Financial crisis and recession

By July 25, 2017 Economics

Executive Summary

The U.S fiscal crisis and recession was caused by the complex interplay of factors such as the drawn-out period of low involvement rates ( 2002 – 2004 ) , extra usage of purchase by both fiscal establishment and family, the clang of the lodging market ( 2006-2008 ) , overdependence on the unregulated shadow banking system and the unbridled proliferation of hazardous fiscal instruments such as the Collateralized Debt Obligation ( CDO ) and Credit Default Swaps ( CDS ) . All these factors led to a major recognition crisis that brought the planetary economic system to a grinding arrest.

In response, the authorities and the Federal Reserve Bank responded sharply by implementing figure of financial ( numbering more than $ 1 trillion ) and pecuniary policies that increase the pecuniary base and Fed balance sheet massively. On the financial side, new Acts of the Apostless associating to fiscal bailouts ( for Bankss and car industries ) , public works disbursement and revenue enhancement cuts have been passed in the Congress. Although the economic system is in a recovery stage, there are some marks of stabilisation in economic end product ( GDP ) and place monetary values. In the short term, the financial policy response seems appropriate, but in the long term, worries about “ crowding-out ” ( as a consequence of heavy adoption ) , turning federal shortage and uneconomical public disbursement demand to be addressed.

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On the pecuniary side, the Fed sharply cut involvement rates from 5.25 % to 0.25 % to hike the money supply. Fed besides introduced the TAF, PDCF, TALF, and CPFF installations to turn to to and cover with toxic assets toand prop up Bankss ‘ wellness. With improved liquidness, LIBOR rates have stabilized and recognition squeezing appeared to hold eased. In short term unemployment and possible liquidness trap are still the biggest concerns. In the long tally, after private investing boots in and economic system starts picking up, the financess rate is expected to travel up to counter turning rising prices. The Fed must besides see modulating hazardous fiscal instruments to forestall future catastrophes.

Though there are some differences between the current economic crisis and the Great Depression ( 1929 ) and Japan ‘s Lost Decade crisis ( 1990s ) , cardinal lessons learned from those events are being applied now are ( a ) Swift and aggressive pecuniary and financial enlargement ( B ) extraordinary efforts to incorporate deflation and ( degree Celsius ) bettering ordinances to avoid future failures.

1. Describe what happened to the U.S. economic system since 2000 ( supply informations, tabular arraies, graphs )

The current decennary ( 1999 – 2009 ) is determining up to be an historical one, marked by a series of unbelievable events that can be happened during few distinguishable periods, viz. ( a ) Technology roar lead stock market bubble and a recession between 1999 – 2002 ( B ) a period of “ Goldilocks ” economic system that between 2003 – 2006 and ( degree Celsius ) the existent estate clang that led to planetary fiscal melt down between 2007 – 2009. In this subdivision we will discourse each of these period looking at the cardinal factors including the financial and pecuniary policy alterations that contributed to these events.

Jan 1999 – Sep 2001

The Information Technology ( IT ) roar, a hall grade of the late 90s and early 2000s was aided by low unemployment and minimum ordinances taking to a euphoric stock market.

The utmost optimism of the net income potency of IT and the turning sense of security about the economic system, with the memories of Great Depression, Nipponese “ lost decennary ” and other recessions a thing of the yesteryear, ‘irrational exuberance ‘ set in. Even the stock market ratings of the “ boom mid-twentiess ” paled in comparing ( Source: Robert J Schiller, exhibit 1.1 on the stock market ratings during this period. )

This period was marked by an expansionary financial policy with contractionary pecuniary policy ( see exhibit 1.6 ) .

  • On the pecuniary policy side, concerned about the rising prices, Fed has been increasingincreased the involvement rates from 4.75 % in 1999 all the manner to 6.5 % in Jun 2001 to reign in the ‘irrational exuberance ‘ and left the rates at the 6.5 % until Jan 2001 ( Beginning: exhibit 1.2 ) As we know pecuniary actions do n’t take consequence instantly but do so finally. And that is exactly what happened.
  • On the financial policy side, Bush, who during his election run in 2000 argued for a revenue enhancement cut, after taking power in 2001 signed the revenue enhancement cut enterprise which went in consequence in Aug 2001.
  • On the regulative side, an of import event occurred — the Gramm-Leach-Bliley measure that basically repealed the Glass-Steagall act paving the manner for commercial and investing Bankss to run as a individual entity, therefore embarking into more hazard prone countries. This Act was passed in Dec 2000 by President Clinton prior to go forthing his office and had a profound consequence on the US economic crisis.

The GDP which has been lifting during late 1990s peaked in Jun 2000 at 5.4 % and started to worsen sharply by the terminal of 2001 ( Beginning:, Exhibit 3.1 ) . By all indexs the recession seemed to hold already started. Detecting the steady diminution in the GDP, Fed started to cut the involvement rate, which went from 6.5 % in Feb 2001 to 3.5 % in Sep 2001.

The euphory of engineering led stock market bubble was punctuated by an dismaying terrorist act that crushed the state ‘s assurance taking to a nose honkytonk of the stock market and the economic system by Sep 2001.

Oct 2001 – Dec 2003

The go oning GDP diminution following the stock market clang reached a low-water mark ( 0.4 % ) in Q4 2001 with an overall growing of 1.08 % for 2001. The unemployment rate reached its low point in Dec 2000 ( 3.7 % ) and was at 4.7 % in Sep 2001, shot up to 6.3 % in Jan 2002 and reached aing a extremum of 6.5 % in Jan 2003.

To cover with a turning unemployment and a major stock market clang where a loss of 40 % was non uncommon, Fed started expansionary pecuniary policy cutting the involvement rate sharply ( 4 cuts numbering 1.75 % brought the nominal rates down from 3.5 % to 1.75 % within a span of 4 months. Beginning:, exhibit 3.2 )

With recession already underway and a major part wealth eaten off, public lost assurance in the market and the economic system. This is apparent from the addition in savings rate and decrease in personal ingestion outgo ( Beginning: diary of, exhibit 1.4 for consumer monetary value, savings rate, etc inside informations ) . Though the timing was a shot of fortune, the expansionary financial policy ( revenue enhancement cut that went in consequence in Aug 2001 ) could n’t hold come at a better clip.

