Global savings glut or global banking glut?
Hyun Song Shin 20 December 2011
It has become commonplace to assert that current-account imbalances were a key factor in stoking subprime lending in the US. This column says the ‘global banking glut’, i.e. the rise in cross-border lending, may have been more culpable for the crisis than the ‘global savings glut’. As the European banking crisis deepens, the deleveraging of the European global banks will have far-reaching implications not only for the Eurozone, but also for credit supply conditions in the US and capital flows to the emerging economies.
Since Bernanke’s 2005 speech (Bernanke 2005), it has become commonplace to assert that current-account imbalances were a key factor in stoking the permissive financial conditions that led to subprime lending in the US. The ‘global savings glut’ is what Ben Bernanke called it. This phrase provided a powerful linguistic focal point for thinking about the surge in net external claims on the US on the part of emerging economies.
global savings glut, global banking glut