The locust and the bee: predators and creators in capitalism's future

Geoff Mulgan interviewed by Romesh Vaitilingam, 11 Apr 2014

Geoff Mulgan talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his recent book, 'The Locust and the Bee: Predators and Creators in Capitalism's Future'. Mulgan suggests that the economic crisis was a dramatic reminder that capitalism can both produce and destroy, but that it also provides a historic opportunity to choose a radically different future for capitalism - one that maximizes its creative power yet minimizes its destructive force. They discuss the importance of social innovation and the creative economy. The interview was recorded in May 2013.

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Mulgan, G (2014) The Locust and the Bee: Predators and Creators in Capitalism's Future. Princeton University Press 

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Topics: Politics and economics
Tags: financial crisis, innovation, political uncertainty

Exploring the transmission channels of contagious bank runs

Martin Brown, Stefan Trautmann, Razvan Vlahu, 10 April 2014

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Financial contagion – the situation in which liquidity or insolvency risk is transmitted from one financial institution to another – is viewed by policymakers and academics as a key source of systemic risk in the banking sector.

Topics: Financial markets
Tags: bank runs, banking, banks, contagion, experimental economics, financial crisis, financial stability, global crisis, systemic risk

Fiscal adjustment and growth: Beware of the credit constraints

Emanuele Baldacci, Sanjeev Gupta, Carlos Mulas-Granados, 31 March 2014

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In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, the discussion of the effects of fiscal adjustment on economic growth has intensified. While some scholars have focused on the characteristics of the fiscal consolidation needed to bring public debt down from historically high levels, others have examined the effects of alternative strategies on economic performance.

Topics: Financial markets, Macroeconomic policy
Tags: austerity, credit constraints, debt, deleveraging, financial crisis, fiscal consolidation, fiscal policy

TARGET balances, Bretton Woods, and the Great Depression

Michael Bordo, 21 March 2014

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During the Eurozone crisis, an analogy was made between the events in Europe between 2007 and 2012 and the collapse of the Bretton Woods System between 1968 and 1971. There has been a build-up of TARGET liabilities since 2007 by some central banks (notably Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain, or the ‘GIPS’), and of TARGET assets by Germany and others.

Topics: Economic history, International finance
Tags: Bretton Woods, Central Banks, ECB, euro, Eurosystem, eurozone, Eurozone crisis, financial crisis, global imbalances, Great Depression, TARGET

Foreign investors and crises: There is no safe haven for all seasons

Maurizio Michael Habib, Livio Stracca, 28 February 2014

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The resilience of the international status of the US dollar remains surprising (Frankel 2013). At the peak of the global financial crisis which started in the US, in particular in the last quarter of 2008, US treasury yields fell and the US dollar appreciated. This has created the impression of a stronger demand for US securities in general.

Topics: Financial markets, Global crisis
Tags: asset pricing, financial crisis, global crisis, home bias, portfolio flows, reserve currency, risk aversion, safe haven, US

How did the Global Financial Crisis misalign East Asian currencies?

Eiji Ogawa, Zhiqian Wang, 19 January 2014

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Some East Asian countries experienced a serious currency crisis in 1997. The crisis was blamed on both the de facto US dollar peg system and double mismatches of domestic financial institutions’ balance sheets in terms of currency and maturity. Following the Asian currency crisis, recognition of the importance of regional monetary cooperation has steadily grown.

Topics: Exchange rates, International finance
Tags: currency crisis, East Asian financial crisis, exchange rates, financial crisis, global financial crisis

Why fiscal sustainability matters

Willem Buiter, 10 January 2014

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Does fiscal sustainability matter only when there is a fiscal house on fire, as was the case with the Greek sovereign insolvency in 2011–12? Far from it.

Topics: Financial markets, Global crisis, International finance, Macroeconomic policy
Tags: balance-sheet recession, banking, banking union, banks, capital flows, credit booms, Currency wars, emerging markets, eurozone, Eurozone crisis, financial crisis, fiscal policy, fiscal sustainability, global financial crisis, sovereign debt, sovereign debt restructuring

Gambling for resurrection in Iceland

Friðrik Már Baldursson, Richard Portes, 6 January 2014

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The demise of the three large Icelandic banks, just after the fall of Lehman Brothers, was a key event in the spread of the financial crisis. A couple of weeks before its collapse in October 2008, Kaupthing bank announced that the Qatari investor Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad al-Thani had bought a 5.01% stake. This briefly boosted market confidence in Kaupthing (Financial Times 2008).

Topics: Financial markets
Tags: banking, banks, financial crisis, gambling for resurrection, Iceland, moral hazard

Bank capital requirements: Risk weights you cannot trust and the implications for Basel III

Jens Hagendorff, Francesco Vallascas, 16 December 2013

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One of the primary purposes of bank capital is to absorb losses. Where bank capital holdings are insufficient to absorb losses, banks will either fail or – if bank failure is deemed too costly for the economy – be bailed out. In practice, banks frequently receive public funds where capital holdings are insufficient to cover losses in order to prevent bank failure.

Topics: Financial markets, Microeconomic regulation
Tags: bank capital, Basel, Basel II, BASEL III, capital adequacy, capital requirements, financial crisis, risk weighting

Smart governance: solutions for today’s global economy

Nemat Shafik, 14 December 2013

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Making the case for smart governance

Global economic crises tend to reignite discussions of global governance and international cooperation. This is because crises lay bare the shortcomings of existing international rules and institutions. The recent crisis has been no different.

Topics: Global governance
Tags: financial crisis, global crisis, global governance, IMF

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