Misunderstanding Financial Crises: Why We Don't See Them Coming by Gary B. Gorton, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Misunderstanding Financial Crises: Why We Don't See Them Coming

Misunderstanding Financial Crises: Why We Don't See Them Coming

by Gary B. Gorton
     
 

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Before 2007, economists thought that financial crises would never happen again in the United States, that such upheavals were a thing of the past. Gary B. Gorton, a prominent expert on financial crises, argues that economists fundamentally misunderstand what they are, why they occur, and why there were none in the U.S. from 1934 to 2007. Misunderstanding

Overview

Before 2007, economists thought that financial crises would never happen again in the United States, that such upheavals were a thing of the past. Gary B. Gorton, a prominent expert on financial crises, argues that economists fundamentally misunderstand what they are, why they occur, and why there were none in the U.S. from 1934 to 2007. Misunderstanding Financial Crises offers a back-to-basics overview of financial crises, and shows that they are not rare, idiosyncratic events caused by a perfect storm of unconnected factors. Instead, Gorton shows how financial crises are, indeed, inherent to our financial system. Economists, Gorton writes, looked from a certain point of view and missed everything that was important: the evolution of capital markets and the banking system, the existence of new financial instruments, and the size of certain money markets like the sale and repurchase market. Comparing the so-called "Quiet Period" of 1934 to 2007, when there were no systemic crises, to the "Panic of 2007-2008," Gorton ties together key issues like bank debt and liquidity, credit booms and manias, moral hazard, and too-big-too-fail--all to illustrate the true causes of financial collapse. He argues that the successful regulation that prevented crises since 1934 did not adequately keep pace with innovation in the financial sector, due in part to the misunderstandings of economists, who assured regulators that all was well. Gorton also looks forward to offer both a better way for economists to think about markets and a description of the regulation necessary to address the future threat of financial disaster.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"BEN BERNANKE, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, was once asked for his recommended reading on financial crises. He named the work of Gary Gorton, a Yale University professor. Misunderstanding Financial Crises demonstrates why.
Mr. Gorton brings to the question a combination of historical perspective, academic expertise and, unlike most academics, personal experience...his book is a refreshing and valuable account that should take its place among the essential reading of any student of crises." —The Economist

"The book offers essential insights into the mysteries of the recent financial crisis. Gorton has the rare depth of understanding to explain the elements and similarities of a wide array of historical crises. Fascinating reading."—Robert J. Shiller, Arthur M. Okun Professor of Economics, Yale University, author of Irrational Exuberance and Finance and the Good Society

"Professor Gorton has produced an excellent, readable and incisive account of the recent financial crisis in historical perspective. We, as economists, have an obligation to understand our own profession's failings in the policy framework leading up to the financial crisis. Gorton shows us that blind faith in mathematical models of idealized economies can lead to blind spots in regulators' view of economic reality. This phenomenon had disastrous consequences during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, as intricately documented in this book. The book presents important lessons for how financial regulatory reform should be designed and implemented in the future. In addition, it provides a cautionary tale for economists to rethink their approach to policy advice more generally."—Justin Yifu Lin, Chief Economist and Sr. Vice President, World Bank

"Financial Crises have been a feature global finance for centuries, but economists and other analysts still struggle with the subject. If anything, since the events of 2007-2009 and the more recent crisis in Europe our fears have only grown larger. In this timely new book Gary Gorton reviews history, theory and evidence concerning financial crises, their causes and possible research and policy responses. It is at the same time very thorough and very interesting, and will no doubt appeal to academics and practitioners." —Arminio Fraga Neto, former President, Central Bank of Brazil, Founder, Gavea Investimentos

"An important book." - The Financial Times 3/12/12

"Written in a very accessible style, the book makes the reader not only question what caused the financial crisis of 2008-09 but also think analytically about what made possible the moderation or the 'Quiet Period' from 1934 to 2007, during which time there were 'no systemic financial crises.' His book provides immensely useful information about the policies that led to the crisis. This volume is must reading for undergraduates in economics and finance as well as business leaders and future policy makers. Graduate students, faculty, and general readers will find it a pleasure to read. Essential."—CHOICE

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199986880
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
11/02/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
19 MB
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Meet the Author

Gary B. Gorton is the Frederick Frank Class of 1954 Professor of Finance at the Yale School of Management. He is the author of Slapped by the Invisible Hand: The Panic of 2007.

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