of such calamities, see Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff (2009) This Time Is Different: Eight centuries of financial folly, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 4. Once all your music, films, applications, addresses, etc. are on iTunes and readily accessible by any Apple product (iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc.), the opportunity cost of buying a Nokia or a Sony device is huge (even if these companies bring a better device to market) – you need to spend literally hours setting the new gadget up.


pages: 357 words: 110,017

Money: The Unauthorized Biography by Felix Martin

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bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, David Graeber, en.wikipedia.org, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, invention of writing, invisible hand, Irish bank strikes, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, mobile money, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Scientific racism, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, South Sea Bubble, supply-chain management, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail

But the unusual persistence of the current crisis has provoked a deeper interest amongst economists in the longer-term incidence of debt crises. Readers rushed to consult the great financial historian, Charles Kindleberger.1 To learn of his discovery that “financial crises have tended to appear at roughly ten-year intervals for the last 400 years or so” was either disturbing or comforting, depending on one’s perspective.2 Within a couple of years, however, the economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff had published an even more comprehensive investigation into the history of financial crises. Its ominous subtitle warned the reader to expect not just four but “Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.”3 And as Tactitus’ account of the credit crunch under the Emperor Tiberius shows, monetary society has been prone to the problem of growing indebtedness ending in a crisis of solvency for much longer even than that.

Crisis and Dollarization in Ecuador: Stability, Growth, and Social Equity by Paul Ely Beckerman, Andrés Solimano

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banking crisis, banks create money, barriers to entry, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, currency peg, declining real wages, disintermediation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, labor-force participation, land reform, London Interbank Offered Rate, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, offshore financial centre, open economy, pension reform, price stability, rent-seeking, school vouchers, seigniorage, trade liberalization, women in the workforce

“The Pros and Cons of Full Dollarization.” International Monetary Fund Working Paper. Calvo, Guillermo. 1999. “On Dollarization.” Processed. ———. 2000. “Capital Markets and the Exchange Rate with Special Reference to the Dollarization Debate in Latin America.” http://www.bsos.umd.edu/econ/clecalvo.htm. ———. 2002. “The Case for Hard Pegs.” http://www.bsos.umd.edu/ econ/clecalvo.htm. Calvo, Guillermo, and Carmen Reinhart. 2000. “When Capital Flows Come to a Sudden Stop.” In Peter Kenen and Alexander Swoboda, eds., Key Issues in the Reform of the International Monetary and Financial System. International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C. ———. 2002. “Fear of Floating.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, forthcoming. www.puaf.umd.edu/faculty/papers/reinhart/papers.html. Calvo, Guillermo, and Carlos Végh. 1992. “Currency Substitution in Developing Countries: An Introduction.”


pages: 126 words: 37,081

Men Without Work by Nicholas Eberstadt

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Carmen Reinhart, centre right, deindustrialization, financial innovation, full employment, illegal immigration, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, moral hazard, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population

See Congressional Budget Office, “Budget and Economic Data: Potential GDP and Underlying Inputs,” https://www/cbo.gov/about/products/budget_economic_data#6. It is possible that the anemic state of the U.S. macroeconomy is being exaggerated by measurement issues—productivity improvements from information technology, for example, have been oddly elusive in our officially reported national output—but few today imagine that such concealed gains would totally transform our view of the real economy’s true performance. 4.Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, “Recovery from Financial Crises: Evidence from 100 Episodes,” American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings 104, no. 5: 50–55. http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/rogoff/files/aer_104-5_50-55.pdf. 5.Cf. Robert J. Gordon, The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016); see for example, Lawrence H.


pages: 726 words: 172,988

The Bankers' New Clothes: What's Wrong With Banking and What to Do About It by Anat Admati, Martin Hellwig

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Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, bonus culture, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centralized clearinghouse, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, George Akerlof, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, regulatory arbitrage, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, technology bubble, The Market for Lemons, the payments system, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, Yogi Berra

Sinn (2010, Chapter 1) points out that without government intervention, output losses would have been even greater. Jordà et al. (2011) and Schularick and Taylor (2012) show that historically, recessions that have been associated with credit booms gone bust and with subsequent financial crises have been much larger and costlier than other types of recessions. On the slow recovery from the financial crisis in the United States, see Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, “Sorry, U.S. Recoveries Really Aren’t Different,” Bloomberg, October 15, 2012, and Martin Wolf, “A Slow Convalescence under Obama,” Financial Times, October 24, 2012. 20. For example, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, from February 2008 to September 2009, total nonfarm employment declined by 8.138 million. Subsequent gains have totaled only 3.36 million.


