Carmen Reinhart

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pages: 376 words: 109,092

Paper Promises by Philip Coggan

accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, 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, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, 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 inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, 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, zero-sum game

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

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

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: 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

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, break the buck, Bretton Woods, business cycle, 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, creative destruction, 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, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, light touch regulation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandatory minimum, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market fragmentation, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Real Time Gross Settlement, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, 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, zero-sum game

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: 576 words: 105,655

Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Blyth

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, 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, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Irish property bubble, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal capitalism, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Philip Mirowski, 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, zero-sum game

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: 310 words: 90,817

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

bank run, banks create money, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, currency peg, fixed income, Fractional reserve banking, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, inflation targeting, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, money market fund, 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: 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, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cashless society, central bank independence, cryptocurrency, debt deflation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial exclusion, 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, Johannes Kepler, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, money market fund, 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, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, 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: 183 words: 17,571

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

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, business cycle, buy and hold, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, 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, information asymmetry, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mobile money, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, 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, zero-sum game

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: 466 words: 127,728

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

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, business cycle, buy and hold, 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, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, jitney, John Meriwether, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, 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 market fund, 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, undersea cable, 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.


pages: 356 words: 103,944

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

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, 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, endogenous growth, 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, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, 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, Paul Samuelson, 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.


Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity by Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore, Elizabeth Truss

Airbnb, banking crisis, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clockwatching, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, demographic dividend, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, glass ceiling, informal economy, James Dyson, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, long peace, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Neil Kinnock, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, open economy, paypal mafia, pension reform, price stability, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

Keep either growth or inflation high enough and perhaps a Government can run a deficit for perpetuity, while still seeing its debt shrink. Or can it? If it is really is impossible for countries to go bust, then it is strange that so many countries have failed to pay back their loans. From Edward III defaulting on his loans to Florence financiers in 134039 through to today’s Eurozone crisis, sovereign defaults have been a constant feature throughout history. In their definitive text, This Time is Different, economists Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff list hundreds of examples of default through the last 800 years. Default is not just not unknown, it is endemic. Only a small number of countries – such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Denmark, Thailand and the United States40 – have never defaulted. The UK has been relatively fortunate in past centuries, but it too defaulted. In 1340 Edward III betrayed his Florence creditors and Charles II stopped the Exchequer in 1672, bankrupting many of the leading creditors.

Macaulay, History of England. 30. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/british-debt-history/ 31. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/30/bleeding-britain/ 32. http://johannhari.com/2011/03/29/the-biggest-lie-in-british-politics/ 33. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a9042452-1a3c-11de-9f91-0000779fd2ac. html#axzz1gJPBneNS 34. http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/david-blanchflower/2011/06/creditcard-cameron-basic 35. Niall Ferguson, The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700–2000 (Penguin, 2001), p. 53. 36. Ferguson, The Cash Nexus, p. 129. 37. Ferguson, The Cash Nexus, p. 130. 38. Office for Budget Responsibility, Economic and Fiscal Outlook, March 2012. 39. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton University Press, 2009). 40. Reinhart and Rogoff, This Time is Different. 41. http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/11/27/an-empire-at-risk.html 42. http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/11/27/an-empire-at-risk.html 43. Christina Romer, ‘Macroeconomic Policy in the 1960s: The Causes and Consequences of a Mistaken Revolution’, Lecture, Economic History Association Annual Meeting, 2007, p. 26. 44. http://voxeu.org/index.php?


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

Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Blythe Masters, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, cloud computing, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, 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, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, low cost airline, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, money market fund, moral hazard, moral panic, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Neil Kinnock, 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, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Satyajit Das, 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, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working poor, zero-sum game, 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 Production of Money: How to Break the Power of Banks by Ann Pettifor

Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clean water, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, decarbonisation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, interest rate derivative, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mobile money, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, The Chicago School, the market place, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, too big to fail

Globally private debt expanded and exceeded global income. And financial crises proliferated as Professor Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart have shown. Trust and confidence in the banking system and in democratic and other public institutions waned. The reason is not hard to understand. The transfer of economic power away from public authority to private wealthy elites had placed key financiers beyond the reach of the law, of regulators or politicians. This loss of democratic power hollowed out democratic institutions – parliaments and congresses – while ‘privatisation’ diminished whole sectors of the economy that had been subject to democratic oversight. Source: This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises by Carmen M. Reinhart, University of Maryland and NBER; and Kenneth S. Rogoff, Harvard University and NBER.

Shopping malls become the temples of the High Street. But debts have to be repaid from income, whether the form of income comes as wages, salaries, profits or tax revenues. If rates of interest are too high, debtors have to raise the funds for debt repayment by increasing rates of profit, and by the further extraction of value. Source: This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises by Carmen M. Reinhart, University of Maryland and NBER; and Kenneth S. Rogoff, Harvard University and NBER. Fig. 2. Illustrations of different growth patterns. These pressures to increase income at exponential rates for the repayment of debt implies that both labour and the land (defined broadly) have to be exploited at ever-rising rates. Those who labour by hand or brain work harder and longer to repay rising, real levels of mortgage or credit card debt.


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

3D printing, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American energy revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, cloud computing, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, creative destruction, 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, land reform, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Nelson Mandela, 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, zero-sum game

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.


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

American ideology, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, business cycle, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate raider, 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, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit maximization, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Satyajit Das, 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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The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth Is Unattainable and the Global Economy Is in Peril by Satyajit Das

"Robert Solow", 9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

Similarly, expansionary fiscal policy in an environment of contracting private sector demand and reduction in debt can result in lower multipliers, as the government cannot fully offset the fall in private economic activity. Budget deficits must be financed, requiring governments to borrow. By 2009, there was increasing unease about rising government debt. Based on data from hundreds of years of financial crises, economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff argued that sovereign debt levels above 60–90 percent of GDP affected growth.5 In 2013, in the academic equivalent of Fight Club, three economists from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst published a paper alleging that Reinhart and Rogoff had exaggerated the decline in growth at higher debt levels, due to unorthodox statistical choices and a spreadsheet error. Critics, whose concerns about the original research had been ignored, now pounced.

In the period that followed, inequality was reduced by taxes, inflation, redistribution through the welfare state, and insolvencies resulting from the world wars and the Depression. But the trend has reversed in recent decades, ushering in the return of patrimonial capitalism. Based on his research, Professor Piketty derives his fundamental law of capitalism: where the rate of return to wealth (r) grows faster than economic output (g) (r > g), it leads to a concentration of wealth. Echoing the controversy around Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, the Financial Times raised doubts about Piketty's data, suggesting errors and questionable selection and analysis. Corrected for these errors, they argued, the conclusions of rising wealth inequality were flawed. But irrespective of the accuracy of the data, interpreting and extrapolating from information spanning centuries, in countries with different economic and social structures, is inherently difficult.

Lazear, Economic Imperialism, Hoover Institution and Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, May 1999. http://faculty-gsb.stanford.edu/lazear/personal/pdfs/economic%20imperialism.pdf. 2 John Maynard Keynes, General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, Atlantic Publishers & Distributors (1936) 2006, p. 272. 3 Raghuram Rajan, “The Paranoid Style in Economics,” Project Syndicate, 8 August 2013. www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/the-declining-quality-of-public-economic-debate-by-raghuram-rajan. 4 G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Chapter VI, 1908. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/G._K._Chesterton. 5 Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton University Press, 2009. 6 See Patrick Bernau, “‘Eine Hexenjagd’—Keneth Rogoff Über seinen Excel-Fehler,” Fazit, 22 October 2013. http://blogs.faz.net/fazit/2013/10/22/kenneth-rogoff-ueber-excel-fehler-hexenjagd-2818/. 7 Frederic Mishkin, “The Economist's Reply to the ‘Inside Job,’” Financial Times, 8 October 2010. 8 Quoted in Robert John, “Behind the Balfour Declaration: Britain's Great War Pledge to Lord Rothschild,” The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 6, no. 4 (Winter 1985–6), pp. 389–450. 9 See Neil Irwin, “With Consumers Slow to Spend, Businesses Are Slow to Hire,” Washington Post, 21 August 2010. 10 Tim Duy, “Yes, I Am Optimistic,” 30 November 2014. http://economistsview.typepad.com/timduy/2014/11/yes-i-am-optimistic-1.html. 11 Wynne Godley, “Macroeconomics without Equilibrium or Disequilibrium,” The Jerome Levy Economics Institute, Working Paper No. 205, August 1997. www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp205.pdf. 12 Olivier Blanchard, “Monetary Policy Will Never Be the Same,” IMF Direct, 19 November 2013. http://blog-imfdirect.imf.org/2013/11/19/monetary-policy-will-never-be-the-same/. 13 Fyodor Dostoyevsky, trans.


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

airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, business cycle, butterfly effect, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, distributed generation, Donald Davies, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everything should be made as simple as possible, 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, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, loss aversion, low skilled workers, market design, market fundamentalism, minimum wage unemployment, oil shock, open economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, 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, Vilfredo Pareto, 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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Expected Returns: An Investor's Guide to Harvesting Market Rewards by Antti Ilmanen

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, business cycle, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, 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, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, Google Earth, high net worth, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, income inequality, incomplete markets, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, law of one price, London Interbank Offered Rate, 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, Myron Scholes, negative equity, New Journalism, oil shock, p-value, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, 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, selection bias, Sharpe ratio, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, stochastic volatility, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, 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, zero-sum game

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.


