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Banking

10-year retrospective: Lessons 7, 8, 9

Three more lessons! That's the lot

7. Neglect of international causes This is the most fatal flaw, as it is the one least understood  by economists, governments or bankers. My interpretation of the crisis emphasises its international dimensions – not only in the rapid spread of the crisis but also in its root causes (see Lesson 3). Yet this perspective is…
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10-Year retrospective: Lesson 6

The State has rewarded bad behaviour and bad banks

6. Expect more bad bankers and bad banks How has the state punished the financial industry for its crimes,  corruption and anti-social behaviour? By showering it with subsidies, privileges,  perks and by offering it protection from an angry public. And by reducing its profitability and capacity to change by piling new regulatory layers and requirements….
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10-Year retrospective: Lesson 4

People know injustice when they see it

4. The people will have revenge The countries worst affected by the financial crisis, the United States and especially the United Kingdom, have since experienced severe political turbulence. I believe this can be directly traced back to the financial crisis and the way it was dealt with by governments, central banks and the financial elite….
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10-Year retrospective: Lesson 2

Central banks into milch cows

A leading economist has predicted that central banks will  not remain independent much longer. His forecast was made  at  a Bank of England conference called to celebrate – yes – 20 years of independence. Guests included Mrs Theresa May, the Prime Minster. It was opened by the Governor, Mark Carney, who drew a different, but…
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10-Year retrospective: Lesson 1

The first in a series on lessons of the global financial crisis

The financial crisis showed up the defects of monetary models. These in turn reflected a flawed idea of money. That is why central banks failed to anticipate the crisis and could not deal with it effectively when it arrived. That is the message of The Money Trap. The lead-up to the crisis was marked by…
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How we got into the money trap – and how to get out

Why the world needs a new kind of money

The world took time to get into the money trap. But with one bound it can be free. Since the 1970s governments have tried various approaches to the challenges of managing money. In the 1970s, they put full employment top. They used monetary policies to expand demand, taking risks with inflation. The results included high…
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Since the crisis, what has happened?

Why we remain in The Money Trap

12 points: 1. Central bankers, who were by and large not responsible for supervision pre-crisis , immediately sought to pin the blame for it on regulators, diverting attention from monetary policies – stoking the credit boom, failing to sound the alarm for what they were responsible for, which often included a duty to monitor the…
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Gold, money, the 1980s and now

When did the culture of ‘money mania’ start? When did people first set out to grab as much money as possible at whatever cost?  When did the momentum for credit creation —paper money calling for more money — become unstoppable? Let us contrast the past 30 years with the years 1880-1910. Under the classical gold…
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The real reasons for low real rates

The lowest interest rates in history are failing to spur sustained recovery. Rather, low real rates mirror financial and structural weaknesses Economists cannot agree on the causes of these low real rates. They discuss various hypotheses. Central banks have held policy rates low for years – have these ultra low nominal rates reduced real rates,…
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Globalization: a warning from Brexit

Britain is the latest victim of the money trap

  “Yesterday’s vote speaks to the ongoing changes and challenges that are raised by globalization,” President Obama said yesterday in his first comment on the UK referendum. He is right. The “Out” vote should be viewed as part of the geo-political fallout of the financial crisis and the failure of governments and bodies such as…
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