unorthodox policies

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pages: 226 words: 59,080

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


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

These countries also employed macroeconomic and financial controls that kept their currencies competitive in world markets. All of them undertook industrial policies to nurture new manufacturing sectors and reduce their economies’ dependence on natural resources. And each country fine-tuned the specifics of its strategy beyond these generalities. Many observers of Asia’s experience and the success of its “unorthodox” policies conclude that these cases have proved standard economics wrong. This interpretation is incorrect. It is true that many of Asia’s economic policies do not make sense in light of economic models with well-functioning markets. But these are evidently the wrong models to use. There is very little in China’s or South Korea’s strategy that cannot be explained by models that take on board some of the major second-best challenges these economies faced.11 When economists confront the way markets really work—or fail to work—in low-income settings with few firms, high barriers to entry, poor information, and malfunctioning institutions, these alternative models prove indispensable.


pages: 576 words: 105,655

Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Blyth


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,, 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

But what mattered was how levered these banks were and how important those sovereign bonds were for funding these banks. Once these bonds lost value, European banks increasingly found themselves shut out of US wholesale funding markets at the same time that US money markets began dumping their short-term debt. What happened in the United States in 2008, a general “liquidity crunch,” gathered pace in Europe in 2010 and 2011. It was only averted by the LTROs of the ECB in late 2011 and early 2012. This unorthodox policy of quasi-quantitative easing offered only temporary respite. Paul De Grauwe called it “giving cheap money to trembling banks with all the problems this entails.”68 The results were that within two months of the first LTRO by the ECB, sovereign bond yields were rising again, and the banks those sovereigns were responsible for now had even more sovereign debt on their balance sheets—a fact not lost on investors now worrying about Spain and Italy.


pages: 475 words: 155,554

The Default Line: The Inside Story of People, Banks and Entire Nations on the Edge by Faisal Islam


Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, capital controls, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, dark matter, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, energy security, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, forward guidance, full employment, ghettoisation, global rebalancing, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, inflation targeting, Irish property bubble, Just-in-time delivery, labour market flexibility, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market clearing, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mini-job, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, paradox of thrift, pension reform, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, reshoring, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, the payments system, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two tier labour market, unorthodox policies, uranium enrichment, urban planning, value at risk, working-age population

Instead, Iceland targeted householder debt relief to write off everything above 110 per cent of the value of the property. The IMF called it the most effective debt-relief programme since US president Roosevelt’s plan in 1933 kept 800,000 Americans in their homes at an eventual profit to his government. There were several other schemes to support householders. The IMF called a special conference to learn lessons from Iceland’s unorthodox policies. ‘Iceland set an example by managing to preserve, and even strengthen, its welfare state during the crisis,’ concluded the IMF’s Nemat Shafik. So Iceland bailed out its own people rather than the moronic foreign creditors of its insane banks. And the result, to date, is a growing economy. But the bailout has come with a caution. ‘I can promise you,’ Sigfússon told me, ‘we would be watching very carefully to make sure the things that happened in Iceland in 2008 will never repeat themselves.


pages: 363 words: 107,817

Modernising Money: Why Our Monetary System Is Broken and How It Can Be Fixed by Andrew Jackson (economist), Ben Dyson (economist)


bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital controls, cashless society, central bank independence, credit crunch, David Graeber, debt deflation, double entry bookkeeping, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, informal economy, land reform, London Interbank Offered Rate, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Northern Rock, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, Real Time Gross Settlement, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, seigniorage, shareholder value, short selling, South Sea Bubble, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, unorthodox policies

Problems with intervening – unintended consequences of monetary policy Monetary policy interventions may also create unintended consequences. When the central bank lowers the interest rate in response to recessionary conditions it benefits borrowers at the expense of savers. Pension funds in particular may suffer: lower interest rates increase the net present value of future liabilities, increasing the need for higher current fund contributions. Financial crises may also lead to unorthodox monetary policy (such as Quantitative Easing). Because quantitative easing pushes up the price of bonds it also lowers their yield, again increasing required contributions to pension funds. Furthermore by decreasing the yield on bonds, QE increases the desirability of other assets, pushing up their prices. This can have long run effects. By purchasing assets the central bank may prevent prices from falling, and so ‘set a floor’ under their price, implicitly guaranteeing prices and legitimising prior investment decisions.


pages: 934 words: 135,736

The Divided Nation: A History of Germany, 1918-1990 by Mary Fulbrook


Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, centre right, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, full employment, joint-stock company, land reform, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, open borders, Peace of Westphalia, Sinatra Doctrine, union organizing, unorthodox policies

