Between Debt and the Devil

Author: Adair Turner
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400885657
Release Date: 2017-08-02
Genre: Business & Economics

Adair Turner became chairman of Britain's Financial Services Authority just as the global financial crisis struck in 2008, and he played a leading role in redesigning global financial regulation. In this eye-opening book, he sets the record straight about what really caused the crisis. It didn’t happen because banks are too big to fail—our addiction to private debt is to blame. Between Debt and the Devil challenges the belief that we need credit growth to fuel economic growth, and that rising debt is okay as long as inflation remains low. In fact, most credit is not needed for economic growth—but it drives real estate booms and busts and leads to financial crisis and depression. Turner explains why public policy needs to manage the growth and allocation of credit creation, and why debt needs to be taxed as a form of economic pollution. Banks need far more capital, real estate lending must be restricted, and we need to tackle inequality and mitigate the relentless rise of real estate prices. Turner also debunks the big myth about fiat money—the erroneous notion that printing money will lead to harmful inflation. To escape the mess created by past policy errors, we sometimes need to monetize government debt and finance fiscal deficits with central-bank money. Between Debt and the Devil shows why we need to reject the assumptions that private credit is essential to growth and fiat money is inevitably dangerous. Each has its advantages, and each creates risks that public policy must consciously balance.

Between Debt and the Devil

Author: Adair Turner
Publisher:
ISBN: 0691169640
Release Date: 2015-01-10
Genre: Business & Economics

Adair Turner became chairman of Britain's Financial Services Authority just as the global financial crisis struck in 2008, and he played a leading role in redesigning global financial regulation. In this eye-opening book, he sets the record straight about what really caused the crisis. It didn't happen because banks are too big to fail--our addiction to private debt is to blame. Between Debt and the Devil challenges the belief that we need credit growth to fuel economic growth, and that rising debt is okay as long as inflation remains low. In fact, most credit is not needed for economic growth--but it drives real estate booms and busts and leads to financial crisis and depression. Turner explains why public policy needs to manage the growth and allocation of credit creation, and why debt needs to be taxed as a form of economic pollution. Banks need far more capital, real estate lending must be restricted, and we need to tackle inequality and mitigate the relentless rise of real estate prices. Turner also debunks the big myth about fiat money--the erroneous notion that printing money will lead to harmful inflation. To escape the mess created by past policy errors, we sometimes need to monetize government debt and finance fiscal deficits with central-bank money. Between Debt and the Devil shows why we need to reject the assumptions that private credit is essential to growth and fiat money is inevitably dangerous. Each has its advantages, and each creates risks that public policy must consciously balance.

Between Debt and the Devil

Author: Adair Turner
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400873326
Release Date: 2015-10-20
Genre: Business & Economics

Adair Turner became chairman of Britain's Financial Services Authority just as the global financial crisis struck in 2008, and he played a leading role in redesigning global financial regulation. In this eye-opening book, he sets the record straight about what really caused the crisis. It didn’t happen because banks are too big to fail—our addiction to private debt is to blame. Between Debt and the Devil challenges the belief that we need credit growth to fuel economic growth, and that rising debt is okay as long as inflation remains low. In fact, most credit is not needed for economic growth—but it drives real estate booms and busts and leads to financial crisis and depression. Turner explains why public policy needs to manage the growth and allocation of credit creation, and why debt needs to be taxed as a form of economic pollution. Banks need far more capital, real estate lending must be restricted, and we need to tackle inequality and mitigate the relentless rise of real estate prices. Turner also debunks the big myth about fiat money—the erroneous notion that printing money will lead to harmful inflation. To escape the mess created by past policy errors, we sometimes need to monetize government debt and finance fiscal deficits with central-bank money. Between Debt and the Devil shows why we need to reject the assumptions that private credit is essential to growth and fiat money is inevitably dangerous. Each has its advantages, and each creates risks that public policy must consciously balance.

Economics After the Crisis

Author: Adair Turner
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262300995
Release Date: 2012-03-23
Genre: Business & Economics

The global economic crisis of 2008--2009 seemed a crisis not just of economic performance but also of the system's underlying political ideology and economic theory. But a second Great Depression was averted, and the radical shift to New Deal-like economic policies predicted by some never took place. Perhaps the correct response to the crisis is simply careful management of the macroeconomic challenges as we recover, combined with reform of financial regulation to prevent a recurrence. In Economics After the Crisis, Adair Turner offers a strong counterargument to this somewhat complacent view. The crisis of 2008--2009, he writes, should prompt a wide set of challenges to economic and political assumptions and to economic theory. Turner argues that more rapid growth should not be the overriding objective for rich developed countries, that inequality should concern us, that the pre-crisis confidence in financial markets as the means of pursuing objectives was profoundly misplaced.