The Fed maintained the rates at 1.75 % for much of 2002 and reduced the rates further in 2003 to 1 % and maintained that rate boulder clay May 2004. Though this action was extremely lauded at the clip, subsequently on Fed was to a great extent criticized for go forthing the involvement rate so low for a drawn-out period of clip. The combination of expansionary financial and pecuniary policy helped do the recession a short one, which ended in 2003 ( see exhibit 3.9 )

2004 – 2006

With the recession officially stoping in 2003 and the effects of 2001 market clang get downing to melt, investors started to turn towards the market, this clip it was the existent estate market, to take advantage of the really low involvement rate of 1 % . Surplus money from states with high nest eggs rates ( such as Japan, China etc. , ) besides started to pour in.

Harmonizing to Taylor ‘s regulation, the involvement should hold been increased after Oct 2002 when the rising prices started to pick up. ( Beginning: John Taylor, “ fast and loose ” , Economist, Oct 2007, exhibit 1.5 that compares existent involvement rate alteration and what it should hold been per Taylor ‘s regulation )

Note: The rising prices was low ( & lt ; 2 % ) until Oct 2002 after a little spike it hovered between 1.8 % and 3 % until May 2004. The unemployment rate that reached a extremum in Jan 2003 ( 6.5 % ) had been steadily coming down in 2003 and into 2004 and beyond, making a low point in Oct 2006 ( 4.1 % ) . ( Beginning: Google Public Data, exhibit 1.3 for unemployment informations )

Though there were heavy unfavorable judgments late on Fed ‘s action, the impression of “ Goldilocks ” economic system ( low to chair rising prices and low unemployment ) at least at that clip justified Fed ‘s action of maintaining the involvement rate really low until Q2 2004, when the rising prices reached beyond 3 % and systematically went up.

During this period, though there were no major financial policy enterprises, the authorities encouraged the place ownership. For illustration by raising the bound for Jumbo loans and doing the loans from authorities bureaus such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae easy available.

The impression of purchase became fever pitched with no respect to possible hazards of possible bubble. This of class was justified due to increasing plus monetary values ( Beginning: S & A ; P, exhibit 3.4, Case-Schiller place monetary value index informations ) and low involvement rates. Many families seeing an chance to populate an American dream of having places jumped in. ( Beginning:, exhibit 1.4 for the disbursement vs. salvaging rate during this period ) .

The abrogation of the Glass-Steagall act in 1999 came in ready to hand for many of the Bankss. Sing an chance to do net incomes, Bankss started to prosecute in hazardous loaning patterns. The mortgage backed securities grew 5 times from 1990 degrees to $ 27 trillion by 2007, stand foring 39 % of the outstanding loans in the U.S market topographic point. ( Beginning: Multinational Business Finance by Eiteman, Stonehill and Moffett )

From 2005 onwards, merely as was casethe instance with the overestimate of stock markets prior to the tech bubble, a similar impression was observed in the instance of the lodging monetary values. House monetary values were being valued at values much higher than the cardinal values. As with the stock market, speculators were chiming in to force the values higher therefore taking to risky loaning patterns. ( Beginning: Paul Krugman, “ Return of depression economic sciences in 2008, exhibit 1.1a ) ”

Bankers found advanced ways dissipate their hazard through securitization, the usage of complex fiscal derived functions such as Collateralized Debt Obligations ( CDO ) and Collateralized Debt Swaps ( CDS ) . The following subdivision delves on this subject more deeply.

On the regulative side, though there were efforts at modulating these complex fiscal derived functions, the trusters of the Laissez-faire pecuniary policy and self modulating markets thwarted any such efforts. Then Fed president Greenspan was one of them. This policy belief in hindsight turned out to be one of the major policy errors.

As we will discourse in the following subdivision, a perfect storm appeared to be in the offing!

2. What caused the economic crisis and recession? Some have blamed the Fed for the crisis ; explain why. How would Greenspan support himself?

Here are some of the outstanding factors that led to the US recognition crisis:

Low involvement rates post 2001: Investing in U.S. exchequers has ever been considered the safest manner of investing. Before the 2000 point com bubble, returns on U.S. exchequers were about 6 % on 3 month measures. With the point com bubble followed by 9/11 onslaughts, U.S. was in a thick of a recession. Federal Reserve Bank rapidly responded to this recession by take downing the mark involvement rates to every bit low as 1 % . This means Federal Reserve Bank introduced more money supply into the market therefore take downing the existent involvement rates. 1 % return on investing from exchequers measures was n’t a good investing for investors including the pension financess, common financess, insurance companies, etc. However, Federal Reserve kept the involvement rates low for a long period of clip. The thirst for markets that provided a higher rate of return moved investors to put in Mortgage Backed Securities ( MBS ) and its related derived functions which quenched this thirst. This brings us to be subject of securitizations.

Securitizations and its derived functions: The construct of securitizations is an old construct wherein illiquid assets such as mortgages were converted, sliced, diced and sold as liquid assets. Government supported establishments like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae bought the mortgage loans from the secondary market. They so securitized the mortgages and sold them in the market. Securitization in early 1980s and 1990s worked mulct, because the implicit in mortgages being securitized were premier mortgages and defaults for these sorts of mortgages were low and therefore did non present a major hazard. Come 2000, and post the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act, commercial Bankss entered the hazardous markets and competed with the investing Bankss. They were now allowed to subvention securities. Sing the success of MBS and the higher returns attached to it, commercial and investing Bankss started merchandising more in these securities. One of the key tools in this securitization procedure was the Collateralized Debt Obligation ( CDO ) fiscal instrument tool these establishments packed these mortgage loans into a structured bundle. The CDO ‘s were structured as AAA ( safe investings low return ) , BBB ( all right investings with mean returns ) and CCC ( debris investings with high returns ) . These CDOs were so sent to the recognition evaluation houses, who charged their fees, after which they were sold as MBS in the market. These securities had a better return, and so a batch of investors were attracted towards it. In 2007, MBS totaled $ 27 trillion. This value was at least five times the value in 1990.

