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TAMÁS NOVÁK Global Business Environment. Global problems: crisis. Readings. PÉTER GÁL - CSABA MOLDICZ - TAMÁS NOVÁK: ‘Old and New’ Responses to the Global Economic Crisis . Development and Finance, 2009/1. https://ffdf.mfb.hu/en PÉTER GÁL – CSABA MOLDICZ – TAMÁS NOVÁK:

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‘Old and New’ Responses to the Global Economic Crisis. Development and Finance, 2009/1. https://ffdf.mfb.hu/en


Accuracy of Economic Thinking. Principles, Views, Analyses and the Crisis. 2009/4. https://ffdf.mfb.hu/en

financial crisis
Financial crisis

The term financial crisis is applied broadly to a variety of situations in which some financial institutions or assets suddenly lose a large part of their value. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, many financial crises were associated with banking panics, and many recessions coincided with these panics. Other situations that are often called financial crises include stock market crashes and the bursting of other financial bubbles, currency crises, and sovereign defaults.

types of financial crises
Types of financial crises

Banking crises

When a bank suffers a sudden rush of withdrawals by depositors, this is called a bank run. Since banks lend out most of the cash they receive in deposits, it is difficult for them to quickly pay back all deposits if these are suddenly demanded, so a run may leave the bank in bankruptcy, causing many depositors to lose their savings unless they are covered by deposit insurance. A situation without widespread bank runs, but in which banks are reluctant to lend, because they worry that they have insufficient funds available, is often called a credit crunch. Examples of bank runs include the run on the Bank of the United States in 1931 and the run on Northern Rock in 2007.

types of financial crises1
Types of financial crises

Speculative bubbles and crashes

Economists say that a financial asset (stock, for example) exhibits a bubble when its price exceeds the present value of the future income. If most market participants buy the asset primarily in hopes of selling it later at a higher price, instead of buying it for the income it will generate, this could be evidence that a bubble is present. If there is a bubble, there is also a risk of a crash in asset prices: market participants will go on buying only as long as they expect others to buy, and when many decide to sell the price will fall. However, it is difficult to tell in practice whether an asset's price actually equals its fundamental value, so it is hard to detect bubbles reliably.

Well-known examples of bubbles and crashes in stock prices and other asset prices include the Dutch tulip mania, the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the Japanese property bubble of the 1980s, the crash of the dot-com bubble in 2000-2001, and the now-deflating United States housing bubble.

international financial crises
International financial crises

When a country that maintains a fixed exchange rate is suddenly forced to devalue its currency because of a speculative attack, this is called a currency crisisorbalance of payments crisis. When a country fails to pay back its sovereign debt, this is called a sovereign default. While devaluation and default could both be voluntary decisions of the government, they are often perceived to be the involuntary results of a change in investor sentiment that leads to a sudden stop in capital inflows or a sudden increase in capital flight.

Many Latin American countries defaulted on their debt in the early 1980s. Several currencies that formed part of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism suffered crises in 1992-93 and were forced to devalue or withdraw from the mechanism. Another round of currency crises took place in Asia in 1997-98. The 1998 Russian financial crisis resulted in a devaluation of the ruble and default on Russian government bonds.

wider economic crises
Wider economic crises

Negative GDP growth lasting two or more quarters is called a recession. An especially prolonged recession may be called a depression, while a long period of slow but not necessarily negative growth is sometimes called economic stagnation.

Since these phenomena affect much more than the financial system, they are not usually considered financial crises per se. But some economists have argued that many recessions have been caused in large part by financial crises. One important example is the Great Depression, which was preceded in many countries by bank runs and stock market crashes.

history of crises
History of crises

1630’s Tulip mania

1720’ South Sea Bubble

1930s – The Great Depression – the largest and most important economic depression in the 20th century

1973 – 1973 oil crisis – oil prices soared, causing the 1973–1974 stock market crash

1980s – Latin American debt crisis – beginning in Mexico

1987 – Black Monday (1987) – the largest one-day percentage decline in stock market history

