The U.S. economy lost the first decade of the twenty-first century to an ill-conceived boom and subsequent bust. It is in danger of losing another decade to the stagnation of an incomplete recovery. How did this happen? Read this lucid explanation of the origins and long-term effects of the recent financial crisis, drawn in historical and comparative perspective by two leading political economists.
By 2008 the United States had become the biggest international borrower in world history, with more than two-thirds of its $6 trillion federal debt in foreign hands. The proportion of foreign loans to the size of the economy put the United States in league with Mexico, Indonesia, and other third-world debtor nations. The massive inflow of foreign funds financed the booms in housing prices and consumer spending that fueled the economy until the collapse of late 2008. This was the most serious international economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Menzie Chinn and Jeffry Frieden explain the political and economic roots of this crisis as well as its long-term effects. They explore the political strategies behind the Bush administration’s policy of funding massive deficits with foreign borrowing. They show that the crisis was foreseen by many and was avoidable through appropriate policy measures. They examine the continuing impact of our huge debt on the continuing slow recovery from the recession. Lost Decades will long be regarded as the standard account of the crisis and its aftermath.
Menzie D. Chinn teaches at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and coauthors the influential blog Econbrowser.
Jeffry A. Frieden is Professor of Government at Harvard University. He specializes in the politics of international monetary and financial relations. Frieden is the author of Currency Politics: The Political Economy of Exchange Rate Politics and (with Menzie Chinn) of Lost Decades: The Making of America’s Debt Crisis and the Long Recovery. His previous books include Global Capitalism: Its Fall and Rise in the Twentieth Century; Debt, Development, and Democracy: Modern Political Economy and Latin America, 1965–1985; and Banking on the World: The Politics of American International Finance. He is also the co-author or co-editor of many other books on related topics. His articles on the politics of international economic issues have appeared in a wide variety of scholarly and general interest publications.
Identifying the motivations for currency policy preferences on the part of industries seeking to influence politicians, Jeffry Frieden shows how each industry's characteristics—including its exposure to currency risk and the price effects of exchange rate movements—determine those preferences. Frieden evaluates the accuracy of his theoretical arguments in a variety of historical and geographical settings: he looks at the politics of the gold standard, particularly in the United States, and he examines the political economy of European monetary integration. He also analyzes the politics of Latin American currency policy over the past forty years, and focuses on the daunting currency crises that have frequently debilitated Latin American nations, including Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil.
With an ambitious mix of narrative and statistical investigation, Currency Politics clarifies the political and economic determinants of exchange rate policies.
In this book Minsky presents some of his most important economic theories. He defines "It", determines whether or not "It" can happen again, and attempts to understand why, at the time of writing in the early 1980s, "It" had not happened again. He deals with microeconomic theory, the evolution of monetary institutions, and Federal Reserve policy. Minsky argues that any economic theory which separates what economists call the 'real' economy from the financial system is bound to fail. Whilst the processes that cause financial instability are an inescapable part of the capitalist economy, Minsky also argues that financial instability need not lead to a great depression.
This Routledge Classics edition includes a new foreword by Jan Toporowski.
Using clear, sharp analysis and comprehensive data, Reinhart and Rogoff document that financial fallouts occur in clusters and strike with surprisingly consistent frequency, duration, and ferocity. They examine the patterns of currency crashes, high and hyperinflation, and government defaults on international and domestic debts--as well as the cycles in housing and equity prices, capital flows, unemployment, and government revenues around these crises. While countries do weather their financial storms, Reinhart and Rogoff prove that short memories make it all too easy for crises to recur.
An important book that will affect policy discussions for a long time to come, This Time Is Different exposes centuries of financial missteps.