Another instrument that was earning a batch of involvement was the Credit Default Swap ( CDS ) . Investment Banks provided Cadmiums to do these securities more attractive. Cadmiums acted as a derivative instrument which provided a hedge against the CDO ‘s hazard. CDS trading was a extremely unregulated market. CDS was used as insurance by investors incase the borrowers of mortgages defaulted ( Duca, Nov 2007 ) .

Credit quality of borrowers: Banks and money loaners did non worry about the recognition quality of the mortgage borrowers, as one time these mortgages were securitized and sold in the market it would non impact them even if the borrowers defaulted. Initially most of the mortgages were premier mortgages wherein the borrower had a good recognition history. But looking at the demand for these securities and with hapless loaning criterions, mortgages were issued to people with hapless recognition history, where opportunities of defaults were higher. Since the hazard associated with the Bankss due to borrowers defaulting on payments was negligible one time they securitize and sell these assets to investors, and seeing the high demand for these securities, Bankss continued underwriting and selling more of these securities to investors. The investors purchasing these below par mortgages or sub-prime mortgages had no manner to cognize which piece of the derived functions purchased were the hazardous loans since the securitization procedure severed the nexus of maintaining the check on the debt quality of the ultimate borrower. Therefore in world trading and guess were performed on assets whose quality of debt was a inquiry grade. Sub-prime mortgages grew at a higher rate to being about 7-8 % of the entire mortgage market by 2007 ( Duca, Nov 2007 )

Home monetary values peaked in 2005 and new place purchasers started to dwindle. Consumers with subprime mortgages started to default. They could non afford the new payments which were based on alien loan footings such as 1 or 5 old ages and whose involvement rates spiraled as the Fed increased the rates in the 2005, 2006 clip frame. Besides as the house monetary values started falling of the drop, they were non able to refinance the places As a consequence there were more places available in the market than the demand. Almost 65 % of the entire sub-prime mortgages defaulted by 2008 ( Duca, Nov 2007 ) . With so many places available in the market, the houses monetary values aggressively decreased. By this clip Bankss and investors have already invested one million millions of money in the MBS. Since there were so many defaults, even the AAA CDO was now no longer safe. Banks and insurance companies like AIG who issued CDS against these securities suffered immense losingss. Banks and investors were no longer able to merchandise these securities in the secondary market. There were no involvement payments from these securities as more and more borrowers defaulted and the MBS lost more than half its value. By 2008, Bankss, investors were extremely in debt because of the immense adoption done to get these assets and place proprietors because of the high mortgages payments on a depreciated house value. The recognition rhythm froze wholly as there were non adequate liquid assets available in the market. Investors and Bankss incurred immense losingss on these assets as their value fell more than double than what they were bought for. The filing of bankruptcy by these investing Bankss like Lehman ‘s affected the debt holders who issued a big sum of money to these establishments.

Shadow banking system: The function played by the Shadow Banking system in this monolithic recognition crisis is a really critical 1. All of the above minutess of securitizations were non possible unless that was a playing land out of range of the regulators. The Shadow Banking system is a parallel banking system like regular Bankss except they do n’t fall under the typical function of Bankss which is to keep consumer sedimentations. They lend money at a lower rate compared to regular Bankss to consumers, securitize the loans ( be it car, place, commercial, etc ) and sell the chopped liquid assets in footings of bonds to investors who so get a better rate on their investings than compared to regular Bankss. In the terminal, it was a win-win state of affairs. However, a major drawback was that unlike regular Bankss that had a safety cyberspace in the signifier of the FDIC, shadow Bankss did non hold any. Plus the major loophole was that these shadow Bankss were “ Off Balance Sheet ” and were non regulated. When the recognition crisis hit in 2009 and bulk subprime mortgages defaulted, there were all of a sudden no investors looking to purchase worthless assets and the shadow Bankss were saddled with defaulted borrowers unable to do their payments. An illustration of a Shadow Banking system is the auction rate security invented by Lehman Brothers. Prior to the crisis, this system held $ 400 billion in assets ( Beginning: Paul Krugman, “ Return of Depression Economics in 2008 ” ) . During the crisis, when these shadow Bankss collapsed, a major beginning of loaning for borrowers was destroyed, taking the Fed and Treasury to scramble and come up with new ways to pump hard currency into the deceasing system to replace the nothingness created by the shadow banking system and therefore the major recognition crisis

Some of the unfavorable judgments that were thrown at Greenspan for his handling of the crisis are:

  • The Fed kept the federal financess rate excessively low before raising them. One of the unfavorable judgments came from John Taylor of the Taylor regulation celebrity that the Federal should hold started to raise the involvement rates earlier. As a consequence of the low rates, inexpensive recognition flooded the market and that led to the inordinate place monetary values and flop.
  • The hapless ordinance of derived functions which are the root cause of the current fiscal crisis as they contributed to the multiplying of hazard of underlying assets particularly the mortgage backed assets
  • Even after derived functions markets started demoing marks of a future crisis, the Federal led by Greenspan firm refused to modulate them and alternatively banked on the Wall Street Bankss to self regulate themselves.
  • Greenspan was basically against the intercession of the authorities in the ordinance of markets and derived functions markets in peculiar.

Greenspan defended himself by adverting the followers:

  • He blamed the deficiency of unity exhibited by the Wall Street Bankss. He felt that they became greedy because of the roar in the derived functions trading. He besides thought there was an eroding of trust and repute in the markets because of this greed.
  • Derived functions were an old construct and they were an highly utile tool to reassign hazard to willing parties. The derived functions market is $ 531 trillion, up from $ 106 trillion in 2002. ( Beginning: New York Times – Taking Hard New Look at a Greenspan Legacy )
  • Market forces were self correcting and were capable plenty to manage the systemic hazards
  • Greenspan felt there was no such thing as perfect hazard direction and that no sum of ordinance from authorities would hold prevented this calamity.
  • Asset bubbles were an “ ineluctable characteristic ” in the present coevals economic system.
  • Against the unfavorable judgment that the Fed held out for excessively long on the low involvement rates, Greenspan felt that low rates helped combat deflation which can be truly damaging in the long tally. The gradual rises in the involvement rates were to let private concerns and companies to absorb the rate addition shocks easy.

