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The Global Economic System


How financial institutions work, connect, and fail! This serious, authoritative book thoroughly explains the modern global credit system, its instruments, and key participants’ roles. Learn why liquidity failures have been pivotal in all recent market crashes, discover potential pathways for today’s crises, and gain critical insight for investing or decision-making.

From the Back Cover
“Anyone interested in exactly how a financial crisis affects the real economy should read this book. Its great strength lies in carefully tracing the effects of falling asset values on bank balance sheets and how this tightens the supply of credit to the private sector, reducing output and employment in a downturn.”
Alexander J. Field, Professor of Economics, Santa Clara University, and author of A Great Leap Forward: 1930s Depression and U.S. Economic Growth

“This is a lucid and provocative analysis of liquidity shocks–a powerful and much misunderstood force in financial markets. The authors demonstrate that liquidity–or perhaps more interestingly illiquidity–has a quantifiable value. How well–or badly–a liquidity shock is managed by practitioners, bank managements, and regulators has major implications for financial markets, banks, and the economy as a whole. This book raises important public policy questions regarding the appropriate response to financial crises, and how to prevent them. I learned a great deal from reading it.”
–Roberto Mendoza, Senior Managing Director, Atlas Advisors, and formerly Vice Chairman, J.P. Morgan

The global economic crisis of 2008-2009 stunned many of the world’s most astute investors. Although only 49 hedge funds failed during all of 2007, 1,112 failed during just the second half of 2008. Three U.S. banks failed in 2007; 140 failed in 2009. Harvard’s, Stanford’s, and Yale’s acclaimed investment managers each lost at least a quarter of their portfolios in 2008.

How did this happen? What hidden factor did all these brilliant investors miss? The answer is liquidity risk.

Writing for financial professionals and other sophisticated readers, the authors thoroughly illuminate liquidity risk in today’s global financial system, show how the key institutions interconnect, and explain how liquidity risk powerfully impacts them all. The authors carefully analyze three massive liquidity events: the Great Depression, Japan’s Lost Decade of the 1990s, and the global economic crisis of 2008-2009, revealing what really happened–and the lessons they teach us.

  • Reveals the core cause of market and economic crashes: liquidity failures
  • Explains the modern global credit system, the roles of key institutions, and the instruments they rely on
  • Offers crucial new insights for financial professionals, sophisticated investors, policymakers, and students of finance and economics

This is an authoritative guide to today’s global financial system: how it works, how its elements fit together, and the crucial vulnerabilities that can cause it to fail.

Writing for financial professionals and other sophisticated readers, the authors fully explain liquidity risk and how it affects the modern global financial system. They illuminate the roles of banks, hedge funds, insurers, central banks, financial markets, and other participants as they manage liquidity risk and inadvertently transmit liquidity shocks through the financial system and into the nonfinancial sector. In particular, they reveal the central role of liquidity in major market crashes and economic downturns including the Great Depression, Japan’s Lost Decade, and the current Great Recession.

The Global Economic System thoroughly examines economic environments in which slow deleveraging leads to prolonged sluggish growth and compares today’s environment to other periods of large-scale deleveraging. The authors predict potential pathways for the current crisis and offer indispensable guidance to both portfolio managers and policymakers.

  • Everything sophisticated investors need to know about liquidity
    Understand liquidity, liquidity costs, liquidity risk, and liquidity risk premia
  • Liquidity shocks: how they start, how they spread
    Walk through every stage of liquidity shock–and the resulting economic downturns
  • The Great Depression, Japan’s Lost Decade, and the future
    Crucial lessons from the past century’s worst liquidity failures
  • Policy prescriptions for preventing and managing liquidity shocks
    What to expect, what to do about it–and what not to do

Book Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press (June 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137050127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137050123
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