Taking advantage of British and French preoccupation with the Italian invasion of Abyssinia in October 1935, and under some pressure from domestic discontent over a deteriorating economic situation, Hitler took his first major foreign policy risk in March 1936. German troops marched over the Rhine to reoccupy the demilitarized left bank, in clear defiance of the Versailles Treaty. This served to boost Hitler's domestic popularity considerably, and occasioned only very limited criticism from abroad. From then on, foreign policy moved into a new gear. Under the Four Year Plan, presided over by Goering, rather unorthodox economic policies were initiated, which marked a clear break with Hjalmar Schacht's notions of economic management. Schacht's resignation as Minister of Economics in November 1937 came partly as a result of conflicts between the Economics Ministry and Goering's office. There were similar conflicts between Nazis and more traditional conservative nationalists on the diplomatic front. For some time, Ribbentrop had been running a diplomatic service in rivalry with the Foreign Ministry.


pages: 361 words: 97,787

The Curse of Cash by Kenneth S Rogoff


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

We discuss QE in much greater detail later in this chapter, but essentially it involves using short-term central bank debt to buy long-term assets, such as government debt, thereby bringing long-term government interest rates down. The hope is that other long-term interest rates (e.g., on mortgages and corporate debt) will follow, because interest rates on government debt tend to be a benchmark by which all other rates are set. A few empirical papers argue that these unorthodox central bank policies have accomplished more than meets the eye.5 Nevertheless, the stunning challenges that the Bank of Japan and the ECB have faced in lifting inflationary expectations suggest that unconventional policies are vastly less effective than plain vanilla interest rate policy might have been, if unfettered negative rate policy were fully possible—that is, if all the institutional, legal, and other barriers were cleared away, as we discuss in chapters 10 and 11.


pages: 545 words: 137,789

How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities by John Cassidy


Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, asset allocation, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, diversification, Elliott wave, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income per capita, incomplete markets, index fund, invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, mental accounting, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, Network effects, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, paradox of thrift, Ponzi scheme, price discrimination, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, unorthodox policies, value at risk, Vanguard fund

This alone was enough to restore a semblance of order. Similar events played out in other advanced countries. The financial stabilization programs that were adopted in the United States and elsewhere involved three elements: a pledge not to let systemically important institutions collapse; a commitment to use taxpayers’ money to socialize some of the losses that had been incurred; and an endorsement of unorthodox central bank policies aimed at kick-starting the credit markets. All of these policies were based on the belated recognition that if private decision-makers were left to react to market incentives on an individual basis, they would pursue collectively self-defeating actions, such as withdrawing their money from financial firms and refusing to lend. Only the government could overcome the threat of rational irrationality and get them to coordinate on a more favorable outcome.


pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott


Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

Because digital currencies challenge the role of central banks in an economy, we might expect central bankers to oppose blockchain technology. However, over the years, these bankers have shown a willingness to innovate. The Fed pioneered electronic clearing of funds by championing the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system when all checks were settled and cleared manually. Like central banks elsewhere, the Fed has savored experimentation. It has embraced unorthodox and untested policies, most famously (or infamously) the quantitative easing program in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, when it used newly minted money to buy financial assets such as government bonds at an unprecedented scale. Not surprisingly, central bankers have been forward thinking in understanding blockchain technology’s importance to their respective economies. There are two reasons for this leadership.


pages: 330 words: 77,729

Big Three in Economics: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes by Mark Skousen


Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business climate, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, experimental economics, financial independence, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, means of production, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, open economy, paradox of thrift, price stability, pushing on a string, rent control, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, unorthodox policies

Keynes applauded "all sorts of policies for increasing the propensity to consume," including confiscatory inheritance taxes and the redistribution of wealth in favor of lower-income groups, who consume a higher percentage of their income than the wealthy (1973a [1936], 325). Canadian economist Lorie Tarshis, the first to write a Keynesian textbook, warned that a high rate of saving is "one of the main sources of our difficulty," and one of the goals of the federal government should be "reducing incentives to thrift" (Tarshis 1947, 521-12). Keynesian economist Hyman Minsky confirmed this unorthodox approach when he said, "The policy emphasis should shift from the encouragement of growth through investment to the achievement of full employment through consumption production" (Minsky 1982,113). Of course, all of this Keynesian theory goes counter to traditional classical growth theory that a high level of saving is a key ingredient to economic growth. Is Keynesianism Politically Neutral? Samuelson contended that the Keynesian "theory of income determination" is politically "neutral."


pages: 566 words: 163,322

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


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,, 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

In the developed world, the list of nations with relatively good prospects includes Germany and the United States; in the large class of middle-income nations, much of eastern Europe and Mexico seem well poised for growth; among low-income nations, the relative stars are likely to emerge from South Asia, East Africa, and parts of Southeast Asia. That is how these nations stack up at this moment in time—March 2016—but the rankings could change suddenly with an untimely assassination, an unorthodox shift in economic policy, a startling invention, or some act of providence. Also, if a global recession does materialize this year, as currently feared, it will be difficult for any country to achieve a “good” growth rate in the near future. But this phase too shall pass, given that global recessions typically last a year, and the outlook here is for the next five years. The rules are designed to capture these dynamic changes, which is why I monitor and update the scores regularly, and why I do not presume to suggest that any nation will remain in the good, average, or ugly camp for more than the next five years.