1990s – Japanese asset price bubble collapsed

1992-93 – Black Wednesday – speculative attacks on currencies in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism

1994-95 – 1994 economic crisis in Mexico – speculative attack and default on Mexican debt

1997-98 – 1997 Asian Financial Crisis – devaluations and banking crises across Asia

2007-09 – The American financial crisis of 2007–2009 helped create the global financial crisis of 2008–2009, thus creating the late 2000s recession

tulip mania
Tulip mania

Tulip mania was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for bulbs of the recently introduced tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then suddenly collapsed. At the peak of tulip mania in February 1637, tulip contracts sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. It is generally considered the first recorded speculative bubble. (Later: South Sea Bubble 1720’s)

great depression
Great Depression

The Great Depression was a worldwide economic downturn starting in most places in 1929 and ending at different times in the 1930s or early 1940s for different countries. It was the largest and most important economic depression in the 20th century. The Great Depression originated in the United States; historians most often use as a starting date the stock market crash on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday.

great depression1
Great Depression

The depression had devastating effects in virtually every country, rich or poor. International trade plunged by half to two-thirds, as did personal income, tax revenue, prices and profits. Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by roughly 60 percent. Facing plummeting demand with few alternate sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as farming, mining and logging suffered the most.

1973 oil crisis
1973 oil crisis

The 1973 oil crisis started on October 15, 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC proclaimed an oil embargo "in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military during the Yom Kippur war." The 1973 "oil price shock", along with the 1973-1974 stock market crash, have been regarded as the first event since the Great Depression to have a persistent economic effect.

latin american debt crisis
Latin American debt crisis

The Latin American debt crisis was a financial crisis that occurred in the early 1980s (and for some countries starting in the 1970s), often known as the "lost decade", when Latin American countries reached a point where their foreign debt exceeded their earning power and they were not able to repay it.

japanese asset price bubble
Japanese asset price bubble

The Japanese asset price bubblewas an economic bubble in Japan from 1986 to 1990, in which real estate and stock prices greatly inflated. The bubble's collapse lasted for more than a decade. The easily obtainable credit that had helped create and emerge the real estate bubble continued to be a problem for several years to come, and as late as 1997, banks were still making loans that had a low probability of being repaid. The time after the bubble's collapse which occurred gradually rather than catastrophically, is known as the "lost decade or end of the century"

black wednesday
Black Wednesday

In British politics and economics, Black Wednesday refers to the events of 16 September 1992 when the Conservative government was forced to withdraw the pound from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) after they were unable to keep Sterling above its agreed lower limit. The most high profile of the currency market investors, George Soros, made over US$1 billion profit by short selling sterling. The UK Treasury estimated the cost of Black Wednesday at £3.4 billion.

1994 economic crisis in mexico
1994 economic crisis in Mexico

The 1994 Economic Crisis in Mexico, widely known as the Mexican peso crisis, became an effective crisis with the sudden devaluation of the Mexican peso in December 1994.

In order to finance the deficit (7% of GDP current account deficit), Mexico issued the Tesobonos, a type of debt instrument denominated in pesos but indexed to dollars.

Mexico had a fixed exchange rate system that accepted pesos during the reaction of investors to a higher perceived country risk premium and paid out dollars. However, Mexico lacked sufficient foreign reserves to maintain the fixed exchange rate and was running out of dollars at the end of 1994. The peso then had to be allowed to devalue despite the government's previous assurances to the contrary, thereby scaring investors away and further raising its risk profile.

1997 asian financial crisis
1997 Asian Financial Crisis

The Asian Financial Crisis was a period of financial crisis that gripped much of Asia beginning in July 1997, and raised fears of a worldwide economic meltdown.

The crisis started in Thailand with the financial collapse of the Thai baht caused by the decision of the Thai government to float the baht, cutting its peg to the USD, after exhaustive efforts to support it in the face of a severe financial overextension that was in part real estate driven. At the time, Thailand had acquired a burden of foreign debt that made the country effectively bankrupt even before the collapse of its currency. As the crisis spread, most of Southeast Asia and Japan saw slumping currencies, devalued stock markets and other asset prices, and a precipitous rise in private debt.