3. Summarize and measure the authorities ‘s financial policy response to day of the month ( Treasury -Secretaries Paulson and Geithner ) . What financial policies would you urge in the short-term and long-term?

The financial policy typically includes the two chief tools at the authorities ‘s disposal to battle diminishing aggregative demand in the economic system. These tools are revenue enhancement and authorities disbursement.

Bush Administration financial policy response sum-up

When economic growing started to sputter at the beginning of 2008 ( Beginning:, Exhibit 3.1 ) , the Bush disposal started its battle to forestall a recession by subscribing into jurisprudence the ‘Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 ‘ in February 2008. The centrepiece of the Act included supplying revenue enhancement discounts to eligible revenue enhancement remunerators. This act besides included the authorities ‘s first response to the turning subprime mortgage crisis, by increasing the bounds on mortgage loans that could be insured by the Federal Housing Authority ( FHA ) .

On July 30, the Congress passed the ‘Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 ‘ to counter the subprime mortgage crisis as losingss start stacking up. Some of the cardinal inclusions in this act are widening a revenue enhancement recognition to first clip homebuyers and vouching up to $ 300 billion dollars for FHA insurance for loans that were appraised for 90 % of current value.

Panic manner set in by September 2008, after the Lehman Brothers prostration, authorities coup d’etat of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America. Banks stopped imparting to each other. To cover with this ‘Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 ‘ was signed into jurisprudence on Oct 30. The cardinal constituent in this Act — known as the ( Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP ) — was the $ 700 billion dollar buyout of illiquid or toxic assets that dragged down the balance sheets of the top fiscal establishments that had to a great extent invested in the subprime mortgage securities. That manner, the bank militias would be recapitalized, and Bankss could get down imparting once more. After initial incredulity, the buyout of the assets was replaced by direct hard currency extract into the hard-pressed Bankss. In return the authorities owned preferable portions ( Capital Purchase Program ) of the banking establishments with the hope to increase the taxpayer ‘s investing over a period of clip. The TARP was subsequently extended to assist bail out the car industry.

Obama Administration financial policy response sum-up

Barely within a twosome of months of the curse in of the new authorities, the “ American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ” was signed in February. This Act provided a $ 787 billion drift to excite the economic system. This act covered a broad ranging set of steps ( including disbursement and revenue enhancement cuts ) that the authorities hoped when implemented would acquire the economic system back on path. The chief commissariats of the Act were:

  • Infrastructure disbursement ( $ 81 Billion )
  • Tax cuts for eligible companies and taxpayers ( $ 287 billion )
  • Education and Healthcare disbursement ( $ 139 billion )
  • Energy, Housing disbursement, etc.

Other alleviation provided to consumers and unemployed workers by assorted other subdivisions of the authorities were in the signifier of:

  • Cash for clunkers
  • Widening unemployment insurance for unemployed workers

Please see exhibit 3.3 for other countries where authorities disbursement was targeted.


An expansionary financial policy is pursued to drive up the aggregative demand in a recessive economic system. In footings of the IS-LM theoretical accounts, an expansionary financial policy displacements the IS curve farther right and therefore increasing the end product ( Y ) . An expansionary financial policy assumes more importance if pecuniary policies alterations have no positive impact in a down economic system as is the instance presently with the federal financess rate hovering near the 0 % rate. Therefore expansionary pecuniary policy at this phase has a really minor or no consequence on the concluding end product. This besides called the liquidness trap. Please see exhibit 3.9 for the IS-LM graph for the current crisis. It besides helps counter deflation, which in the long tally can be really damaging to the economic system. Exhibit 3.6 shows the Consumer Price Index over a period of clip demoing the diminution in monetary values in 2008 and 2009.

In the initial phases of the recession in 2008, ( Beginning:, Exhibit 3.1 ) , it can be seen that the revenue enhancement discounts initiated by the Bush Administration, did hold a positive affect on the existent GDP. There was positive growing registered in the 2nd one-fourth of FY 2008 compared to the negative growing experienced in the first one-fourth. The growing was chiefly attributed to revenue enhancement discounts taking to consumer disbursement. However, Bernanke cautioned that disbursement “ seems likely to be restrained over approaching quarters ” [ 1 ] , touching that revenue enhancement rebates merely had a short term consequence.

The large stimulation program introduced in 2009 accounted for 5.6 % of the US GDP. The hope was to interpret the stimulation into higher end product and therefore acquire private investing traveling. In concurrence with the TARP bailout program which was intended to increase money available for Bankss to impart to little concerns and large companies, this stimulation program was meant to drive up private investing engagement in the health care, instruction, energy and substructure concerns

Based on recent grounds, there are marks that economic growing is renting in the positive parts in the 3rd one-fourth 2009 ( OECD, Economic Outlook Nov 2009, exhibit 3.7 ) . Here are some more indexs:

  • OECD foresees the economic growing to stabilise easy until 2011, although in US the recovery form will non mirror its old recoveries ( OECD, Economic Outlook Nov 2009 )
  • Unemployment rate, although still turning and normally a lagging index, is expected to stabilise and drop down in 2010 and 2011 ( US agency of Labor statistics, 2009 exhibit 3.8 )
  • The S & A ; P Home Price Schiller index shows the stabilizing of place monetary values over the class of 2009 ( S & A ; P, exhibit 3.4 )
  • The LIBOR rates that were at peak highs in 2008 have now reduced to degrees prior to the 2007 degrees bespeaking more willingness among Bankss to impart to each other ( IMF WEO Oct 2009, exhibit 3.5 )
  • The recognition ‘tightness ‘ indexs have besides loosened with the new hard currency injection by Treasury ( IMF WEO Oct 2009, exhibit 3.5 )
  • With the federal authorities taking on heavy debt to finance the disbursement on the substructure and other countries, it is possible that involvement rates will be pushed up doing a “ herding out ” of private investing in new works and equipment and finally obstructing overall possible end product.