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No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, business cycle, business intelligence, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, demographic dividend, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, hydraulic fracturing, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, inventory management, job automation, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Great Moderation, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population, Zipcar

As governments struggle to find a way to deleverage in the face of increasing age-related spending and fragile growth rates, unconventional monetary policies such as quantitative easing and even permanent debt monetization may become less of a taboo among central banks and policy makers. In this new macroeconomic territory, a traditional view of supply and demand fundamentals may no longer be a sufficient indicator for the future cost of capital. As illustrated by the European Central Bank’s move in the spring of 2014 to lower its benchmark deposit interest rate below zero, ultralow interest rates may remain the norm over the coming years.43 As economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff argued in a 2013 IMF paper, policy makers need to guard against overplaying the risks related to unconventional monetary support and limiting central banks’ room for policy maneuvering.44 HOW TO ADAPT As demand-supply dynamics change, business leaders need to be prepared to navigate both worlds. We have seen too many companies, households, and governments caught out by unexpected changes in the cost of capital.

Hiroko Tabuchi, “In Japan, a tenuous vow to cut,” New York Times, September 1, 2011, www.nytimes.com/2011/09/02/business/global/japan-seeks-answers-to-debt-load-without-angering-voters.html?Pagewanted=all&_r=0. 43. Ben Chu, “European Central Bank imposes negative rates on banks in historic move,” Independent (London), June 5, 2014, www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/european-central-bank-imposes-negative-rates-on-banks-in-historic-move-9494027.html. 44. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, Financial and sovereign debt crises: Some lessons learned and those forgotten, IMF working paper no. 13/266, December 2013, www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2013/wp13266.pdf. 45. Global Benchmark of Cost and Schedule Performance for Mega Projects in Mining, McKinsey & Company, 2013. 46. “Explosive growth,” The Economist, November 19, 2009, www.economist.com/node/14931607. 47.

Richard Dobbs, Jeremy Oppenheim, Fraser Thompson, Sigurd Mareels, Scott Nyquist, and Sunil Sanghvi, Resource revolution: Tracking global commodity markets, McKinsey Global Institute, September 2013. 27. Richard Dobbs, Jeremy Oppenheim, Fraser Thompson, Marcel Brinkman, and Marc Zornes, Resource revolution: Meeting the world’s energy, materials, food, and water needs, McKinsey Global Institute, November 2011. 28. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, “From financial crash to debt crisis,” American Economic Review 101, no. 5, August 2011, www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.5.1676; also see David Beers and Jean-Sébastien Nadeau, Introducing a new database of sovereign defaults, Bank of Canada, technical report no. 101, February 2014. 29. Delivery 2.0: The new challenge for governments, McKinsey & Company, October 2012. 30.


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The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality by Brink Lindsey

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Build a better mousetrap, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, experimental economics, experimental subject, facts on the ground, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, inventory management, invisible hand, Jones Act, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, mass incarceration, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Network effects, patent troll, plutocrats, Plutocrats, principal–agent problem, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, software patent, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, tulip mania, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Washington Consensus, white picket fence, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

The problem of regressive regulatory rents is much bigger than these specific instances, but we hope that a close look at these instances will suffice to give a well-grounded appreciation of how widespread and serious the problem has become. 3 FINANCE IN ANY SEARCH FOR POLICIES that slow growth and drive inequality, financial regulation is an obvious place to start. After all, the financial sector was Ground Zero for the worst economic crisis to hit this country since the Great Depression. As Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff have documented, financial crises are terrible for growth because recoveries from them are generally slow and arduous.1 The US experience since the bursting of the housing bubble certainly jibes with Reinhart and Rogoff’s analysis, as the expansion in the aftermath of the Great Recession has been the slowest on record since World War II. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the total long-term cost of the financial crisis, including lost wealth and reduced output, exceeds 100 percent of current GDP.2 While the financial sector is prone to causing cataclysmic wealth destruction for the economy as a whole, it shows true virtuosity in bestowing riches on a favored few.

Journal of Law and Economics 51, no. 1 (February 2008): 1–23; Francine LaFontaine and Fiona Scott Morton, “State Franchise Laws, Dealer Terminations, and the Auto Crisis,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 24, no. 3 (Summer 2010): 233–50. 27.See Michael Mandel and Diana G. Carew, “Regulatory Improvement Commission: A Politically Viable Approach to U.S. Regulatory Reform,” Progressive Policy Institute Policy Memo, May 2013, http://www.progressivepolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/05.2013-Mandel-Carew_Regulatory-Improvement-Commission_A-Politically-Viable-Approach-to-US-Regulatory-Reform.pdf. Chapter 3 1.See Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time It’s Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011). 2.See Tyler Atkinson, David Luttrell, and Harvey Rosenblum, “How Bad Was It? The Costs and Consequences of the 2007–09 Financial Crisis,” Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Staff Paper no. 20, July 2013, https://dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/staff/staff1301.pdf. 3.See Jon Bakija, Adam Cole, and Bradley T.


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

Alvin Roth, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, longitudinal study, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, means of production, Menlo Park, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, new economy, New Urbanism, peer-to-peer, 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, ultimatum game, unpaid internship, urban planning, Veblen good, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, young professional, zero-sum game

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.


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

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 cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, 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 - Herbert Stein's Law, illegal immigration, index fund, intangible asset, intermodal, inventory management, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, money market fund, 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, zero-sum game, 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.


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

accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Alvin Roth, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, bank run, Basel III, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, 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, information asymmetry, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, John Markoff, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, 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, Satyajit Das, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, the new new thing, 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, zero-sum game

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

Asian financial crisis, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business climate, business cycle, 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, creative destruction, 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, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, 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, Paul Samuelson, 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 Future of Employment, 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.”


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

Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive bias, cuban missile crisis, energy security, flex fuel, global pandemic, income per capita, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, John von Neumann, mass immigration, 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

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, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, 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, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, 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, peer-to-peer rental, 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?


pages: 662 words: 180,546

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

"Robert Solow", Alvin Roth, 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, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, constrained optimization, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deindustrialization, do-ocracy, 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, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, joint-stock company, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, loose coupling, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market design, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Philip Mirowski, 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, Vilfredo Pareto, 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: 414 words: 119,116

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

active measures, 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, longitudinal study, 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, twin studies, 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: 446 words: 117,660

Arguing With Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future by Paul Krugman

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, different worldview, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, employer provided health coverage, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, frictionless, frictionless market, fudge factor, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, London Whale, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, New Urbanism, obamacare, oil shock, open borders, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, universal basic income, very high income, working-age population

In this case, one paper, by the economists Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna, claimed to find evidence that cutting government spending inspired so much private-sector confidence that overall spending would actually rise. In “Myths of Austerity,” I mocked this as belief in the “confidence fairy.” Indeed, a closer look at the evidence, and then the experience of austerity in practice, showed that the doctrine of “expansionary austerity” was all wrong. But key policymakers seized on the doctrine. Meanwhile, Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff—who had done fine work in the past—came out with a paper that was, well, sloppy, asserting that terrible things happen to economies when debt crosses a magic threshold of 90 percent of G.D.P. This work also fell apart on examination, but only after it had served as an excuse for destructive policies in much of Europe. Finally, by around 2013 or so the Very Serious People found something new to worry about.

THE EXCEL DEPRESSION April 18, 2013 In this age of information, math errors can lead to disaster. NASA’s Mars Orbiter crashed because engineers forgot to convert to metric measurements; JPMorgan Chase’s “London Whale” venture went bad in part because modelers divided by a sum instead of an average. So, did an Excel coding error destroy the economies of the Western world? The story so far: at the beginning of 2010, two Harvard economists, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, circulated a paper, “Growth in a Time of Debt,” that purported to identify a critical “threshold,” a tipping point, for government indebtedness. Once debt exceeds 90 percent of gross domestic product, they claimed, economic growth drops off sharply. Ms. Reinhart and Mr. Rogoff had credibility thanks to a widely admired earlier book on the history of financial crises, and their timing was impeccable.


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

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, business cycle, 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, fixed income, 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, liberal capitalism, 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 inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, 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.


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

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, business cycle, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, liberal capitalism, mega-rich, money market fund, 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, 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, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game

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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Destined for War: America, China, and Thucydides's Trap by Graham Allison

9 dash line, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, game design, George Santayana, Haber-Bosch Process, industrial robot, Internet of things, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal world order, long peace, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, one-China policy, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, special economic zone, spice trade, the rule of 72, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade route, UNCLOS, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

And to supplement these efforts, it sustained a campaign of overt and covert actions inside the Soviet Union and its satellites to undermine Communist ideology and governments.55 Clue 6: There is nothing new under the sun—except nuclear weapons. Some observers claim the twenty-first century is so different from the past that lessons from previous experience are no longer relevant. To be sure, it is difficult to find precedents for current levels of economic integration, globalization, and ubiquitous worldwide communication, or global threats from climate disruption to violent Islamic extremism. But as my colleagues Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff remind us in their analysis of 350 financial crises over the past eight centuries, many previous generations have imagined that This Time Is Different. 56 Reinhart and Rogoff side with Thucydides in reasoning that, as long as men are men, we can anticipate recurring patterns in human affairs. After all, one of the best-selling books in Europe in the decade before World War I was Norman Angell’s The Great Illusion.

For a definitive account of Soviet and American interventions in the Third World during this era, see Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). For an illuminating narrative history of American covert operations in the Cold War that were aimed at foreign regime change, see Stephen Kinzer, Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (New York: Times Books, 2006), 111–216. [back] 56. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009). [back] 57. See Howard Weinroth, “Norman Angell and The Great Illusion: An Episode in Pre-1914 Pacifism,” Historical Journal 17, no. 3 (September 1974), 551–74. [back] 58. Harvard Nuclear Study Group, Living with Nuclear Weapons (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983), 43–44.


Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth by Stuart Ritchie

Albert Einstein, anesthesia awareness, Bayesian statistics, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, COVID-19, Covid-19, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, Growth in a Time of Debt, Kenneth Rogoff, l'esprit de l'escalier, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Milgram experiment, mouse model, New Journalism, p-value, phenotype, placebo effect, profit motive, publication bias, publish or perish, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, replication crisis, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stanford prison experiment, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Pinker, Thomas Bayes, twin studies, University of East Anglia

Just as physicists would love to discover a new law (or a way to break the ones we already know), and just as mathematicians work endlessly to prove their theorems, many social scientists, particularly economists, long to discover a stylised fact that can be associated with their name – and that the people who make important decisions can easily keep in mind. When they published a major paper in 2010, the economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff thought they’d hit the stylised-fact jackpot. For two years, politicians had been frantically trying to address the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing Great Recession. Amid all the conflicting advice, Reinhart and Rogoff’s paper, entitled ‘Growth in a Time of Debt’, was a godsend, providing strong evidence to recommend one particular course of economic action: austerity.2 Reinhart and Rogoff had studied the debt-to-GDP ratio – the relationship between what a country owes to its creditors (its public debt, which, perhaps confusingly, is also known as its government debt or its sovereign debt) and what new goods and services it can produce (its Gross Domestic Product).

My point here is that they can all bias our view of scientific results. 5: Negligence Epigraph: Charles Caleb Cotton, Lacon, or Many Things in Few Words (London, 1820). 1.  Daniel Hirschman, ‘Stylized Facts in the Social Sciences’, Sociological Science 3 (2016): pp. 604–26; https://doi.org/10.15195/v3.a26 2.  The study was an online ‘working paper’ for a while (as is normal in economics, as we’ll see in the final chapter), but it was eventually officially published as Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, ‘Growth in a Time of Debt’, American Economic Review 100, no. 2 (May 2010): pp. 573–78; https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.100.2.573 3.  Osborne: George Osborne, ‘Mais Lecture – A New Economic Model’, 24 Feb. 2010; https://conservative-speeches.sayit.mysociety.org/speech/601526; Republican members: United States Senate Committee on the Budget, ‘Sessions, Ryan Issue Joint Statement On Jobs Report, Call For Senate Action On Budget’, 8 July 2011; https://www.budget.senate.gov/chairman/newsroom/press/sessions-ryan-issue-joint-statement-on-jobs-report-call-for-senate-action-on-budget 4.  

Paul Krugman, ‘How the Case for Austerity Has Crumbled’, New York Review of Books, 6 June 2013; https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2013/06/06/how-case-austerity-has-crumbled/ 5.  Thomas Herndon et al., ‘Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff’, Cambridge Journal of Economics 38, no. 2 (April 2013): pp. 257–79; https://doi.org/10.1093/cje/bet075 6.  Reinhart and Rogoff admitted the Excel error, though they didn’t agree with the critics on many of their other points: Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, ‘Reinhart-Rogoff Response to Critique’, Wall Street Journal, 16 April 2013; https://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/04/16/reinhart-rogoff-response-to- critique/ 7.  Herndon et al., ‘High Public Debt’, p. 14. 8.  Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, ‘Refereeing Reinhart-Rogoff Debate’, Bloomberg Opinion, 28 April 2013; https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2013-04-28/refereeing-the-reinhart-rogoff-debate 9.  


pages: 371 words: 98,534

Red Flags: Why Xi's China Is in Jeopardy by George Magnus

3D printing, 9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cloud computing, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, Malacca Straits, means of production, megacity, money market fund, moral hazard, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, old age dependency ratio, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, risk tolerance, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, speech recognition, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade route, urban planning, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game

Age-related spending, pensions and healthcare Until now, we have considered how ageing affects the real, as opposed to the financial side of the economy. However, the almost fourfold rise in the old-age dependency ratio will subject China to a substantial fiscal burden. The development of coping mechanisms can help to mitigate the burden, but China will also have to make difficult decisions affecting taxation and spending to keep public debt on an even keel. In their seminal work in the wake of the financial crisis, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff asserted that economic growth slows sharply, or even falls, once the ratio of public debt to GDP breaches 90 per cent.17 While the mechanical implication here has been disputed, and may in any case be uncertain in a state-driven economy, economists are right to say that the debt to GDP ratio cannot increase continuously without important economic implications, even if precise thresholds of risk are hard to define.

‘China’s Rural Poor Bear the Brunt of the Nation’s Aging Crisis’, Bloomberg, 5 January 2017, <https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-05/china-s-rural-poor-bear-the-brunt-of-the-nation-s-aging-crisis>. 15. ‘China Plans Immigration Agency to Lure Overseas Talent’, Bloomberg, 18 July 2016, <https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-18/china-said-to-create-new-office-to-lure-overseas-work-talent>. 16. ‘China 2030’, World Bank and Development Research Center of the State Council, 2013. 17. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton University Press, 2009. 18. IMF, ‘Older and Smaller’, Finance and Development, vol. 53, no. 1, March 2016. 19. IMF, Fiscal Monitor, October 2016. 20. Hu Jiye, China University of Political Science and Law, cited in Wynne Wang, ‘The Silver Age: China’s Aging Population’, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) Knowledge, 17 October 2016. 21.


EuroTragedy: A Drama in Nine Acts by Ashoka Mody

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, book scanning, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, inflation targeting, Irish property bubble, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, loadsamoney, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, low-wage service sector, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open borders, pension reform, premature optimization, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, short selling, Silicon Valley, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, working-age population, Yogi Berra

It was not too early, Gourinchas advised, for the Greek and Portuguese governments to tighten their fiscal belts and start saving up for the day when the bills would surely come due. Another Princeton economist, Christopher Sims, spoke next, and he had the same message: “Opening up capital markets in poor countries has often led initially to large inflows and later to financial problems.”137 Sims also warned of the risk of sovereign defaults. In August 2003, economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff noted that Greece and Portugal belonged to the small club of “serial defaulters.”138 Both had defaulted on external creditors multiple times in the nineteenth century. Rogoff was still the IMF’s chief economist and Reinhart was one of his deputies. Together with their colleague, Miguel Savastano, they reported that serial defaulters had “weak fiscal structures and weak financial systems,” which persisted for years.

He acknowledged that the financial tumult since the Lehman bankruptcy announcement was unnerving and was likely to continue. But Rogoff insisted that the financial sector had been coddled too long and, as a consequence, had become “badly bloated.” Lehman’s failure, he said, was necessary to return to a leaner and more effective financial system. Rogoff was basing his comments on research with Carmen Reinhart, his colleague while at the IMF and now an economics professor at the University of Maryland. They had recently established through careful historical analysis that financial debt crises are followed by prolonged economic distress.93 Hence, the crucial policy task was to prevent debt from building up in the first place. By allowing Lehman to go bankrupt, the government had signaled it would not rescue reckless lenders.

However, the victorious allies after World War II did not risk making the same mistake: under the London Debt Agreement in 1953, they wrote off about half of German prewar and postwar debt. That debt write-​off created the fiscal space for the German government to increase expenditures on public health, education, and housing, and by lowering default risk, the write-​off reduced the interest rates the government had to pay on its debt to private creditors.93 Economists Carmen Reinhart and Christoph Trebesch have documented that such benefits of debt forgiveness have applied in a large number of cases. They report that in the 1920s, the United States and the United Kingdom wrote off substantial portions of debt owed to them by several European countries, providing much-​needed growth impetus to the countries receiving relief.94 Tsipras and Syriza had influential supporters, such as Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs and US President Barack Obama.


pages: 318 words: 77,223

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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, balance sheet recession, bank run, barriers to entry, break the buck, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, currency peg, disruptive innovation, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, friendly fire, full employment, future of work, Hyman Minsky, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, income inequality, inflation targeting, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Khan Academy, liquidity trap, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Norman Mailer, 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, zero-sum game

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

Airbnb, bank run, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, buy and hold, Carmen Reinhart, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, 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, money market fund, 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, Travis Kalanick, 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.


pages: 267 words: 71,123

End This Depression Now! by Paul Krugman

airline deregulation, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, business cycle, 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, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, 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: 250 words: 64,011

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

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, publication bias, QR code, randomized controlled trial, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, statistical model, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Thomas Bayes, Tim Cook: Apple, wikimedia commons, Yogi Berra

Fat-free isn’t—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 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 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. 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. (Economists have pointed out other errors that would make the calculation even further off base.)


The Limits of the Market: The Pendulum Between Government and Market by Paul de Grauwe, Anna Asbury

"Robert Solow", banking crisis, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, Honoré de Balzac, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kitchen Debate, means of production, moral hazard, Paul Samuelson, price discrimination, price mechanism, profit motive, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Simon Kuznets, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, very high income

We also see that in this mechanism the self-regulating character of the financial markets disappears. Everyone is optimistic, euphoric even. This euphoria has a blinding effect, and few people notice the risks. Real estate prices and share prices continue to rise. The markets exercise no disciplining influence whatsoever on people’s behaviour. On the contrary, they lead the way to increased euphoria and an ever greater lack of discipline. As Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff emphasize in their book This Time is Different,8 in periods of euphoria people tell tales which suggest that the price rises in shares or real estate are the result of fundamental developments. They believe that these high prices are the consequence of new technological developments and are completely justified. There is no question of a bubble. Then comes the crash. At some point it becomes abundantly clear that the euphoria has led to inflated share and real estate prices.


pages: 142 words: 45,733

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

anti-communist, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, creative destruction, David Graeber, declining real wages, full employment, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, late capitalism, liberal 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, zero-sum game

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: 280 words: 79,029

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

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, bank run, banking crisis, Black-Scholes formula, bonus culture, break the buck, Bretton Woods, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, 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, endogenous growth, 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, information asymmetry, Innovator's Dilemma, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, loss aversion, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, money market fund, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, negative equity, 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 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, Thales of Miletus, 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.


pages: 566 words: 155,428

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

"Robert Solow", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, break the buck, 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, money market fund, 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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, backtesting, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, break the buck, Brownian motion, business cycle, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, 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, dogs of the Dow, 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, information asymmetry, 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, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, 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, survivorship bias, 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: 322 words: 87,181

Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy by Dani Rodrik

3D printing, airline deregulation, Asian financial crisis, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, central bank independence, centre right, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, continuous integration, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, endogenous growth, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, floating exchange rates, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, global value chain, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Kenneth Rogoff, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market fundamentalism, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, open borders, open economy, Pareto efficiency, postindustrial economy, price stability, pushing on a string, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steven Pinker, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, World Values Survey, zero-sum game, éminence grise

It may also reignite long-dormant debates about the type of capitalism that produces the greatest prosperity. Economics Hijacked When the stakes are high, it is no surprise that battling political opponents use whatever support they can garner from economists and other researchers. That is what happened when conservative American politicians and European Union officials latched on to the work of two Harvard professors—Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff—to justify their support of fiscal austerity.9 Reinhart and Rogoff had published a paper that appeared to show that public-debt levels above 90 percent of GDP do significant damage to economic growth. The paper was criticized by three economists from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who argued their findings were brittle.10 They had found a relatively minor spreadsheet error.

