Financial Crises

Foreign Affairs Article

Never Saw It Coming

Author: Alan Greenspan

The former chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve asks how so many experts, including him, failed to see the 2008 financial crisis approaching. An important part of the answer to that question is a very old idea: Keynesian "animal spirits," the irrational elements of decisionmaking that have been left out of economic forecasting for too long.

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New York Times: Treasure Hunters of the Financial Crisis

Author: Peter Lattman

"Much attention has been lavished on the speculators who reaped huge paydays betting against the subprime mortgages that stoked the financial crisis. Doomsayers like the hedge fund manager John Paulson and the cast of characters in "The Big Short," the Michael Lewis book, saw calamity coming, and their contrarian bets delivered when the housing market collapsed.

But what about the big long? During the dark days of late 2008, while other investors dumped their holdings or sat paralyzed on the sidelines, who decided that it was time to put money on the line? Who bought low and then sold high?"

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Financial Times: Optimism About an End to the Euro Crisis Is Wrong

Author: Wolfgang Münchau

"In a monetary union, adjustment is hard without any transfers and without a fiscal union. I know of no plausible plan how the eurozone can manage the dual feat of economic adjustment and debt sustainability within the straitjacket of official policy. And as long as such a plan does not exist, the crisis is not over."

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Project Syndicate: The Eurozone’s Calm Before the Storm

Author: Nouriel Roubini

"So far, the grand bargain between the core and the periphery has held up: the periphery continues austerity and reform while the core remains patient and provides financing. But the eurozone's political strains may soon reach a breaking point, with populist anti-austerity parties in the periphery and populist anti-euro and anti-bailout parties in the core possibly gaining the upper hand in next year's European Parliament elections."

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Transcript

HBO History Makers: Understanding the 2008 Financial Crisis

Speakers: Barney Frank and Henry M. Paulson, Jr.
Presider: David Wessel

Barney Frank and Henry M. Paulson Jr. look back at the 2008 financial crisis, the ongoing recovery process, and lessons learned from their unique perspectives.

In collaboration with the Council on Foreign Relations, the Home Box Office History Makers Series sponsors speakers whose contributions made a prominent impact at a critical juncture in history.

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Interview

Gulf Cash Stabilizes Egypt, for Now

Farouk Soussa interviewed by Mohammed Aly Sergie

As Egypt's political crisis deepens, its economy has been stabilized by a cash infusion from the oil-rich Persian Gulf. Economist Farouk Soussa outlines the limited options facing Egypt's interim government.

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Foreign Affairs Article

The Second Great Depression

Author: Bradford DeLong

The global economic downturn is hardly over, and without a more dramatic set of actions, the United States is likely to suffer another major crisis in the years ahead. A new book by Alan Blinder may be the best general volume on the recession to date, but it paints an overly optimistic portrait of the current situation.

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