Short term

  • All the current economic factors such as existent GDP, rising prices, unemployment, etc, although demoing marks of stabilisation, need the current rate of stimulation provided by the authorities. Therefore it is imperative that disbursement continue as targeted
  • Since the accent is on possible end product, more focal point should be placed on disbursement instead than revenue enhancement cuts because revenue enhancement cuts may non hold the same multiplying consequence

Long term

  • To avoid “ herding out ” , authorities should sharply cut uneconomical outgo so as to cut down involvement rates that will lift with turning debt.
  • Spending should be focused on countries ( instruction and clean energy ) that will hike multi factor productiveness and therefore increase labour productiveness
  • It is inevitable that in long term when nearing full economic capacity, revenue enhancements must be increased to reimburse the monolithic disbursement undertaken to hike the economic system. Otherwise this may hold a damaging consequence on the ballooning federal debt. ( Beginning: Government Accountability Office, Exhibit 3.10 )

4. Sum up and measure the Federal Reserve Bank ‘s pecuniary policy response to day of the month ( Chairman Ben Bernanke ) . What pecuniary policies would you urge in the short-term and long-term?

Federal Reserve Bank ‘s Monetary Policy response to current crisis:

  • Term Auction Facility ( TAF ) : After the initial marks of clefts in the economic system get downing Aug 2007, Federal Reserve with its power to command money supply and involvement rates stepped in, and initiated a figure of plans designed to assist the delicate economic system and neglecting fiscal establishments. Due to the stigma associated with borrowing money from the Fed utilizing the price reduction window, many Bankss despite a desperate demand to shore up their books, did non avail the liquidness offered by Fed. To cover with this, Federal Reserve Bank introduced the Term Auction Facility ( TAF ) . As the plan allowed Bankss and other depositary establishments to acquire money through an auction system, Bankss were more volitionally to utilize this installation. When the crisis hit, Bankss used the traditional price reduction window to raise $ 29 billion where as they raised $ 178 billion through the TAF plan as of September 2009 ( Bernanke, Oct 2009 ) . The figure in exhibit 4.1 shows the current output curve.
  • Recognition Swap Lines: The autumn of the cardinal fiscal establishments like Bear Stearns in March 2008 and Lehman Brothers in September 2008, initiated a concatenation reaction of fiscal establishments failures and terror among the fiscal markets. Large fiscal establishments like AIG and Citibank had taken a difficult hit doing fright among their loaners. This panic spread non merely in U.S. but besides around the universe. Federal Reserve Bank worked together with other foreign cardinal Bankss to make particular currency barter lines ( Bernanke, Oct 2009 ) . These recognition lines were created to supply foreign cardinal Bankss with adequate dollars to fund their fiscal demands during the crisis. Dollars were exchanged for foreign currencies to assist foreign cardinal Bankss cut down the fright and fiscal volatility in their local markets ( Bernanke, Oct 2009 ) .
  • Primary Dealer Credit Facility ( PDCF ) : Investing Bankss and agent trader houses had difficult clip borrowing money in the frozen recognition markets, and with the stock market turning bearish it became tougher for them to gain sufficient returns to pay off their debts. The Federal Reserve introduced PDCF to do low involvement money available to finance primary traders ( Bernanke, Oct 2009 ) . Within the PDCF, the traders sell their securities in exchange for financess, bound by a redemption understanding, through the Federal Reserve price reduction window. The Federal Reserve provided soundness to these establishments by easing the flow of money at lower involvement rates.
  • Term Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility ( TALF ) : With the lodging bubble explosion, about 65 % of the subprime mortgages defaulted, as the borrowers were unable to pay their payments, and the lodging monetary values depreciated more than their original financed value ( Duca, Nov 2007 ) . Most of the commercial and investing Bankss keeping Mortgage backed securities ( MBS ) were non able to happen markets to sell their assets. Asset backed securities ( ABS ) and MBS became the root cause of the current crisis. The Federal Reserve Bank introduced TALF plan in order to purchase these extremely illiquid assets from the Bankss and in bend inject money into their balance sheets. The Federal Reserve lends money much lower than the existent monetary value of these securities, therefore avoiding the high hazard associated with these securities ( Bernanke, Oct 2009 ) . Federal Reserve went out of its conventional ways by imparting money to non merely commercial Bankss, but besides to investing Bankss.
  • Commercial Paper Funding Facility ( CPFF ) : After the Treasury Bills, commercial documents were considered as one of safest securities. But during the current crisis, big corporations and Bankss found it hard to publish commercial documents for short term loans. To deliver the commercial paper issuers, and therefore ease short term credits into the market, the Federal Reserve introduced CPFF plan. Under the CPFF, a SPV ( Particular Purpose Vehicle ) besides known as particular purpose entity, buys unbarred and plus backed commercial documents for 3 months period which is financed by New York Fed ( Bernanke, Oct 2009 ) .


Federal Reserve Bank was created in 1913 by Congress with the intent of modulating rising prices and unemployment. Fed by raising or take downing its mark involvement rates can indirectly impact the end product GDP, rising prices and employment ( Duca, Nov 2007 ) . In the current crisis, Fed without detaining, set the mark Fed financess involvement rates to about nothing. To cut down the existent nominal involvement rates near to Fed ‘s mark involvement rates, Fed flooded the markets with money, by purchasing exchequers, MBS and other securities from Bankss, and therefore increasing the supply of money more than its demand. This caused the nominal involvement rates to drop ( see Exhibit 4.1 ) . With the addition in money supply, the LM curve displacements to the right and hence lowers the involvement rates ( see Exhibit 4.2 ) . This activity of Federal Reserve increased the Bankss ‘ extra militias. Banks can either impart this extra money to other Bankss through the Fed fund fiscal markets at involvement rate every bit low as zero per centum or they can utilize this extra militias to impart it out to concerns, investing in stock or bond markets, private and place loans at higher involvement rates.