See the reaction to Steve Rattner’s comments at the Peterson Institute, Steven Rattner “What’s Our Duty to the People Globalization Leaves Behind?” New York Times, Opinion Pages, January 26, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/26/opinion/whats-our-duty-to-the-people-globalization-leaves-behind.html?_r=2. 8. Fabrice Defever and Alejandro Riaño, “China’s Pure Exporter Subsidies,” Centre for Economic Performance Discussion Paper No. 1182, London School of Economics and Political Science, December 2012. 9. The original paper is Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, “Growth in the Time of Debt,” NBER Working Paper No. 15639, January 2010. 10. 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, vol. 38(2), 2014: 257–279. 11. Alberto F. Alesina and Silvia Ardagna, “Large Changes in Fiscal Policy: Taxes Versus Spending,” NBER Working Paper No. 15438, October 2009. 12.


pages: 460 words: 122,556

The End of Wall Street by Roger Lowenstein

Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, break the buck, 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, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Northern Rock, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, race to the bottom, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, 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: 365 words: 88,125

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, borderless world, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, ending welfare as we know it, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, microcredit, Myron Scholes, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, post-industrial society, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, rent control, shareholder value, short selling, Skype, structural adjustment programs, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, Toyota Production System, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

The fact is that the world has become more stable only if we regard low inflation as the sole indicator of economic stability, but it has not become more stable in the way most of us experience it. One sense in which the world has become more unstable during the last three decades of free-market dominance and strong anti-inflationary policies is the increased frequency and extent of financial crises. According to a study by Kenneth Rogoff, a former chief economist of the IMF and now a professor at Harvard University, and Carmen Reinhart, a professor at the University of Maryland, virtually no country was in banking crisis between the end of the Second World War and the mid 1970s, when the world was much more unstable than today, when measured by inflation. Between the mid 1970s and the late 1980s, when inflation accelerated in many countries, the proportion of countries with banking crises rose to 5–10 per cent, weighted by their share of world income, seemingly confirming the inflation-centric view of the world.


Firefighting by Ben S. Bernanke, Timothy F. Geithner, Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, Basel III, break the buck, Build a better mousetrap, business cycle, Carmen Reinhart, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Doomsday Book, financial deregulation, financial innovation, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Northern Rock, pets.com, price stability, quantitative easing, regulatory arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, savings glut, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Great Moderation, too big to fail

McConnell, and Phillip Swagel, “Evidence on Outcomes,” in Ben S. Bernanke, Timothy F. Geithner, and Henry M. Paulson, Jr., with Nellie Liang, eds., First Responders: Inside the U.S. Strategy for Fighting the 2007–2009 Global Financial Crisis (New Haven: Yale University Press, forthcoming). U.S. strategy was able to limit the damage: Data for 63 financial crises in advanced economies, 1857 to 2013, were taken from Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, “Recovery from Financial Crises: Evidence from 100 Episodes,” American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings 104(5) (2014): 50–55, https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/rogoff/files/aer_104-5_50-55.pdf. Based on Nellie Liang, Margaret M. McConnell, and Phillip Swagel, “Evidence on Outcomes,” in Ben S. Bernanke, Timothy F. Geithner, and Henry M. Paulson, Jr., with Nellie Liang, eds., First Responders: Inside the U.S.


pages: 484 words: 136,735

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

"Robert Solow", bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, buy and hold, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, 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, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, market design, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, 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 inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

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: 483 words: 134,377

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

"Robert Solow", 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, creative destruction, 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, Gunnar Myrdal, income per capita, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, 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, WikiLeaks, 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: 488 words: 144,145

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

Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, California gold rush, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, 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, Paul Samuelson, 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: 554 words: 158,687

Profiting Without Producing: How Finance Exploits Us All by Costas Lapavitsas

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, financial deregulation, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, Flash crash, full employment, global value chain, global village, High speed trading, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, market bubble, means of production, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, oil shock, open economy, pensions crisis, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Simon Kuznets, special drawing rights, Thales of Miletus, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, union organizing, value at risk, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

Brynjolfsson, Erik, Lorin Hitt, and Shinkyu Yang, ‘Intangible Assets: Computers and Organizational Capital’, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity: Macroeconomics, vol. 1, 2002, pp. 137–99. Buiter, Willem, and Anne Sibert, ‘The Central Bank as the Market-Maker of Last Resort: From Lender of Last Resort to Market-Maker of Last Resort’, in The First Global Financial Crisis of the 21st Century, ed. Andrew Felton and Carmen Reinhart, London: Center for Economic Policy Research (CERP), 2007; available at VoxEU.org. Buiter, Willem, ‘New Developments in Monetary Economics: Two Ghosts, Two Eccentricities, a Fallacy, a Mirage and a Mythos’, Economic Journal, 115, 2005, pp. C1–C31. Buiter, William, ‘The “Good Bank” Solution’, Financial Times (online), 29 January 2009. Bukharin, Nikolai, The Economics of the Transformation Period (with Lenin’s critical remarks), first published in Russian, New York: Bergman; also published as The Politics and Economics of the Transition Period, 1979, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1971 (1920).

De Grauwe, Paul, ‘The European Central Bank: Lender of Last Resort in the Government Bond Markets?’, CESifo Working Paper No. 3569, September 2011. De Grauwe, Paul, ‘The Governance of a Fragile Eurozone’, CEPS Working Document No. 346, Centre for European Policy Studies, May 2011. De Grauwe, Paul, ‘There is More to Central Banking Than Inflation Targeting’, in The First Global Financial Crisis of the 21st Century, ed. Andrew Felton and Carmen Reinhart, VoxEU–Center for Economic Policy Research, 2007. De Grauwe, Paul, and Wim Moesen, ‘Gains for All: A Proposal for a Common Euro Bond’, Intereconomics 44:3, 2009, pp. 132–5. De Grauwe, Paul, and Yuemei Ji, ‘Mispricing of Sovereign Risk and Multiple Equilibria in the Eurozone’, CEPS Working Document No. 361, Centre for European Policy Studies, January 2012. De Paula, João Antonio, Hugo E. A. da Gama Cerqueira, Alexandre Mendes Cunha, Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak, Leonardo Gomes de Deus, Eduardo da Motta e Albuquerque, Guilherme Habib Santos Curi, and Marco Túlio Vieira, ‘Marx in 1869: Notebook B113, The Economist and The Money Market Review’, Discussion Paper No. 417, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 2011.


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

asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, bonus culture, break the buck, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, 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, John Meriwether, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, money market fund, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, statistical model, The Chicago School, Thomas Bayes, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, Vanguard fund, yield curve, zero-sum game

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: 829 words: 186,976

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

"Robert Solow", airport security, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, business cycle, buy and hold, 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, global pandemic, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, high batting average, housing crisis, income per capita, index fund, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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, Laplace demon, locking in a profit, Loma Prieta earthquake, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, negative equity, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pets.com, Pierre-Simon Laplace, 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 Bayes, 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: 180 words: 61,340

Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis

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, financial thriller, 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, the new new thing, 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: 370 words: 102,823

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

balance sheet recession, banking crisis, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collaborative economy, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Detroit bankruptcy, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, facts on the ground, fiat currency, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, non-tariff barriers, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, 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: 831 words: 98,409

SUPERHUBS: How the Financial Elite and Their Networks Rule Our World by Sandra Navidi

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, assortative mating, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, butterfly effect, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, diversification, East Village, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, family office, financial repression, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google bus, Gordon Gekko, haute cuisine, high net worth, hindsight bias, income inequality, index fund, intangible asset, Jaron Lanier, John Meriwether, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, McMansion, mittelstand, money market fund, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Network effects, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Parag Khanna, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, performance metric, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Renaissance Technologies, rent-seeking, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Predators' Ball, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, too big to fail, women in the workforce, young professional

Rob Johnson, the executive director of INET, who had been chief economist of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee and had worked at Soros Fund Management, gave the welcoming speech. The discussions were thoroughly academic and to the financial layperson would probably have seemed hopelessly abstract. Harvard Professor Ken Rogoff and George Soros spoke about the emerging economic and political order, while Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs and Carmen Reinhart of the Peterson Institute discussed postcrisis macroeconomic management. Former U.K. prime minister Gordon Brown, whom I had previously thought to be rather dry, enthralled the audience with an insightful and passionately delivered lunch keynote on global financial issues. The schedule was packed with sessions beginning in the early morning and stretching into the evening. Dinners started late, and many guests congregated in the bar thereafter.


pages: 409 words: 125,611

The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them by Joseph E. Stiglitz

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of DNA, Doha Development Round, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, urban sprawl, very high income, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, white flight, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population

