Friday, October 23, 2009

On Banking Crisis

So if you like Kindleberger's Manias, Panics, and Crashes, chance is that you'll like this Reinhart and Rogoff's This Time Is Different.

One of the reasons is that the latter gives not only narrative, but also some simple numbers to ponder. My favorite chapters are on banking crisis, inflation, and currency crisis. The discussion on the Second Great Contraction (a.k.a current US financial crisis) is also worth for perusal.

Chapter 10 starts with these sentences:
"Although many now-advanced economies have graduated from a history of serial default on sovereign debt or very high inflation, so far graduation from banking crises has proven elusive. In effect, for the advanced economies during 1800-2008, the picture is one of serial banking crisis."
"...there is indeed significant theoretical and empirical support for the view that a collapse in a country's banking system can have huge implication for its growth trajectory."
Moral of the story: dealing with potential banking crisis is bloody difficult and easier said than done.

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