Europe s Orphan

Author: Martin Sandbu
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400873425
Release Date: 2015-09-29
Genre: Business & Economics

Originally conceived as part of a unifying vision for Europe, the euro is now viewed as a millstone around the neck of a continent crippled by vast debts, sluggish economies, and growing populist dissent. In Europe's Orphan, leading economic commentator Martin Sandbu presents a compelling defense of the euro. He argues that rather than blaming the euro for the political and economic failures in Europe since the global financial crisis, the responsibility lies firmly on the authorities of the eurozone and its member countries. The eurozone's self-inflicted financial calamities and economic decline resulted from a toxic cocktail of unforced policy errors by bankers, politicians, and bureaucrats; the unhealthy coziness between finance and governments; and, above all, an extreme unwillingness to restructure debt. Sandbu traces the origins of monetary union back to the desire for greater European unity after the Second World War. But the euro’s creation coincided with a credit bubble that governments chose not to rein in. Once the crisis hit, a battle of both ideas and interests led to the failure to aggressively restructure sovereign and bank debt. Ideologically informed choices set in motion dynamics that encouraged more economic mistakes and heightened political tensions within the eurozone. Sandbu concludes that the prevailing view that monetary union can only work with fiscal and political union is wrong and dangerous—and risks sending the continent into further political paralysis and economic stagnation. Contending that the euro has been wrongfully scapegoated for the eurozone’s troubles, Europe’s Orphan charts what actually must be done for the continent to achieve an economic and political recovery.

Other People s Money

Author: John Kay
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 9781782831549
Release Date: 2015-09-03
Genre: Business & Economics

Shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2016 We all depend on the finance sector. We need it to store our money, manage our payments, finance housing stock, restore infrastructure, fund retirement and support new business. But these roles comprise only a tiny sliver of the sector's activity: the vast majority of lending is within the finance sector. So what is it all for? What is the purpose of this activity? And why is it so profitable? John Kay, a distinguished economist with wide experience of the financial sector, argues that the industry's perceived profitability is partly illusory, and partly an appropriation of wealth created elsewhere - of other people's money. The financial sector, he shows, has grown too large, detached itself from ordinary business and everyday life, and has become an industry that mostly trades with itself, talks to itself, and judges itself by reference to standards which it has itself generated. And the outside world has itself adopted those standards, bailing out financial institutions that have failed all of us through greed and mismanagement. We need finance, but today we have far too much of a good thing. In Other People's Money John Kay shows in his inimitable style what has gone wrong in the dark heart of finance.

How the Other Half Banks

Author: Mehrsa Baradaran
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674286061
Release Date: 2015-10-06
Genre: Business & Economics

The United States has two separate banking systems—one serving the well-to-do and another exploiting everyone else. Deserted by banks and lacking credit, many people are forced to wander through a Wild West of payday lenders and check-cashing services thanks to the effects of deregulation in the 1970s that continue today, Mehrsa Baradaran shows.

Fixing Global Finance

Author: Martin Wolf
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801898433
Release Date: 2010-07-01
Genre: Business & Economics

Sharply and clearly argued, Wolf’s prescription for fixing global finance illustrates why he has been described as "the world's preeminent financial journalist."

Making It Happen

Author: Iain Martin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781471113567
Release Date: 2013-09-12
Genre: Social Science

When RBS collapsed and had to be bailed out by the taxpayer in the financial crisis of October 2008 it played a leading role in tipping Britain into its deepest economic downturn in seven decades. The economy shrank, bank lending froze, hundreds of thousands lost their jobs, living standards are still falling and Britons will be paying higher taxes for decades to pay the clean-up bill. How on earth had a small Scottish bank grown so quickly to become a global financial giant that could do such immense damage when it collapsed? At the centre of the story was Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive known as "Fred the Shred" who terrorised some of his staff and beguiled others. Not a banker by training, he nonetheless was given control of RBS and set about trying to make it one of the biggest brands in the world. It was said confidently that computerisation and new banking products had made the world safer. Only they hadn't... Based on more than 80 interviews and with access to diaries and papers kept by those at the heart of the meltdown, this is the definitive account of the RBS disaster, a disaster which still casts such a shadow over our economy. In Making It Happen, senior executives, board members, Treasury insiders and regulators reveal how the bank's mania for expansion led it to take enormous risks its leaders didn't understand. From the birth of the Royal Bank in 18th century Scotland, to the manic expansion under Fred Goodwin in the middle of a mad boom and culminating in the epoch-defining collapse, Making It Happen is the full, extraordinary story.