1998 russian financial crisis
1998 Russian financial crisis

The Russian financial crisis (also called "Ruble crisis") hit Russia on 17 August 1998. It was triggered by the Asian financial crisis. During the ensuing decline in world commodity prices, countries heavily dependent on the export of raw materials were among those most severely hit. Petroleum, natural gas, metals, and timber accounted for more than 80% of Russian exports, leaving the country vulnerable to swings in world prices. Declining productivity, an artificially high fixed exchange rate between the ruble and foreign currencies to avoid public turmoil, and a chronic fiscal deficit were the background to the meltdown.

dot com bubble
Dot-com bubble

The "dot-com bubble" (or sometimes the "I.T. bubble") was a speculative bubble covering roughly 1995–2001 during which stock markets in Western nations saw their value increase rapidly from growth in the new Internet sector and related fields.

The period was marked by the founding (and, in many cases, spectacular failure) of a group of new Internet-based companies commonly referred to as dot-coms. Companies were seeing their stock prices shoot up if they simply added an "e-" prefix to their name and/or a ".com" to the end.

A combination of rapidly increasing stock prices, individual speculation in stocks, and widely available venture capital created an exuberant environment in which many of these businesses dismissed standard business models, focusing on increasing market share at the expense of the bottom line.

causes of financial crises
Causes of financial crises

Strategic complementarities in financial markets

It is often observed that successful investment requires each investor in a financial market to guess what other investors will do. In many cases investors have incentives to coordinate their choices.

An incentive to mimic the strategies of others is called strategic complementarity.

If people or firms have a sufficiently strong incentive to do the same thing they expect others to do, then self-fulfilling prophecies may occur.


Leverage, which means borrowing to finance investments, is frequently cited as a contributor to financial crises. When a financial institution (or an individual) only invests its own money, it can, in the very worst case, lose its own money. But when it borrows in order to invest more, it can potentially earn more from its investment, but it can also lose more than all it has. Therefore leverage magnifies the potential returns from investment, but also creates a risk of bankruptcy.

asset liability mismatch
Asset-liability mismatch

The mismatch between the banks' short-term liabilities (its deposits) and its long-term assets (its loans) is seen as one of the reasons bank runs occur (when depositors panic and decide to withdraw their funds more quickly than the bank can get back the proceeds of its loans).

In an international context, many emerging market governments are unable to sell bonds denominated in their own currencies, and therefore sell bonds denominated in US dollars instead. This generates a mismatch between the currency denomination of their liabilities (their bonds) and their assets (their local tax revenues), so that they run a risk of sovereign default due to fluctuations in exchange rates.

uncertainty and herd behavio u r
Uncertainty and herd behaviour

Many analyses of financial crises emphasize the role of investment mistakes caused by lack of knowledge or the imperfections of human reasoning.

Crises often follow soon after major financial or technical innovations that present investors with new types of financial opportunities

Unfamiliarity with recent technical and financial innovations may help explain how investors sometimes grossly overestimate asset values.

regulatory failures
Regulatory failures

Some financial crises have been blamed on insufficient regulation, and have led to changes in regulation in order to avoid a repeat. For example, the financial crisis of 2008 was blamed by several experts on 'regulatory failure to guard against excessive risk-taking in the financial system, especially in the US'.


Contagion refers to the idea that financial crises may spread from one institution to another, as when a bank run spreads from a few banks to many others, or from one country to another, as when currency crises, sovereign defaults, or stock market crashes spread across countries. When the failure of one particular financial institution threatens the stability of many other institutions, this is called systemic risk.

Moral hazard.

global financial crisis of 2008 2009
Global financial crisis of 2008-2009

The global financial crisis of 2008–2009 began in July 2007 when a loss of confidence by investors in the value of securitized mortgages in the United States resulted in a liquidity crisis that prompted a substantial injection of capital into financial markets by the United States Federal Reserve, Bank of England and the European Central Bank.