We are endangering our future because there will be a large coterie of people at the bottom who will not live up to their potential, who will not be able to make the contribution that they could have made, to the prosperity of the country as a whole. All of this exposes the Republicans’ argument in favor of these food policies—a concern for our future, particularly the impact of the national debt on our children—as a dishonest and deeply cynical pretense. Not only has the intellectual undergirding of debt fetishism been knocked out (with the debunking of work by the Harvard economists Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff that tied slowed growth to debt-to-GDP ratios above 90 percent). The Republicans’ farm bill also clearly harms both America’s children and the world’s in a variety of ways. For these proposals to become law would be a moral and economic failure for the country. ______________ * New York Times, November 16, 2013. ON THE WRONG SIDE OF GLOBALIZATION* TRADE AGREEMENTS ARE A SUBJECT THAT CAN CAUSE THE eyes to glaze over, but we should all be paying attention.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s recently elected government provides a case in point. As in many other countries, conservative governments are arguing for cutbacks in government spending, on the grounds that fiscal deficits imperil their future. In the case of Australia, however, such assertions ring particularly hollow—though that has not stopped Abbott’s government from trafficking in them. Even if one accepts the claim of the Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff that very high public debt levels mean lower growth—a view that they never really established and that has subsequently been discredited—Australia is nowhere near that threshold. Its debt-to-GDP ratio is only a fraction of that of the U.S., and one of the lowest among the OECD countries. What matters more for long-term growth are investments in the future—including crucial public investments in education, technology, and infrastructure.


pages: 416 words: 106,532

Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond by Chris Burniske, Jack Tatar

Airbnb, altcoin, asset allocation, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, Blythe Masters, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, fixed income, George Gilder, Google Hangouts, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, Leonard Kleinrock, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Network effects, packet switching, passive investing, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Sharpe ratio, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, smart contracts, social web, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Uber for X, Vanguard fund, WikiLeaks, Y2K

Every bubble by definition deflates.”27 “THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT” When asset markets are taken over by mass speculation and prices reach nosebleed territory, a common refrain can often be heard: “This time is different.” Typically, the logic goes that the markets have evolved from more primitive years, and financial engineering innovations have led to robust markets that can’t possibly crash. Time and again this thesis has been refuted by subsequent market crashes. In their well-regarded book This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff deliver a 300-page tour de force to prove that this time is never different. They describe how “this time is different” thinking was used to justify the sustainability of jubilant markets prior to the 1929 crash that led to the Great Depression. Proponents of “this time is different” thinking claimed that business cycles had been cured by the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913.


pages: 453 words: 111,010

Licence to be Bad by Jonathan Aldred

"Robert Solow", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, framing effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, full employment, George Akerlof, glass ceiling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, nudge unit, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, positional goods, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, spectrum auction, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, zero-sum game

Again, after the financial crisis Nobel laureate macroeconomist Tom Sargent, who had not once warned about imminent problems in the financial sector, asserted, ‘it is just wrong to say that this financial crisis caught modern macroeconomists by surprise’.29 David Miles, a macroeconomist who served on the Bank of England panel setting UK interest rates, took the opposite view, insisting that the crisis was inevitably a surprise, with no more clues in advance than the number on a winning lottery ticket: ‘Any criticism of economics that rests on its failure to predict the crisis is no more plausible than the idea that statistical theory needs to be rewritten because mathematicians have a poor record at predicting winning lottery ticket numbers.’30 And so it goes on. Recent austerity policies pursued in several countries were explicitly based on the research of Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff, showing that economic growth falls sharply once the government debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 90 per cent.31 Except it didn’t: in April 2013 a graduate student discovered a crucial error in their spreadsheet. It turned out that slow growth causes high debt, not the other way around, as Reinhart and Rogoff had implied. Reinhart and Rogoff did not apologize, trying instead to blame politicians for exaggerating their research.


pages: 401 words: 109,892

The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets by Thomas Philippon

airline deregulation, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, central bank independence, commoditize, crack epidemic, cross-subsidies, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, gig economy, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, intangible asset, inventory management, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, law of one price, liquidity trap, low cost airline, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, price discrimination, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game

TABLE 13.1 Top Ten Global Firms, Spring 2018 Company Country Market value ($ billion) Apple US 926.9 Amazon US 777.8 Alphabet US 766.4 Microsoft US 750.6 Facebook US 541.5 Alibaba China 499.4 Berkshire Hathaway US 491.9 Tencent Holdings China 491.3 JPMorgan Chase US 387.7 ExxonMobil US 344.1 These companies are stars, undoubtedly. But there have always been stars in the economy. Are these stars different? Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff (2009) have famously shown that thinking “this time is different” is the shortest way to a financial crisis. In macroeconomics, there is no such thing as “this time is different.” But, perhaps, matters could be different where the internet is concerned. There are some technological reasons to believe this time might be different. Internet firms can grow very quickly. It took Snapchat only eighteen months to reach the $1 billion valuation that it took Google eight full years to achieve, a feat that, on average, takes twenty years for a Fortune 500 company.


pages: 614 words: 174,226

The Economists' Hour: How the False Prophets of Free Markets Fractured Our Society by Binyamin Appelbaum

"Robert Solow", airline deregulation, Alvin Roth, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Benoit Mandelbrot, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, clean water, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, greed is good, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, John Markoff, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, Long Term Capital Management, low cost airline, manufacturing employment, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Mohammed Bouazizi, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, Network effects, new economy, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, profit motive, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, starchitect, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus

They were pretty clear about what that meant, too, adding, “We will avoid any premature withdrawal of stimulus.” Some economists howled in protest. The Italian economists Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna published a study in October 2009 that said governments could spur economic growth by reducing budget deficits — in other words, by spending less money rather than more.6 A few months later, in January 2010, the American economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff published a paper purporting to identify a kind of red line for government borrowing: they said that when debts exceeded 90 percent of a nation’s annual economic output, growth declined.7 The European Commission’s head of economic and monetary affairs, Olli Rehn, started talking about a “90-percent rule.” The chief economist of the International Monetary Fund called the 90 percent threshold “a good reference point.”

Alesina and Silvia Ardagna, “Large Changes in Fiscal Policy: Taxes Versus Spending,” October 2009, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 15438. Alesina and Ardagna were graduates of the School of Economics at Bocconi University in Milan, founded by the conservative economist and politician Luigi Einaudi, who served as Italy’s president from 1948 to 1955. The school became associated with the economic theory that deficit reduction could spur economic growth. 7. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, “Growth in a Time of Debt,” January 2010, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 15639. 8. The error was discovered by Thomas Herndon, a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who was doing his homework: The assignment was to pick a published economics paper and try to replicate the results. Herndon and two of his professors published a paper in the spring of 2013 pointing out the mistake in the Reinhart and Rogoff study.


Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises, Sixth Edition by Kindleberger, Charles P., Robert Z., Aliber

active measures, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, break the buck, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency peg, death of newspapers, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, edge city, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Honoré de Balzac, Hyman Minsky, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, large denomination, law of one price, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, price stability, railway mania, Richard Thaler, riskless arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, telemarketer, The Chicago School, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, very high income, Washington Consensus, Y2K, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

The global inflation of the 1970s resulted from a combination of expansive US monetary policy and expansive monetary policies in Europe and Japan as their large balance of payments surpluses led to rapid growth in their holdings of international Reserve assets. Central bank holdings of international reserve assets again increased rapidly in the mid-1990s and the late 1990s.59 Three years later a French economist, Pascal Blanqué, wrote of a US credit bubble.60 In a similar view, Graciela Kaminsky and Carmen Reinhart blame foreign countries for printing money and the United States for running a persistent balance-of-payments deficit.61 The central question is whether a central bank can restrain the instability of credit and slow speculation to avoid its dangerous extension. If the monetary authorities fix some proxy for the money supply or for liquidity, or if they focus directly on the rate of interest, can the upswing and decline of the crisis be moderated or eliminated entirely?

White, Free Banking in Britain: Theory, Experience and Debate (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984); George Selgin, The Theory of Free Banking (Totowa, NJ: Rowan and Littlefield, 1989). For a defense of central banking, see Charles Goodhart, The Evolution of Central Banks (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989). 59. ‘The Post-1990 Surge in World Currency Reserves’, Conjuncture, 26th year, no. 9 (October 1996), pp. 2–12. 60. Pascal Blanqué, ‘US Credit Bubble.com’, Conjuncture, 29th year, no. 4 (April 1999), pp. 12–21. 61. Graciela L. Kaminsky and Carmen W. Reinhart, ‘The Twin Crises: the Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems’, American Economic Review (June 1999), pp. 433–500. 62. Gayer, Rostow, and Schwartz, Growth and Fluctuation, vol. 1, p. 300. 63. Hughes, Fluctuations, p. 12. 64. Ibid., p. 261. 65. Elmer Wood, English Theories of Central Banking Control, 1819–1858, with Some Account of Contemporary Procedures (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1939), p. 147. 66.


pages: 300 words: 77,787

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

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, intangible asset, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, market bubble, money market fund, passive investing, pattern recognition, prediction markets, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, selection bias, 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.


pages: 464 words: 139,088

The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking and the Future of the Global Economy by Mervyn King

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, distributed generation, Doha Development Round, Edmond Halley, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, German hyperinflation, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, large denomination, lateral thinking, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, yield curve, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Bank Underground, Bank of England website. Rae, John (1895), The Life of Adam Smith, Macmillan and Co., London. Reddaway, W. Brian (1939), The Economic Consequences of a Declining Population, Allen and Unwin, London. Reinhart, Carmen M. and Kenneth S. Rogoff (2009), This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. Reinhart, Carmen, Vincent Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff (2015), ‘Dealing with Debt’, Journal of International Economics, forthcoming. Ricardo, David (1816), Proposals for an Economical and Secure Currency, T. Davison, London. Roberts, Andrew (2014), Napoleon the Great, Allen Lane, London. Roberts, Richard (2013), Saving the City, Oxford University Press, Oxford. Robertson, James (2012), Future Money: Breakdown or Breakthrough?