Sovereign Money

Author: Joseph Huber
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9783319421742
Release Date: 2016-12-09
Genre: Business & Economics

In coming to terms with the still smoldering financial crisis, little attention has been paid to the flaws within our monetary system and how these flaws lie at the root of the crisis. This book provides an introduction and critical assessment of the current monetary system. It begins with an up to date account of the workings of today’s system of state-backed ‘bankmoney’, illustrating the various forms and issuers of money, and discussing money theory and fallacy past and present. It also looks at related economic challenges such as inflation and deflation, asset inflation and bubble building that lead to market instability and examines the ineffectual monetary policies and primary credit markets that are failing to reach some sort of self-limiting equilibrium. In order to fix our financial system, we first need to understand its limitations and the flaws in current monetary and regulatory policy and then correct them. The concluding part of this book is dedicated to the latter, advocating a move towards the sovereign monetary prerogatives of issuing the entire stock of official money and benefitting from the gain thereof (seigniorage). The author argues that these functions should be made the sole responsibility of independent and impartial central banks with full control over the stock of money (not the uses of money) on the basis of a legal mandate that would be more detailed than is the case today. This includes a thorough separation of monetary and fiscal powers, and of both from banking and wider financing functions. This book provides a welcome addition to the banking literature, guiding readers through the inner workings of our monetary and regulatory environments and proposing a new way forward that will better protect our economy from financial instability and crisis.

The End of Alchemy

Author: Mervyn King
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 9781408706121
Release Date: 2016-03-03
Genre: Business & Economics

The past twenty years saw unprecedented growth and stability followed by the worst financial crisis the industrialised world has ever witnessed. In the space of little more than a year what had been seen as the age of wisdom was viewed as the age of foolishness. Almost overnight, belief turned into incredulity. Most accounts of the recent crisis focus on the symptoms and not the underlying causes of what went wrong. But those events, vivid though they remain in our memories, comprised only the latest in a long series of financial crises since our present system of commerce became the cornerstone of modern capitalism. Alchemy explains why, ultimately, this was and remains a crisis not of banking - even if we need to reform the banking system - nor of policy-making - even if mistakes were made - but of ideas. In this refreshing and vitally important book, former governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King - an actor in this drama - proposes revolutionary new concepts to answer the central question: are money and banking a form of Alchemy or are they the Achilles heel of a modern capitalist economy?

Unsettled Account

Author: Richard S. Grossman
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400835259
Release Date: 2010-06-07
Genre: Business & Economics

Commercial banks are among the oldest and most familiar financial institutions. When they work well, we hardly notice; when they do not, we rail against them. What are the historical forces that have shaped the modern banking system? In Unsettled Account, Richard Grossman takes the first truly comparative look at the development of commercial banking systems over the past two centuries in Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, and Australia. Grossman focuses on four major elements that have contributed to banking evolution: crises, bailouts, mergers, and regulations. He explores where banking crises come from and why certain banking systems are more resistant to crises than others, how governments and financial systems respond to crises, why merger movements suddenly take off, and what motivates governments to regulate banks. Grossman reveals that many of the same components underlying the history of banking evolution are at work today. The recent subprime mortgage crisis had its origins, like many earlier banking crises, in a boom-bust economic cycle. Grossman finds that important historical elements are also at play in modern bailouts, merger movements, and regulatory reforms. Unsettled Account is a fascinating and informative must-read for anyone who wants to understand how the modern commercial banking system came to be, where it is headed, and how its development will affect global economic growth.

Saving Europe

Author: Carlo Bastasin
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815726142
Release Date: 2015-01-23
Genre: Business & Economics

In this gripping narrative, Carlo Bastasin reconstructs the main political decisions of the euro crisis, unveiling the hidden interests and the secret diplomacy behind the scene. The European dream was both the rejection of war and the creation of a new spirit of peaceful cooperation. Yet confrontation has been the hallmark of the euro crisis, and national opportunistic gimmicks have driven the awkward attempts to solve the crisis itself. Today, Europe is in a crisis of democracy, which Bastasin has dubbed, "the first War of Interdependence of the global age." Praise for the first edition of Saving Europe Bastasin does an admirable job in analysing the euro-zone's economic challenges and is a sure-footed guide through the seemingly endless European Union summit meetings that were supposed to resolve them. He also has an eye for the human detail that makes his sad account of institutional muddle surprisingly compelling. — Financial Times Bastasin's book is worth reading for its detailed political narrative of the eurozone crisis to date, focusing on the interaction among decision-makers in Europe's capitals. — Foreign Affairs A reconstruction that may be considered definitive. Revelations on the European negotiations are written with talent and go hand in hand with no-esoteric economic analysis and with the right amount of realism to reach the political substance. —Corriere della Sera Anyone looking for general knowledge and deeper understanding of the crisis, I can recommend a formidable analysis by Carlo Bastasin: Saving Europe. The author is a very unusual combination of a qualified economist and driven journalism. —Svenska Dagbladet