By fabricating the output curve, through lowering of short term involvement rates, Fed has been successful in take downing down the recognition spreads ( see Exhibit 4.3 for Ted Spreads ) . Banks are now offering loans at much lower involvement rates than what they did a twelvemonth ago. Large concerns and little investors can now take more hazards by borrowing money at low involvement rates. This will do addition in outgos, creative activity of new concerns and more occupations for people. A new equilibrium point will be reached on the IS-LM curve with an addition in the GDP. Since the involvement rates have been to zero for sometime now, it would be hard for the Fed to foster excite the economic system, as the consequence on the end product GDP will non be important ( see Exhibit 3.9 ) . Therefore Fed restore to quantitative moderation by originating many plans, to assist the weak establishments by straight shooting money into them. Fiscal policies are expected to hold more impact in increasing the GDP, during settlement trap when LM curve is level, by switching the IS curve right. Fed by purchasing exchequers from Government, is in bend assisting Government support its stimulation programs. Increase in end product GDP, means more occupations, more ingestion and higher production. Due to Fed ‘s activity of publishing money, a big sum of dollars is now available in the market, which will do the dollar to deprecate against foreign currency, which will do U.S. goods cheaper in foreign markets, taking to an addition in exports and lessening in imports. But there is slowdown between the Fed ‘s action and for the market to react. In erstwhile hereafter we can anticipate the employment and rising prices to lift because of the current Fed ‘s activities.

Federal Reserve equipped the commercial Bankss and large fiscal establishments with ample sum of liquidness. Though criticized by many, but this measure was required, so that Bankss have adequate liquidness to back up themselves every bit good as lend money to the fiscal system, so that the recognition rhythm can get down working once more. Banks which antecedently used to sharply impart out money, are now really carefully making so on a little graduated table. Alternatively Bankss are constructing up their extra militias with the fright of future clang in the extremely volatile markets.


Short Term:

  • We expect Fed to go on purchasing exchequers and illiquid assets from Bankss and authorities and therefore go on shooting money into the market.
  • To concentrate on diminishing unemployment.
  • Keep the mark financess rate depression.

Long Term:

  • Increase the mark financess rates bit by bit to forestall:
  • The economic system from heating up
  • High rising prices and instability in the monetary values
  • Decrease in the dollar value due to rising prices
  • Inflation with addition in end product GDP if the economic system reaches its full capacity

5. In what ways is the current economic crisis similar and different from the Great Depression and the Nipponese crisis of the 1990s? What have we learned from these old economic crises to steer macroeconomic policy now?

The Great Depression Vs. US economic crisis

The great depression the most terrible economic event in the US and possibly the planetary history, can be summarized through few distinguishable periods ( 1 ) Rush in production and stock market in 1920s ( 2 ) Great clang in 1929 and depression between 1929 and 1932 and ( 3 ) Gradual recovery marked by important alterations in pecuniary policies between 1933 – 1939.

There are a figure of similarities between the great depression and U.S economic crisis

  • Productivity, Technology Advancement: Drawn-out period of end product growing in 1920s led to increasing corporate net incomes, which brought with it inequality of income distribution ensuing in stock market guesss as stock dividends and stock market returns were highly moneymaking. Productivity in 1920s grew quickly as a consequence of technological promotion ( e.g. electrification, managerial betterments etc. ) . For illustration, figure of labour hours to bring forth goods fell by 40 % where as the monetary values fell merely by 20 % with really small alteration in rewards. Similarly, the current crisis, whose roots can be traced back to late 1990s was likewise marked by technological roar and aided by the “ Goldilocks ” economic system for the most portion contributed to turning corporate net incomes ensuing in a major tally up in the stock market ( in 1990s and 2007-2008 ) and bad bubble in existent estate between 2003-2007 with plus monetary values soared 138 % in this period. ( Beginning: Current Multinational Financial Challenges: The Credit Crisis of 2007-2009 ) ( See exhibits 3.4 )
  • Asset Bubble: During great depression and during current economic crisis bursting of plus ( stock market clang in 1929 and existent estate clang in 2007-2009 ) was a major event that shook the assurance of investors and set a terrible strained the fiscal systems.
  • Regulation and Legislation: During the great depression much of the jobs were deficiency of ordinance including no protection for investors ( i.e. no FDIC ) . During the current crisis besides, the deficiency of ordinances. For illustration, the abrogation of Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 led the Bankss to travel into hazardous mortgage ventures and complex fiscal concerns like CDO and CDS. “ Mark to market ” is a cardinal accounting regulation that played function in the appraisal of wellness of Bankss. The regulation suggests that the value of securities should be marked up or down sporadically to reflect the current market values. With the trouble in assessment CDO and CDS and worsening stock market, the bank balance sheets deteriorated quickly. There were figure arguments in altering this regulation.
  • Fiscal system impact: The great depression and current economic crisis is marked by loss of assurance in the fiscal system taking to “ run on the Bankss ” and deficiency of available recognition. During the great depression between Oct 1930 and Feb 1931, there were rampant bank failures. In Nov and Dec entirely there were 236 and 328 bank failures severally ( Beginning: A new position of economic history ) . During the current crisis, the figure of bank failures were much less, around 120 Bankss ( Beginning: FDIC web site ) , nevertheless the impact to the fiscal system was no lesser.
  • Tax Policy: During the great depression, Hoover disposal acted quickly to cut down all income revenue enhancement raterates by 1 % in Dec 1929. The revenue enhancement cuts reduced the revenue enhancement gross by 23 % and combined with financial stimulation, budget went into shortage of $ 1B in 1930, from a excess of $ 1.3B in 1929. Similarly, during the current economic crisis, Bush disposal provided revenue enhancement discount to bulk of the Americans to spur the ingestion and consumer led demand.
  • Government Spending: Both the current crisis and great depression was marked by monolithic authorities disbursement through figure of plans. In 1930, figure of major public works undertakings ( e.g. Hoover Dam ) with monetary value ticket of $ 2.3B ( 22 % addition over the 1929 ) were undertaken during great depression. Similarly, today authorities money is being directed to figure of “ of “ green enterprises ” and substructure disbursement.
  • Monetary policy political orientation: During the great depression, there was an air of individualistic attitude towards covering with fiscal systems and the “ liquidationist ” influence worsened the great depression as bank failures were n’t dealt with quickly. The trust by Fed functionaries in the fiscal markets to self regulate fueled the oncoming of the existent estate bubble in mid 2000s which finally lead to the current economic crisis.
  • Interest Ratess: Low involvement rates during the “ boom mid-twentiess ” contributed to risky stock market ventures. Similarly, Fed ‘s actions during the 2002-2004 in maintaining the involvement rates in cheque, fueled family to take on undue debt load and Bankss to move recklessly taking to current crisis.