pages: 353 words: 81,436

pages: 424 words: 115,035

How Will Capitalism End? by Wolfgang Streeck

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, income inequality, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, market bubble, means of production, moral hazard, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, open borders, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, post-industrial society, private sector deleveraging, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber for X, upwardly mobile, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

On 23 March 2014, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that since the beginning of the financial crisis, American banks alone have been fined around one hundred billion dollars. CHAPTER TWO 1An earlier version of this chapter was given as the 2011 Max Weber Lecture at the European University Institute, Florence. I am grateful to Daniel Mertens for his research assistance. Published in: New Left Review 71, September/October 2011, pp. 5–29. 2For the term ‘Great Recession’, see Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 2009. 3The classic statement is Buchanan and Tullock, The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundations of Constitutional Democracy. 4See Edward Thompson, ‘The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century’, Past & Present, vol. 50, no. 1, 1971; and James Scott, The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press 1976.


pages: 381 words: 101,559

Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Gobal Crisis by James Rickards

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Asian financial crisis, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, borderless world, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, diversified portfolio, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, game design, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, high net worth, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Kenneth Rogoff, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, New Journalism, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, price mechanism, price stability, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, time value of money, too big to fail, value at risk, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus


pages: 401 words: 112,784

Hard Times: The Divisive Toll of the Economic Slump by Tom Clark, Anthony Heath

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, Carmen Reinhart, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, interest rate swap, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, unconventional monetary instruments, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor

Niall Ferguson, ‘A long shadow’, Financial Times, 22 September 2008, at: www.ft.com/cms/s/0/aeb88d8a–8800–11dd-b114–0000779fd18c.html#axzz2WahpoyYx 4. One analysis of post-war financial crises estimates that unemployment rises by an average of 7 percentage points, while output falls an average of 9%, the latter taking place over the course of two years; whereas the average ‘non-financial’ recession lasts less than a year. See Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, ‘The aftermath of financial crises’, American Economic Review, 99:2 (2009), pp. 466–72, at: www.ems.bbk.ac.uk/for_students/msc_ec­on/ETA2_EMEC025P/GZrhein.pdf 5. The 2001 census recorded a UK population of 59,113,500, whereas the 2011 census recorded a total of 63,285,100. That implies population growth of around 1.25% a year. The Office for National Statistics is currently revising its estimates for intermediate years, but the last published numbers suggest no appreciable recession effect.


pages: 584 words: 187,436

More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite by Sebastian Mallaby

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Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, automated trading system, bank run, barriers to entry, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Elliott wave, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, full employment, German hyperinflation, High speed trading, index fund, Kenneth Rogoff, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, merger arbitrage, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nikolai Kondratiev, pattern recognition, pre–internet, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, rolodex, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, too big to fail, transaction costs

This paper finds that a doubling in the size of private credit in an average developing country is associated with a 2 percentage point rise in annual economic growth, meaning that after thirty-five years the economy would be twice as large as it would have been without ample opportunities to borrow. 7. I am grateful to Gary Gladstein, the former chief administrative officer and managing director of Soros Fund Management, for these data. 8. Arminio Fraga, interview with the author, June 6, 2008. 9. Ibid. 10. Ibid. 11. The paper was by Graciela Kaminsky of the Federal Reserve and Carmen Reinhart of the International Monetary Fund. It was later published in the American Economic Review. 12. Fraga interview. 13. A participant at the meeting recalls, “It was really kind of a bombshell statement to make. Talk about being pathetically ignorant when you say that to the three guys from Soros.” 14. Rodney Jones, interview with the author, June 18, 2008. Sources differ as to whether the Soros team established the initial position in late January or early February, but Jones, who kept real-time notes of the crisis and was focused exclusively on the region, is confident that the sales occurred in the last ten days of January. 15.


pages: 580 words: 168,476

The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future by Joseph E. Stiglitz

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, declining real wages, deskilling, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, framing effect, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, invisible hand, John Harrison: Longitude, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, London Interbank Offered Rate, lone genius, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, obamacare, offshore financial centre, paper trading, patent troll, payday loans, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, very high income, We are the 99%, women in the workforce

Basu uses the metaphor of a magic show to describe the way the discussion of economics on the political right draws attention to the conclusion of this theorem—that markets are efficient—and away from the very special and unrealistic conditions under which the conclusion holds—perfect markets. Like a good magician, a free-market economist succeeds by drawing spectators’ attention to what he wants them to see—the rabbit jumping out of the hat—while distracting their attention from other things—how the rabbit got into the hat in the first place. 6. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776; New York: P. F. Collier, 1902), p. 207. 7. See Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009). 8. A derivative is just a financial instrument the return to which is derived on the basis of something else, e.g., the performance of a stock or the price of oil or the value of a bond. A few banks have profited enormously by keeping this market nontransparent, garnering for themselves an amount widely estimated at more than $20 billion a year. 9.


