Summary of The Crisis Next Time

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In 2008, a financial crisis that few had anticipated dealt a knockout punch to countries around the world. In 2018, many economies have regained much of their lost ground. But persistent problems remain, according to noted economists Carmen Reinhart and Vincent Reinhart in this insightful synthesis of the lessons learned. While no one knows when another calamity will hit, the classic human flaws of greed and complacency continue to make other such events likely. Analysts and students of economic history will find this a useful overview. 

In this summary, you will learn

  • How favorable economic conditions can give economists and other experts a false sense of security,
  • Which human tendencies make future crises likely, and
  • What actions government authorities should take to lessen the severity of upcoming financial crises.
 

About the Authors

Carmen Reinhart is a professor at Harvard Kennedy School. Vincent Reinhart is the chief economist at Standish Mellon Asset Management.

 

Summary

In the early 2000s, many policy makers believed that, except within emerging markets, financial crises were unlikely. After all, the years between 1990 and 2007 in the United States, dubbed the Great Moderation, saw tame inflation and an economic growth pattern that was much less volatile than that of the previous three decades. Officials in the advanced countries believed that their economies had achieved a state of self-regulation and that their policies had conquered the business cycle. They were “complacent about the risk of financial disaster.” Then the 2008 crash hit both developed and emerging nations with devastating force. A steep drop in US housing values set off the worldwide calamity. However, a trigger can be any asset held extensively and used for collateral throughout an economy. The real culprits of crises are human “greed, fear and the tendency to forget history.”   


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