There are a figure of differences between the great depression and U.S economic crisis

  • Asset Bubble Burst: Explosion: Though stock market 1929 was immense in per centum footings, the existent impact of that is non immense, as less than 5 million people owned any stocks and 80 % of the stocks were owned by merely 500,000 people. ( Beginning: A new position of economic history ) . Whereas, in the instance the current crisis, the existent estate clang impacted stock market, bulk of the families and fiscal system across the Earth – even states every bit far as Iceland were affected.
  • Fiscal system impact: Unlike the great depression the impact of the current economic crisis is permeant across the Earth due to securitization of the fiscal merchandises utilizing complex derived functions and extra greed. The deficiency transparence of the Bankss concern patterns lead to miss trust among Bankss, which finally lead recognition squeezing that affected concern and consumers globally. The Libor rate spread in exhibit 3.5 gives a graphic description of this. Besides, the figure of tallies on the bank during the great depression was much higher than the figure of tallies during the current crisis. An of import ground was the FDIC insurance for bank sedimentations were non- existent during the great depression.
  • Tax Policy: To cover with turning budget shortage, Hoover disposal raised revenue enhancements, which proved to be one of the major policy errors that exacerbated the depression. Revenue Act of 1932 – raised lowest revenue enhancement rate from 1.25 % to 4 % ; raised highest revenue enhancement rate from 25 % to 65 % . In contrast, presently despite duplicate shortages, authorities so far has non increased revenue enhancements. In equity, the recession is still unabated with 10.2 % unemployment and marks of active deflation. Besides, it is excessively early to state whether authorities will use the lessons from great depression to current crisis.
  • Trade Policy: Though there is a turning concern about the trade shortage with China, US trade policies were unchanged in covering with the current economic crisis. In contrast, there were some major trade policy alterations during great depression. For illustration, the, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff act of 1930, in an effort to protect husbandmans and hike domestic demand for US merchandises increased duties on imports ( up to 50 % for some goods ) . In the short-run it helped better the trade instability by spurring US exports and influx of gold ( so merchandise currency ) to ) to US. The effects did n’t last excessively long as foreign states raised duties on US exports doing breaks in international trade. In 1933 and beyond, Roosevelt disposal enacted “ Good neighbour policy ” to smoothen the trade relationship
  • Interest Ratess: Prior to the great depression, the tightening of the pecuniary policy get downing 1928 and into 1929 was non justified as the US economic system was merely emerging from recession, with no evident marks of rising prices, and worsening trade good monetary values. During the current crisis, much of the incrimination directed towards the Fed chaired by Greenspan was allowing the involvement rate excessively low for excessively long a period.
  • Bank runs, gilded criterion and bailouts: For the most portion during the great depression, Fed defended attachment to the gilded criterion, despite strains in being able to lodge with fixed gilded exchange rate. There were figure of events that happened during 1930 and 1931 that made Fed fasten the pecuniary policy once more despite the weakening economic system, viz. , ( a ) increasing figure of bad onslaughts on dollars ( B ) extreme fright of devaluation of the US currency due to withdrawal of sedimentations by foreign investors. In that procedure, Fed ignored the rampant bank failures, despite deficiency of protection for nest eggs ( i.e. sedimentation insurance ) . In contrast, during the current crisis, Fed did n’t hold to worry about lodging to gold criterion. More significantly, Fed was really aggressive in covering with fiscal establishment failures by actively bailing out ( working in tandem with Treasury ) establishments like Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, AIG etc. , and assisting an orderly closing of figure of establishments like Bear Sterns, Wachovia, Washing Common etc. , In add-on to relieve the family investors frights, the FDIC sedimentation was increased by $ 200,000.

Japan ‘s “ lost decennary ” Vs. US Economic Crisis

Japan suffered about a decennary ( 1991 – 2002 ) of economic jobs marked by the unstable combination of close zero involvement rates and deflation, and punctuated by four different recessions ( defined as two or more quarters of diminution in GDP ) where the mean one-year GDP was 1.1 % compared to 5 % in the old five old ages. This period is referred to in Japan ‘s economic history as the “ lost decennary ” . The “ lost decennary ” consisted of three distinguishable periods ( 1 ) recession in 1991 – 1993 ( 2 ) recovery, impermanent and partial in nature between 1994 – 1996 and ( 3 ) a deep recession between 1997 – 1999

Japan Vs. US Credit Crisis – Similarities

  • Asset Bubble: Both US Crisis and Japan ‘s “ lost decennary ” were preceded by an plus bubble in stock market and existent estate market. Real estate monetary values soared 138 % in US between 1999-2006 and 142 % in the instance of Japan ( between 1984-1991 ) .
  • Bad Loans: In both instances, a clang in the stock market and the bursting of the existent estate monetary values weakened the consumer assurance and hence the disbursement. The non-performing loans in the books of Bankss were the major cause in both instances in making a major recognition crunch. In both instances, the family and the commercial companies lost faith in the banking system.
  • Fiscal policy similarities: Massive financial stimulation was injected both in Japan and US to cover with their several economic state of affairs in the signifier of authorities disbursement aimed towards spurring the demand. In the instance of Japan financial stimulation totaled 6 % of the GDP over a period of few old ages. In the instance of US financial stimulation totaled 6 % of 2009 GDP, and the disbursement was basically between 2008 and 2009