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

banking crisis, banks create money, barriers to entry, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, currency peg, declining real wages, disintermediation, financial intermediation, fixed income, 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, old-boy network, 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.”


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

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, business climate, business cycle, business process, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clockwork universe, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, conceptual framework, credit crunch, different worldview, 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, liberation theology, 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: 394 words: 85,734

The Global Minotaur by Yanis Varoufakis, Paul Mason

active measures, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, endogenous growth, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, full employment, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, paper trading, Paul Samuelson, 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, WikiLeaks, 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: 322 words: 84,580

The Economics of Belonging: A Radical Plan to Win Back the Left Behind and Achieve Prosperity for All by Martin Sandbu

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, collective bargaining, debt deflation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, intangible asset, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, liquidity trap, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mini-job, mortgage debt, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, pattern recognition, pink-collar, precariat, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, social intelligence, TaskRabbit, total factor productivity, universal basic income, very high income, winner-take-all economy, working poor

Olivier Blanchard, “Public Debt and Low Interest Rates” (presidential address, American Economic Association, January 2019), https://www.aeaweb.org/aea/2019conference/program/pdf/14020_paper_etZgfbDr.pdf. Chapter 9. A Smarter Financial System 1. For a view of why this was, see Martin Sandbu, “Talking ’bout a Revolution,” Financial Times, 19 April 2013, https://www.ft.com/content/91a3782a-a80f-11e2-b031-00144feabdc0. 2. See, for example, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009; 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, 2015; and Valerie Cerra and Sweta Saxena, “Growth Dynamics: The Myth of Economic Recovery,” American Economic Review 98, no. 1 (2008): 439–57, https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.98.1.439. 3.


pages: 263 words: 80,594

Stolen: How to Save the World From Financialisation by Grace Blakeley

"Robert Solow", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, decarbonisation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, fixed income, full employment, G4S, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land value tax, light touch regulation, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, payday loans, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Right to Buy, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, transfer pricing, universal basic income, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, yield curve, zero-sum game

In fact, through quantitative easing, the British state now owns as much as a third of its own debt, which has reduced the cost of borrowing to historic lows. The idea that the UK is on the verge of a sovereign debt crisis is laughable. If anything, investors are demanding more government bonds than states like the UK are willing to issue. The second argument for austerity is that high levels of debt curb economic growth. This argument has featured heavily in the debate about austerity thanks to Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, the authors of This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, the book used to justify George Osborne’s austerity agenda. This Time Is Different argues that above a particular level — 90% of GDP — government debt has a negative and statistically significant impact on growth. This argument has a long history. David Ricardo wrote that government borrowing never increases growth because perfectly rational, utility-maximising agents would respond to an expansion in government spending by saving because they anticipate tax hikes down the line.


pages: 288 words: 16,556

Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller

Alvin Roth, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, buy and hold, 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, financial thriller, fixed income, full employment, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market design, means of production, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, passive investing, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, profit maximization, quantitative easing, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, self-driving car, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Simon Kuznets, Skype, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Vanguard fund, young professional, zero-sum game, 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: 726 words: 172,988

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

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, break the buck, business cycle, 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, fixed income, George Akerlof, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, Larry Wall, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, regulatory arbitrage, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satyajit Das, 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: 441 words: 136,954

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

addicted to oil, 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, creative destruction, 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, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, 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.


Adam Smith: Father of Economics by Jesse Norman

"Robert Solow", active measures, Andrei Shleifer, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Broken windows theory, business cycle, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, Corn Laws, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial intermediation, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, incomplete markets, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, lateral thinking, loss aversion, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, moral panic, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, random walk, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, scientific worldview, seigniorage, Socratic dialogue, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Veblen good, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, working poor, zero-sum game

History of manias, bubbles and crashes: there is considerable controversy as to the correct explanation for different bubbles or manias. See e.g. Charles P. Kindleberger, Manias, Panics, and Crashes, 4th edn, John Wiley 2000; Robert Shiller, Irrational Exuberance, Princeton University Press 2000; Peter Garber, Famous First Bubbles: The Fundamentals of Early Manias, MIT Press 2000; and for finance, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time is Different, Princeton University Press 2011 Keynes’s beauty competition: J. M. Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, Macmillan 1936 Asset markets and credit creation: see George Cooper, The Origin of Financial Crises, 2nd edn, Harriman House 2010 Hyman Minsky: see his Stabilizing an Unstable Economy, Yale University Press 1986. Minsky’s insistence on radical uncertainty, on the centrality of the financial sector to the modern economy and on the pro-cyclical nature of market dynamics is especially noteworthy US housing market and the 2008 crisis: Steven D.


pages: 772 words: 203,182

What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked the American Middle Class . . . And What Other Countries Got Right by George R. Tyler

8-hour work day, active measures, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Black Swan, blood diamonds, blue-collar work, Bolshevik threat, bonus culture, British Empire, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, lake wobegon effect, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, performance metric, pirate software, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

The outcome was revolution, a civil war, tumbrels, the guillotine, economic turmoil, and eventually, a military dictatorship and continent-wide war.37 Little wonder that Adam Smith, gazing on these events across the North Sea from Scotland, was a debt scold who would have been disgusted by the behavior of Reagan-era America. The discipline of the gold standard and prudence of American presidents produced some global fiscal stability in the post–World War II era. Between 1960 and the early 1980s, for example, severe sovereign credit crises involving default or restructuring afflicted fewer than 15 percent of countries. That was easily the lowest share since 1827. But, as economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff document in their book, This Time is Different, the number of profligate nations that became severely indebted leaped in the Reagan era. By the end of Ronald Reagan’s Presidency, nearly 40 percent of nations across the globe had succumbed to his siren song of wildcat banking and were dealing with severe debt crises.38 America hopefully will not face a debt crisis in the years ahead.

Samuelson, “The Mistake We’re Still Paying for,” Washington Post, July 9, 2012. 35 T.J. Augustine, Alexander Maasry, Damilola Sobo, and Di Wang, “Sovereign Fiscal Responsibility Index 2011,” Stanford University and the Comeback America Initiative, March 23, 2011. 36 Publicly held debt statistics are from “Fiscal Year 2013 Historical Tables,” Office of Management and Budget, Table 7.1, 2013. 37 Niall Ferguson, Civilization (New York: Penguin Group, 2011), 149–50. 38 Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different, fig 1. John Mauldin and Jonathan Tepper, Endgame (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011), 27. CHAPTER 11 1 David Stockman, “Four Deformations of the Apocalypse.” 2 Michale Sauga and Peter Müller, “Interview with German Finance Minister Schäuble,” Der Spiegel, Nov. 8, 2010. 3 Joseph E. Stiglitz, “Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Inequality,” New York Times, June 24, 2012. 4 Peter G.


pages: 442 words: 94,734

The Art of Statistics: Learning From Data by David Spiegelhalter

Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Bayesian statistics, Carmen Reinhart, complexity theory, computer vision, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, Edmond Halley, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, Hans Rosling, Kenneth Rogoff, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, Netflix Prize, p-value, placebo effect, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, replication crisis, self-driving car, speech recognition, statistical model, The Design of Experiments, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus

He can perhaps say what the experiment died of.’3 When it comes to collecting Data, common problems include excessive missing responses, people dropping out of the study, recruitment being much slower than anticipated, and simply getting everything coded up efficiently. All these issues should have been foreseen and avoided by careful piloting. The easiest way for Analysis to go wrong is simply to make a mistake. Many of us will have made errors in coding or spreadsheets, but perhaps not with the consequences of the following examples: Prominent economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff published a paper in 2010 which strongly influenced attitudes to austerity. A PhD student later found that five countries had been inadvertently left out of their main analysis due to a simple spreadsheet error.fn2 4 A programmer for AXA Rosenberg, a global equity investment firm, incorrectly programmed a statistical model so that some of its calculated risk elements were too small by a factor of ten thousand, leading to $217 million in losses to clients.


pages: 733 words: 179,391

Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought by Andrew W. Lo

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, Arthur Eddington, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, Brownian motion, business cycle, business process, butterfly effect, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Carmen Reinhart, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, diversification, diversified portfolio, double helix, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Ernest Rutherford, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, framing effect, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, housing crisis, incomplete markets, index fund, interest rate derivative, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, martingale, merger arbitrage, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, old-boy network, out of africa, p-value, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, predatory finance, prediction markets, price discovery process, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, RAND corporation, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sam Peltzman, Shai Danziger, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, statistical arbitrage, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, Thales and the olive presses, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, US Airways Flight 1549, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

The second mistake on Stiglitz’s list was: “The decision in April 2004 by the Securities and Exchange Commission, at a meeting attended by virtually no one and largely overlooked at the time, to allow big investment banks to increase their debt-to-capital ratio (from 12:1 to 30:1, or higher) so that they could buy more mortgage-backed securities, inflating the housing bubble in the process.”19 This narrative even made its way into the historical record, through economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff ’s highly regarded and otherwise meticulously researched history of eight centuries of financial crises, This Time Is Different: “What could in retrospect be recognized as huge regulatory mistakes, including the deregulation of the subprime mortgage market and the 2004 decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission to allow investment banks to triple their leverage ratios (that is, the ratio measuring the amount of risk to capital), appeared benign at the time.”20 And in January 2011, nearly two years after Sirri’s speech correcting the mistaken interpretation of the 2004 SEC rule change, the macroeconomist Robert Hall criticized “so-called deregulation” for its contribution to the crisis in a speech he delivered at MIT: Fear, Greed, and Financial Crisis • 311 I think that the one most important failure of regulation is easy to identify.


pages: 436 words: 98,538

The Upside of Inequality by Edward Conard

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, bank run, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, future of work, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game

order=wbapi_data_value_2013%20wbapi_data_value%20wbapi_data_value-last&sort=desc. 13. “Global Wealth Report 2015,” Credit Suisse Research, October 2015, https://publications.credit-suisse.com/tasks/render/file/?fileID=F2425415-DCA7-80B8-EAD989AF9341D47E. 14. Chris Gaither and Dawn Chmielewski, “Fears of Dot-Com Crash, Version 2.0,” Los Angeles Times, July 16, 2006, http://articles.latimes.com/2006/jul/16/business/fi-overheat16. 15. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009). 16. Lawrence Summers, “The Future of Work in the Age of the Machine: A Hamilton Project Policy Forum,” National Press Club, February 19, 2015, http://www.hamiltonproject.org/events/the_future_of_work_in_the_age_of_the_machine. 17. Robert McIntyre, Richard Phillips, and Phineas Baxandall, “Offshore Shell Games 2015: The Use of Offshore Tax Havens by Fortune 500 Companies,” Citizens for Tax Justice, 2015, http://ctj.org/pdf/offshoreshell2015.pdf. 18.


pages: 518 words: 147,036

The Fissured Workplace by David Weil

accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, barriers to entry, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate raider, Corrections Corporation of America, 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, information asymmetry, 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, Paul Samuelson, 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, 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.


