9780199922901

Misunderstanding Financial Crises Why We Don't See Them Coming

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780199922901

  • ISBN10:

    019992290X

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 11/2/2012
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Summary

Before 2007, economists thought that financial crises would never happen again in the United States, that such upheavals were a thing of the past. Gary B. Gorton, a prominent expert on financial crises, argues that economists fundamentally misunderstand what they are, why they occur, and why there were none in the U.S. from 1934 to 2007. Misunderstanding Financial Crisesoffers a back-to-basics overview of financial crises, and shows that they are not rare, idiosyncratic events caused by a perfect storm of unconnected factors. Gorton shows how financial crises are, indeed, inherent to our financial system. Economists, Gorton writes, looked from a certain point of view and missed everything that was important: the evolution of capital markets and the banking system, the existence of new financial instruments, and the size of certain money markets like the sale and repurchase market. Comparing the so-called "Quiet Period" of 1934 to 2007, when there were no systemic crises, to the "Panic of 2007-2008," Gorton ties together key issues like bank debt and liquidity, credit booms and manias, moral hazard, and too-big-too-fail--all to illustrate the true causes of financial collapse. He argues that the successful regulation that prevented crises since 1934 did not adequately keep pace with innovation in the financial sector, due in part to the misunderstandings of economists, who assured regulators that all was well. Gorton also looks forward to offer both a better way for economists to think about markets and a description of the regulation necessary to address the future threat of financial disaster.

Author Biography


Gary B. Gorton is the Frederick Frank Class of 1954 Professor of Finance at the Yale School of Management. He is the author of Slapped by the Invisible Hand: The Panic of 2007.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vi
Introductionp. 3
Creating the Quiet Periodp. 10
Financial Crisesp. 29
Liquidity and Secretsp. 45
Credit Booms and Maniasp. 59
The Timing of Crisesp. 74
Economic Theory without Historyp. 87
Debt During Crisesp. 98
The Quiet Period and its Endp. 125
Moral Hazard and Too-Big-To-Failp. 134
Bank Capitalp. 151
Fat Cats, Crisis Costs, and the Paradox of Financial Crisesp. 165
The Panic of 2007-8p. 182
The Theory and Practice of Seeingp. 200
Bibliographic Notesp. 213
Notesp. 239
Referencesp. 247
Indexp. 273
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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