pages: 741 words: 179,454

Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond

Alex Preda (2009) Framing Finance, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London. Nomi Prins (2004) Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America, The New Press, New York. John Quiggin (2010) Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us, Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford. Raghuram G. Rajan (2010) Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy, Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff (2010) This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford. Barry Ritholtz (2009) Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook The World Economy, John Wiley, New Jersey. David Roche and Bob McKee (2008) New Monetarism, Independent Strategy Publications, London. John Rolfe and Peter Troob (2000) Monkey Business: Swinging Through the Wall Street Jungle, Warner Business Books, New York.


pages: 593 words: 189,857

Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises by Timothy F. Geithner

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Doomsday Book, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Flash crash, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, implied volatility, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, Northern Rock, obamacare, paradox of thrift, pets.com, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tobin tax, too big to fail, working poor

S. government’s crisis response not only prevented the collapse of the financial system and helped revive the broader economy, but as of the end of 2013 it was projected to generate about $166 billion in positive returns for taxpayers. Sources: Compiled from Congressional Budget Office, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Reserve Board, Office of Management and Budget, and U.S. Treasury Department. Still, the financial crisis left tragic pain and suffering in its wake. Financial crises always do. The economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff, my former IMF colleague who played chess in his head during meetings, have calculated that it takes the average country eight years after a financial crisis to reach its pre-crisis income levels. Even though we did much better than the average, and our crisis was much worse than the average, Americans absorbed a terrible blow. Long-term unemployment is still at alarming levels, with a devastating effect on workers as well as the economy at large.


pages: 355 words: 63

The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics by William R. Easterly

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Andrei Shleifer, business climate, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, interchangeable parts, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, large denomination, manufacturing employment, Network effects, New Urbanism, open economy, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

“A Theory of the Low-Level Equilibrium Trap in Underdeveloped Economies,” American Economic Review 46, no. 5 (December): 894-908. Nordhaus, William. 1994, “Do RealOutput and Real Wage Measures Capture Reality? The History of Lighting Suggests Not.” Yale Cowles Foundation discussion paper: 1078, September. Obstfeld, Maurice, and Kenneth Rogoff.1996. economics. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Foundations of InternationalMacro- Ogaki, Masao, Jonathan D. Ostry, and Carmen M. Reinhart. 1995. ”Saving Behavior in Low- and Middle-Income Developing Countries: A Comparison.” IMF Working Paper WP/95/3. Pack, Howard, and John M. Page, Jr. 1994. “Accumulation, Exports, and Growth in the High-Performing Asian Economies.” Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy 40 (June): 199-250. Parfitt, Trevor W., and Stephen P. Riley.1989. Routledge. The African Debt Crisis. London: Patel, Surendra J. 1968.

The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America's Future by Michael Levi

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American energy revolution, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Carmen Reinhart, crony capitalism, deglobalization, energy security, Exxon Valdez, full employment, global supply chain, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Kenneth Rogoff, manufacturing employment, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea

In recent decades, though, economic growth has not translated into higher wages for most, suggesting that one ought to be cautious in expecting this phenomenon to increase the total number of U.S. jobs. 45. Alex Kowalski, “Trade Deficit of U.S. Unexpectedly Surges on Increase in Crude-Oil Imports,” Bloomberg, July 12, 2011, http://www.bloomberg.com/ news/2011-07-12/trade-deficit-of-u-s-unexpectedly-surges-on-increasein-crude-oil-imports.html. 46. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2009). 47. Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), 613. 48. Clifford Krauss and Eric Lipton, “U.S. Inches Toward Goal of Energy Independence,” New York Times, March 22, 2012. 49. Blake Clayton and Michael Levi, “The Surprising Sources of Oil’s Influence,” Survival, January/February 2013. 228 • NOTES FOR PAGES 79–85 50.


