The Perplexing Aspects of a Truly Global Financial Crisis

15  May 2009    1:30 pm

Adam S. Posen, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington DC


wiiw, Rahlgasse 3, 1060 Vienna, lecture hall (entrance from the ground floor)


If this crisis had been just a hard landing of the US (and UK, Spain, et al.), then we would have greater comprehension of what happened. If this crisis had largely spared those countries whose regulatory structures were more a priori sensible, then we would have better guidance for future regulation. If this crisis had spared those who securitized, unjustly or not, then we would be justified in forcing banks to hold more of their loans. If this crisis had led to a drop in trade no more than commensurate with the decline in demand, then we would understand the real transmission mechanism. If this crisis had truly been based on 'excess liquidity', then global markets should have been more synchronized before the crisis and less synchronized after it hit. In short, the more carefully one examines this crisis, the more perplexing it becomes, when taking a cross-national perspective.