Thursday, September 23, 2010

Robert Shiller on the Financial Crisis

Here are some interesting bits from an article by Robert Shiller in Project Syndicate:
Ever since the current crisis began in 2007, many people have been wondering if the Great Depression that followed the 1929 stock-market crash and the banking crises of the early 1930’s is relevant to our experience today. The troubling fact about the Great Depression is that it was severe, global, and lasted over a decade – and that it followed the collapse of an equity and real-estate boom, roughly as happened before the current crisis.
And he points out that research has looked a many dozens of cases. I've bolded the key bit:
But now the Reinharts and Rogoff have systematically studied many more examples in modern financial history. There is also the world financial crisis that attended the oil shocks of 1973 and 1979, and there are the country-specific financial crises in Spain in 1977, Chile in 1981, Norway in 1987, Finland and Sweden in 1991, Mexico in 1994, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand in 1997, Colombia in 1998, and Argentina and Turkey in 2001.

So, there are many more than just two modern cases (though they are not all entirely independent, because they are somewhat bunched in time). From them, the Reinharts and Rogoff found, for example, that median annual growth rates of real per capita GDP for advanced countries were one percentage point lower in the decade following a crisis, while median unemployment rates were five percentage points higher.
If you want the facts behind the above depressing claims. Click here to access a paper by the Reinharts at the Kansas City Federal Reserve.

So buckle up... it is going to be a rough ride for the next ten years or so.

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