Japan ‘s “ lost decennary ” Vs. US Credit Crisis – Differences

  • In the instance of Japan the bulk of the non-performing loans were commercial loans. In the instance of US, bulk of them were low quality ( sub-prime and Alt-A ) loans extended to unqualified borrowers by avaricious Bankss.
  • Unlike Japan, where the Bankss did n’t hold adequate avenues to distribute their hazard exposure, the US Bankss had the handiness of complex fiscal derived function merchandises that could disperse bank ‘s hazard to planetary fiscal system. This was a major difference in the badness and the range of the recognition crunch between Japan and US.
  • There wasere some dual numeration on the size of stimulus bundle in the instance of Japan. Besides, in hindsight, it appears that a good part of the stimulus bundle spent by Japan was on uneconomical public plants project that ne’er produced any benefits. It is excessively early to state how US financial stimulation bundle would fair. The marks are promoting based on the decrease in the rate of unemployment filing over the last few months.
  • Japan raised ingestion revenue enhancements prematurely to cover with run up in the debt, while the recovery was underway. This was a major policy error. Despite the twin shortages that is improbable to acquire better anytime shortly, US has non raised revenue enhancements and there are no indicants that authorities is traveling to increase taxes.. This is one of the lessons learned from Japan that is being applied by US efficaciously.
  • A major unfavorable judgment against US Fed is that holding made the right policy determination of cutting involvement rates to hike the economic system after 9/11 onslaughts, it left the involvement really low, for excessively long, despite a enormous tally up in the plus monetary values ( stocks and existent estate ) . Where as in the instance of Japan, even after the initial marks of clefts in the stock market in Aug 1990, the BOJ raised the involvement rates significantly ( from 4.5 % to 6 % )
  • The macro economic policy actions were non swift in the instance of Japan. Besides the actions were marked by “ stop-and-go ” in the instance of Japan. Whereas in the instance of US crisis, both the financial policy and pecuniary policies were faster than the velocity with which actions were carried out by Japan. Note, one can reason that the US pecuniary policy actions were still slower ( e.g. Fed truly did n’t move in 2007 or until Bear Stern ‘s prostration in Feb 2008, and truly kicked into high cogwheels merely after the Lehman bankruptcy and AIG radioactive dust ) .
  • For an drawn-out period during Japan ‘s “ lost decennary ” the BOJ targeted involvement rate instead than aiming money supply that would assist add liquidness and better the wellness of Nipponese Bankss. Whereas the US Fed, holding learned from Japan ‘s experience, has been utilizing the quantitative moderation policy from early on in covering with the US economic crisis, instead than aiming the involvement rate chiefly.

Lessons learned from the Great Depression and Japan ‘s “ lost decennary ”

  • Avoid deflation, even if it means running the hazard of rising prices down the route: In a deflationary economic system, pecuniary policy becomes really uneffective as evidenced in the instance of Japan. Besides, the existent GDP may mislead, as it would be higher than nominal GDP due to negative GDP deflator. Currently US is experiencinges a low deflation, but the marks are bettering. Prompt actionsPrompt actions are necessary even if rising prices is traveling percolate up in future. So far Fed placed high precedence in covering with deflation over fright of future rising prices, by increasing money supply.
  • Act fleetly and sharply: Depression forged a consensus that the authorities plays a critical function in stabilising the economic system the fiscal system, and in assisting people affected by economic downswings. In the instance of Japan, pecuniary policy that seemed appropriate, in hindsight, turned out to be deplorably unequal. These means that to cover with US crisis, the Fed should be aggressive with its ( i.e. militant and accommodative ) pecuniary policy. And, today ‘s Fed is an active and accommodating one compared to the Fed during the great depression that was influenced by “ liquidationist ” and individualistic political orientations. Similarly, the authorities has been reasonably fleet with regard to financial stimulation plans and revenue enhancement inducements
  • Reduce the figure of bank tallies and alleviate investors fear on bank tallies: Fed ‘s actions in this were largely applaudable. It is increased the FDIC insurance, helped bail-out a figure of critical fiscal establishment whose prostration would hold perchance intend a full fledged planetary depression. The Fed ‘s handling of Lehman Brother ‘s bankruptcy still draws a batch of unfavorable judgment.
  • Aggressively capitalize ( hike balance sheets of ) the Bankss without making a stigma: During Japan ‘s economic unease, Nipponese Bankss were n’t willing to be bailed out due to the stigma associated with being bailed out. Federal modesty and US Government should happen a manner to cut down any sensed stigma so that Bankss would be forthcoming in acquiring the needed aid
  • Avoid “ stop-and-go ” policies ( i.e. avoid premature revenue enhancement addition ) : During great depression, premature revenue enhancement addition, in an effort to cover with mounting budget shortage in 1932 pushed the economic system into depression. Besides, Japan raised its revenue enhancements when the recovery was merely underway. This action pushed the Nipponese economic system into recession and prolonged the economic unease.
  • Focus on quantitative moderation as opposed merely the involvement rates: Having learned from Great Depression and Nipponese “ lost decennary ” experience, current Fed functionaries employ a more active and suiting pecuniary policy ( i.e. quantitative moderation ) focused on money supply instead than involvement rate as the usher to covering with the crisis. In this procedure it used figure of tools ( non merely dismiss window ) to dissolve the recognition freezing, to shore up up the balance sheet of figure of Bankss and to increase the pecuniary base.
  • Better the regulative policy: There were figure of positive policy results as a consequence of great depression runing from FDIC ( to cut down run on bank sedimentations and to protect investor nest eggs ) , SEC ( to modulate fiscal activities ) to societal security ( to help the aged and handicapped ) . Government and Fed should look into bettering the ordinances environing the fiscal systems – figure of arguments has already started on this forepart, hopefully some of them will ensue in positive result in the hereafter.


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