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The Making of Global Capitalism by Leo Panitch, Sam Gindin

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, continuous integration, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global value chain, guest worker program, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, inflation targeting, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, late capitalism, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, oil shock, precariat, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, union organizing, very high income, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration, zero-coupon bond

On the fundamental pragmatism, rather than commitment to neoclassical intellectual consistency, of G7 finance ministers and central bankers in general, see Baker, Group of Seven, pp. 69–70. 4 On Rubin’s “whole adult life experience” in financial markets, see Rubin and Weinberg, In an Uncertain World, esp. Chapters 2 and 3. The quotation here is from the full transcript of the interview with Rubin for the PBS 2002 documentary The Commanding Heights, available at pbs.org. 5 Robert Litan, with Jonathan Roach and a Preface by Robert Rubin, American Finance for the 21st Century, Washington, DC: Brookings Institute, 1998, p. 5. 6 Quoted in Blustein, The Chastening, p. 295. 7 Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, “This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises,” NBER Working Paper No. 13882, March 2008, Table A.3. 8 Pauly, Who Elected the Bankers? esp. p.121. See also Michael Bordo, Ashoka Mody, and Nienke Oomes, “Keeping the Capital Flowing: The Role of the IMF,” IMF Working Paper WP/04/197, October 2004; and Barry Eichengreen and Richard Portes, “Managing the Next Mexico,” in Peter Kenen, ed., From Halifax to Lyon: What Has Been Done about Crisis Management?


pages: 471 words: 124,585

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson

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Admiral Zheng, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, Atahualpa, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, Corn Laws, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deglobalization, diversification, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, German hyperinflation, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, hindsight bias, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, iterative process, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour mobility, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, pension reform, price anchoring, price stability, principal–agent problem, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, seigniorage, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, spice trade, structural adjustment programs, technology bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War

Others estimated costs of a trillion dollars or more: Pontell and Calavita, ‘Savings and Loan Industry’, p. 203. 51 For a vivid account, see Michael Lewis, Liar’s Poker (London, 1989), pp. 78-124. 52 Bernanke, ‘Housing, Housing Finance, and Monetary Policy’. 53 I am grateful to Joseph Barillari for his assistance with these calculations. Morris A. Davisa, Andreas Lehnert and Robert F. Martin, ‘The Rent-Price Ratio for the Aggregate Stock of Owner-Occupied Housing’, Working paper (December 2007). 54 Shiller, ‘Recent Trends in House Prices’. 55 Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, ‘Is the 2007 Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison’, Draft Working Paper (14 January 2008). 56 Mark Whitehouse, ‘Debt Bomb: Inside the “Subprime” Mortgage Debacle’, Wall Street Journal, 30 May 2007, p. A1. 57 See Kimberly Blanton, ‘A “Smoking Gun” on Race, Subprime Loans’, Boston Globe, 16 March 2007. 58 ‘U.S. Housing Bust Fuels Blame Game’, Wall Street Journal, 19 March 2008.


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The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe by Joseph E. Stiglitz, Alex Hyde-White

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bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency peg, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market friction, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, open economy, paradox of thrift, pension reform, pensions crisis, price stability, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, working-age population

Brown (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), pp. 35–68. 57 See, for example, Dean Baker, “The Myth of Expansionary Fiscal Austerity,” Center for Economic and Policy Research, October 2010, available at http://cepr.net/documents/publications/austerity-myth-2010-10.pdf; and Arjun Jayadev and Mike Konczal, “The Boom Not The Slump: The Right Time For Austerity,” Roosevelt Institute, 2010, available at http://scholarworks.umb.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1026&context=econ_faculty_pubs. 58 See, for example, International Monetary Fund, “Will It Hurt? Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal Consolidation,” chapter 3 in 2010 World Economic Outlook. 59 Eurostat figures for the eurozone for March 2016. 60 See, for example, International Monetary Fund, “Will It Hurt?” 62 Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, “Growth in a Time of Debt,” American Economic Review 100, no. 2 (May 2010): 573–78. 62 By now, there is a large literature on the subject. See, for example, Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash, and Robert Pollin, “Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff,” Cambridge Journal of Economics 38, no. 2 (2014): 257–79; Ugo Panizza and Andrea F.


pages: 327 words: 103,336

Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer by Duncan J. Watts

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, East Village, easy for humans, difficult for computers, edge city, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, happiness index / gross national happiness, high batting average, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, interest rate swap, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, medical malpractice, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, oil shock, packet switching, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, planetary scale, prediction markets, pre–internet, RAND corporation, random walk, RFID, school choice, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, ultimatum game, urban planning, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize


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The Crisis of Crowding: Quant Copycats, Ugly Models, and the New Crash Normal by Ludwig B. Chincarini

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affirmative action, asset-backed security, automated trading system, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, buttonwood tree, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delta neutral, discounted cash flows, diversification, diversified portfolio, family office, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, full employment, Gini coefficient, high net worth, hindsight bias, housing crisis, implied volatility, income inequality, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, labour mobility, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, margin call, market design, market fundamentalism, merger arbitrage, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, oil shock, price stability, quantitative easing, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Waldo Emerson, regulatory arbitrage, Renaissance Technologies, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Sharpe ratio, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, systematic trading, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, yield curve, zero-coupon bond