The Escape from Balance Sheet Recession and the QE Trap

Author: Richard C. Koo
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781119028123
Release Date: 2014-11-17
Genre: Business & Economics

Compare global experiences during the balance sheet recession and find out what is needed for a full recovery The Escape from Balance Sheet Recession and the QE Trap details the many hidden dangers remaining as the world slowly recovers from the balance sheet recession of 2008. Author and leading economist Richard Koo explains the unique political and economic pitfalls that stand in the way of recovery from this rare type of recession that was largely overlooked by economists. Koo anticipated the current predicament in the West long before others and issued warnings in his previous books: Balance Sheet Recession and The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics. This new book illustrates how history is repeating itself in Europe while the United States, which learnt from the Japanese experience, is doing better by avoiding the fiscal cliff. However, because of the liberal dosage of quantitative easing already implemented, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan may face a treacherous path to normalcy in what Koo calls the QE Trap. He argues that it is necessary to understand balance sheet recession in order to resolve the Eurozone crisis, particularly the competitiveness problems. Koo issues warnings against those who are too ready to argue for structural reforms when the problems are actually with balance sheets. He re-examines Japan's two decades of experiences with this rare recession and offers an insider view on the Abenomics. On China, readers will gain a very different historical perspective as Koo argues that western commentators have forgotten their own history when they talk about the re-balancing of the Chinese economy. Learn from Japan which experienced the same predicament afflicting the West fifteen years earlier Discover how unwinding of quantitative easing will affect the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, as well as the emerging world Examine solutions to the Eurozone problems caused by two balance sheet recessions eight years apart Gain insight into China's problems from the West's own experiences with urbanisation Koo, who developed the concept of balance sheet recession based on Japan's experience, took the revolution in macroeconomics started by John Maynard Keynes in 1936 to a new height. The Escape from Balance Sheet Recession and the QE Trap offers the world cure for balance sheet recession.

After the Music Stopped

Author: Alan S. Blinder
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101605875
Release Date: 2013-01-24
Genre: Business & Economics

New York Times Bestseller One of our wisest and most clear-eyed economic thinkers offers a masterful narrative of the crisis and its lessons. Many fine books on the financial crisis were first drafts of history—books written to fill the need for immediate understanding. Alan S. Blinder, esteemed Princeton professor, Wall Street Journal columnist, and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, held off, taking the time to understand the crisis and to think his way through to a truly comprehensive and coherent narrative of how the worst economic crisis in postwar American history happened, what the government did to fight it, and what we can do from here—mired as we still are in its wreckage. With bracing clarity, Blinder shows us how the U.S. financial system, which had grown far too complex for its own good—and too unregulated for the public good—experienced a perfect storm beginning in 2007. Things started unraveling when the much-chronicled housing bubble burst, but the ensuing implosion of what Blinder calls the “bond bubble” was larger and more devastating. Some people think of the financial industry as a sideshow with little relevance to the real economy—where the jobs, factories, and shops are. But finance is more like the circulatory system of the economic body: if the blood stops flowing, the body goes into cardiac arrest. When America’s financial structure crumbled, the damage proved to be not only deep, but wide. It took the crisis for the world to discover, to its horror, just how truly interconnected—and fragile—the global financial system is. Some observers argue that large global forces were the major culprits of the crisis. Blinder disagrees, arguing that the problem started in the U.S. and was pushed abroad, as complex, opaque, and overrated investment products were exported to a hungry world, which was nearly poisoned by them. The second part of the story explains how American and international government intervention kept us from a total meltdown. Many of the U.S. government’s actions, particularly the Fed’s, were previously unimaginable. And to an amazing—and certainly misunderstood—extent, they worked. The worst did not happen. Blinder offers clear-eyed answers to the questions still before us, even if some of the choices ahead are as divisive as they are unavoidable. After the Music Stopped is an essential history that we cannot afford to forget, because one thing history teaches is that it will happen again.