How to Be a Liberal by Ian Dunt

4chan, Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, bounce rate, British Empire, Brixton riot, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, experimental subject, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, invisible hand, John Bercow, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal world order, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Mohammed Bouazizi, Northern Rock, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, recommendation engine, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, working poor, zero-sum game

When governments took on too much debt and their deficits became too large, the argument went, markets panicked. They started to treat traditionally safe government bonds – the IOUs issued for national borrowing – as uncertain. That drove up interest rates on borrowing, which would in turn plunge countries further into the red, trapping them in debt servitude. This argument was given additional potency in 2010 by the publication of a research paper by two former IMF economists, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, called Growth in a Time of Debt. It contained an alarming finding. Once public debt passed 90 per cent of GDP, it said, something happened. Economic growth slowed. The economy couldn’t get out from under the sheer weight of state borrowing. Government revenue dwindled, more and more money was spent on servicing the debt, and hopes of ever paying it off vanished. The country started to sink.


pages: 357 words: 110,017

Money: The Unauthorized Biography by Felix Martin

bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Graeber, en.wikipedia.org, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, fixed income, 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 Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, mobile money, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, private military company, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Scientific racism, scientific worldview, 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.


pages: 126 words: 37,081

Men Without Work by Nicholas Eberstadt

business cycle, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, deindustrialization, financial innovation, full employment, illegal immigration, jobless men, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, mass immigration, moral hazard, post-work, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, 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: 424 words: 115,035

How Will Capitalism End? by Wolfgang Streeck

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bretton Woods, business cycle, 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, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Graeber, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial deregulation, financial innovation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, liberal 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 Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Uber for X, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, 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: 457 words: 125,329

Value of Everything: An Antidote to Chaos The by Mariana Mazzucato

"Robert Solow", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, cleantech, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, European colonialism, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, financial repression, full employment, G4S, George Akerlof, Google Hangouts, Growth in a Time of Debt, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, interest rate derivative, Internet of things, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, means of production, money market fund, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, rent control, rent-seeking, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart meter, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software patent, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

These numbers purport to set objective limits to government indebtedness. But where do they come from? You might imagine they are arrived at through some kind of scientific process - but if so, you'd be wrong. These numbers are taken out of thin air, supported by neither theory nor practice. Let's start with debt. In 2010 the American Economic Review published an article by two top economists, professors at Harvard University: Carmen Reinhart, ranked the following year by the Bloomberg Markets magazine among the ‘Most Influential 50 in Finance'; and Kenneth Rogoff, a former chief economist of the IMF.4 In this piece the pair claimed that when the size of government debt (as a proportion of GDP) is over 90 per cent (much higher than the 60 per cent of the Maastricht Treaty, but still lower than that of many countries), economic growth falls.


pages: 316 words: 117,228

The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality by Katharina Pistor

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bilateral investment treaty, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business cycle, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Glaeser, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global reserve currency, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, intangible asset, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land tenure, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, means of production, money market fund, moral hazard, offshore financial centre, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, profit maximization, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Wolfgang Streeck

Hamilton and Alfred L. Brophy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010). 56. Reuters Staff, “IMF projects Venezuela inflation will hit 1,000,000 percent in 2018. Reuters Business News, July 23, 2018, available online at www.reuters .com (last accessed August 8, 2018). 57. Kim Oosterlinck, “Sovereign Debt Defaults: Insights from History,” Oxford Review of Economic Policy 29, no. 4 (2013):697–714; see also Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009). 58. M. Aycard, Credit Mobilier (Brussels, Leipzig, Livourne: A. Lacroix, Verboeckhoven & Cie, 1867). 59. Merton as quoted in McKinsey Global Institute, “Mapping Global Capital Markets” (New York: McKinsey Global Institute, 2008), p. 136. 60. The structure is an example of what Minsky would later call “Ponzi finance”—in reference to Mr.


Money and Government: The Past and Future of Economics by Robert Skidelsky

anti-globalists, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, barriers to entry, Basel III, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, constrained optimization, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, law of one price, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, market clearing, market friction, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, placebo effect, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, shareholder value, short selling, Simon Kuznets, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade liberalization, value at risk, Washington Consensus, yield curve, zero-sum game

By November 2010 he was writing: ‘sometimes, not always, some fiscal adjustments based upon spending cuts are not associated with economic downturns’.21 But the damage had been done. Since 2011 little has been heard of ‘expansionary fiscal contraction’. We got the contraction, but not the expansion. 231 M ac roe c onom ic s i n t h e C r a s h a n d A f t e r , 2 0 0 7 – Reinhart and Rogoff and the 90 per cent barrier Two American economists, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, produced another correlation to bolster the austerity case. They attributed the ‘vast range of crises’ they had analysed to ‘excessive debt accumulation’.22 They noticed that, once the public debt–GDP ratio crashed through the 90 per cent barrier, ‘growth rates are roughly cut in half’. 23 Early in 2013 researchers at the University of Massachusetts examined the data behind the Reinhart–Rogoff work and found that the results were partly driven by a spreadsheet error: More importantly, the results weren’t at all robust: using standard statistical procedures rather than the rather odd approach Reinhart and Rogoff used, or adding a few more years of data, caused the 90% cliff to vanish.


pages: 353 words: 81,436

pages: 401 words: 112,784

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

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, business cycle, Carmen Reinhart, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, full employment, Gini coefficient, hedonic treadmill, 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, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, oil shock, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, Right to Buy, 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: 209 words: 53,236

The Scandal of Money by George Gilder

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, Donald Trump, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Home mortgage interest deduction, index fund, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, obamacare, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, secular stagnation, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, winner-take-all economy, yield curve, zero-sum game

He concludes, “Compared to the past, companies seem more reluctant to invest in the future.” 3.Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Mark Spitznagel, in a blog post at CNN’s Global Public Square from October 2012, estimate that $2.2 trillion was paid to bankers, chiefly in bonuses, in the United States alone between June 2000 and June 2007, and they project the total to rise to (very roughly) $5 trillion over the course of the decade. “Bankers used leverage to increase profitability and exploited the backstop of public guarantees. The profits largely flow to the employees [i.e., the bankers], while the losses are defrayed by the taxpayers and shareholders and even retirees (through artificially low interest rates). The Fed also provided $1.2 trillion in loans to banks (mostly secret at the time).” 4.Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011). 5.Mark Skousen, Vienna & Chicago, Friends or Foes? A Tale of Two Schools of Free-Market Economics (Washington, DC: Capital Press, 2005). Skousen superbly covers the canonical sources of Austrian and Chicago economic thought. See also Robert P. Murphy and Donald J.


pages: 524 words: 155,947

More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Vishaka George, “Banks paid $321 billion in fines since financial crisis: BCG”, Reuters, March 2nd 2017 19. “Too big not to fail”, The Economist, February 18th 2012 20. Barry Eichengreen and Kevin O’Rourke, “What do the new data tell us?”, March 7th 2010, https://voxeu.org/article/tale-two-depressions-what-do-new-data-tell-us-february-2010-update 21. “China seeks stimulation”, The Economist, November 10th 2008 22. Carmen Reinhart, “Eight years later: post-crisis recovery and deleveraging”, The Clearing House, https://www.theclearinghouse.org/banking-perspectives/2017/2017-q1-banking-perspectives/articles/post-crisis-recovery-and-deleveraging 23. Ibid. 24. Tooze, Crashed, op. cit. The three were Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS and Deutsche. 25. “Back to reality”, The Economist, October 23rd 2014 26. “Celtic phoenix”, The Economist, November 19th 2015 27.


Not Working by Blanchflower, David G.

active measures, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clapham omnibus, collective bargaining, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, George Akerlof, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, job satisfaction, John Bercow, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, oil shock, open borders, Own Your Own Home, p-value, Panamax, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, quantitative easing, rent control, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, urban planning, working poor, working-age population, yield curve

But there could be a recession; that would be normal” (2009, xvi). Galbraith also noted that “the descent is always more sudden than the increase: a balloon that has been punctured does not deflate in an orderly way” (xiv). And so it was. The Great Recession started in the Arizona, Florida, California, and Nevada housing markets and grew and grew as the subprime housing market collapsed. It spread around the world and took banks down with it. As Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff (2009) have famously noted, financial crises take an inordinate amount of time for economies to recover from. This book will be published a dozen years after the start of the Great Recession, which the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) estimates started in the United States in December 2007.7 In most other advanced countries, including the UK, France, Japan, and Italy, it started a few months later.


pages: 580 words: 168,476

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

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, business cycle, 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, information asymmetry, invisible hand, jobless men, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, London Interbank Offered Rate, lone genius, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, obamacare, offshore financial centre, paper trading, Pareto efficiency, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, 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%, wealth creators, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

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: 381 words: 101,559

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

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, buy and hold, 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, John Meriwether, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Myron Scholes, Network effects, New Journalism, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, one-China policy, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, 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, zero-sum game


pages: 741 words: 179,454

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

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, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, 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, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, financial thriller, 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, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Jones Act, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, 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, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, Philip Mirowski, 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 Thaler, Right to Buy, 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, Satyajit Das, 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, survivorship bias, 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 new new thing, 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, zero-sum game

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

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, break the buck, Buckminster Fuller, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, 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, Kickstarter, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, negative equity, 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, selection bias, 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: 584 words: 187,436

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

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, business cycle, buy and hold, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate raider, 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, John Meriwether, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, merger arbitrage, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nikolai Kondratiev, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, pre–internet, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Mercer, rolodex, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, survivorship bias, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, the new new thing, 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: 1,066 words: 273,703

Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World by Adam Tooze

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, break the buck, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, dark matter, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, friendly fire, full employment, global reserve currency, global supply chain, global value chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, large denomination, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, open economy, paradox of thrift, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, predatory finance, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, trade liberalization, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, white flight, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, yield curve, éminence grise

This dealt the most serious blow to government finances that any of the major developed countries had suffered since World War II. The fate of Greece in 2010 seemed to spell out what lay in store for any state that slid over the edge into insolvency. Warnings ranged from outrageous rants and scaremongering from the likes of Beck to ultrarespectable academic research, most notably by two former IMF economists, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. Following their surprise bestseller This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, in January 2010 Reinhart and Rogoff launched a research paper with the title “Growth in a Time of Debt.”2 This purported to show that as public debts passed the threshold of 90 percent of GDP, economic growth slowed down sharply. It was a slippery slope that ended in a cliff.


pages: 270 words: 73,485

Hubris: Why Economists Failed to Predict the Crisis and How to Avoid the Next One by Meghnad Desai

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gunnar Myrdal, Home mortgage interest deduction, imperial preference, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, Paul Samuelson, price stability, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, too big to fail, women in the workforce

See also Alan Greenspan, The Age of Turbulence, with a new epilogue (Penguin, New York, 2008). 7.Financial Services Authority, The Turner Review: A Regulatory Response to the Global Banking Crisis (Financial Services Authority, London, 2009), p. 39. 8.The case for the Keynesians is argued by Robert Skidelsky, Keynes: The Return of the Master (Penguin, London, 2009). 9.Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz, A Monetary History of the United States 1867–1960 (Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1963). 10.For the background to the euro, see David Marsh, The Euro: The Battle for the New Global Currency (Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2009). 7 The Search for an Answer 1.Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Belknap Press, Cambridge, MA, 2014), see figure 6.1, p. 200; figure 6.2, p. 201; figure 8.5, p. 291. 2.Meghnad Desai, “An Econometric Model of the Share of Wages in National Income: UK 1855–1965” (1984), republished in The Selected Essays of Meghnad Desai, vol. 1: Macroeconomics and Monetary Theory (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 1995). 3.Andrew Glyn and Robert Sutcliffe, “The Collapse of UK Profits,” New Left Review, 66 (Mar.–Apr. 1971). 4.Gerard Duménil and Dominique Lévy, “The Crisis of the Early 21st Century: Marxian Perspectives,” in R. Bellofiore and G. Vertova, eds, The Great Recession and the Contradictions of Contemporary Capitalism (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2014). 5.Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, ch. 5. 6.Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2009). 7.Lawrence Summers, “Why Stagnation May Prove to Be the New Normal,” Financial Times, Dec. 15, 2013. 8.Julia Leung, The Tides of Capital: How Asia Surmounted the Crisis and Is Now Guiding World Recovery (Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, London, 2015). 9.Karl Marx, Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859), trans.


pages: 573 words: 115,489

Prosperity Without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow by Tim Jackson

"Robert Solow", bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, business cycle, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Graeber, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hans Rosling, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, paradox of thrift, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, Philip Mirowski, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, secular stagnation, short selling, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, universal basic income, Works Progress Administration, World Values Survey, zero-sum game


pages: 1,373 words: 300,577

The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin

"Robert Solow", addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, BRICs, business climate, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial innovation, flex fuel, global supply chain, global village, high net worth, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, market design, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norman Macrae, North Sea oil, nuclear winter, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, Piper Alpha, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Metcalfe, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, technology bubble, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, trade route, transaction costs, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

House of Representatives Committee on International Relations, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, February 12, 1998 (“Central Asia,” cost-effectiveness); Interview with John Imle and Marty Miller; Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (New York: The Penguin Press, 2004), pp. 309–10. 12 Mikhail Gorbachev, “Soviet Lessons from Afghanistan,” International Herald Tribune, February 4, 2010. 13 Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (New York: Yale University Press, 2000), ch. 3 (Islamic Emirate). 14 Christian Science Monitor, February 9, 2007 (“alien”); interviews; Washington Post, October 5, 1998 (“implement”). 15 Coll, Ghost Wars, pp. 309–13 (“no policy,” “authorized”); interview with John Imle; “Political and Economic Assessment of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkemnistan/Russia,” Unocal Report, September 3, 1996 (“involvement”). 16 Unocal Report (“scenario”); Coll, Ghost Wars, pp. 331, 342 (“spiritual leaders”). 17 Rosita Forbes, Conflict: Angora to Afghanistan (London: Cassell, 1931), p. xvi (“anathema”); interviews with John Imle and Marty Miller. Chapter 4: “Supermajors” 1 Kenichi Ohmae, The Borderless World: Power and Strategy in the Interlinked Economy (New York: HarperCollins, 1991). 2 New York Times, December 1, 1997 (“reasonable”); Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, December 8, 1997 (“economic stars”). 3 Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), pp. 18, 157 (“darling”); Timothy J. Colton, Yeltsin: A Life (New York: Basic Books, 2008), p. 411–15 (93 percent); interview with Stanley Fischer, Commanding Heights; interview with Robert Rubin, Commanding Heights. 4 New York Times, December 26, 1998 (“understatement”), January 10, 1999 (cafeteria). 5 Interview with Robert Maguire (“roster”); Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, August 31, 1998 (“Were he alive today”); Douglas Terreson, “The Era of the Super-Major,” Morgan Stanley, February 1998. 6 Ronald Chernow, Titan: The Life of John D.


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pages: 920 words: 233,102

Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State by Paul Tucker

Andrei Shleifer, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, conceptual framework, corporate governance, diversified portfolio, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, forensic accounting, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, means of production, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Northern Rock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative easing, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, seigniorage, short selling, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, stochastic process, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, yield curve, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

I apologize to anyone I have omitted and thank those not listed here who have so generously helped with other projects. In Cambridge, MA, I have been helped, at Harvard, by Eric Beerbohm, Dan Carpenter, John Coates, Richard Cooper, Chris Desan, Marty Feldstein, Jeff Frieden, Ben Friedman, Jacob Gersen, Robin Greenwood, Peter Hall, Olivier Hart, Howell Jackson, Louis Kaplow, Frank Michelman, Joe Nye, Richard Parker, Carmen Reinhart, Ken Rogoff, David Scharfstein, Hal Scott, Emile Simpson, Jeremy Stein, Cass Sunstein, Richard Tuck, Adrian Vermeule, and Richard Zeckhauser; and although we never met, I should mention Jenny Mansbridge, who e-introduced me to Philip Pettit. At MIT: Bengt Holmstrom, Athanasios Orphanides, and David Singer. Over the river: Vivien Schmidt (BU), Dan Coquillette (Boston College), and Alasdair Roberts (formerly Sussex).


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

addicted to oil, American energy revolution, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business cycle, Carmen Reinhart, crony capitalism, deglobalization, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fixed income, full employment, global supply chain, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 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.


pages: 823 words: 206,070

The Making of Global Capitalism by Leo Panitch, Sam Gindin

accounting loophole / creative accounting, active measures, 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, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, continuous integration, corporate governance, creative destruction, 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, Kickstarter, land reform, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, 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, zero-sum game

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?


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

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, business climate, business cycle, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, endogenous growth, financial repression, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, interchangeable parts, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, large denomination, manufacturing employment, Network effects, New Urbanism, open economy, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, 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.


pages: 409 words: 118,448

An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy by Marc Levinson

affirmative action, airline deregulation, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, deindustrialization, endogenous growth, falling living standards, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, intermodal, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, late capitalism, linear programming, manufacturing employment, new economy, Nixon shock, North Sea oil, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, price stability, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, unorthodox policies, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, yield curve, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Boughton, Silent Revolution: The International Monetary Fund, 1979–1989 (Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund, 2001), 281–317. 9. World Development Report 1982, 2; Graciela L. Kaminsky and Alfredo Pereira, “The Debt Crisis: Lessons of the 1980s for the 1990s,” Federal Reserve Board, international finance discussion paper 481, September 1994; FDIC, An Examination, 206. 10. For a history of the many instances in which governments defaulted on their foreign debts, see Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009), 68–118. 11. Federally chartered banks in the United States were prohibited by law from lending more than 10 percent of their capital to a single borrower, but their lead supervisor, the Comptroller of the Currency, allowed them to circumvent that law by deciding that a country’s national government was a separate borrower from a state-owned oil company or a state development bank.


pages: 471 words: 124,585

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

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, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, commoditize, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, 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, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, iterative process, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour mobility, Landlord’s Game, liberal capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Nelson Mandela, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Parag Khanna, 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, stocks for the long run, structural adjustment programs, technology bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, undersea cable, 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.


pages: 515 words: 142,354

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

bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, 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, information asymmetry, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, light touch regulation, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market friction, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, 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 Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, 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: 382 words: 92,138