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March 15, 2012

The Commonality of Financial Crises



1997 Asian Financial Crisis

From Wikipedia:

"Foreign debt-to-GDP ratios rose from 100% to 167% in the four large Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economies in 1993–96, then shot up beyond 180% during the worst of the crisis. In South Korea, the ratios rose from 13 to 21% and then as high as 40%, while the other northern newly industrialized countries fared much better. Only in Thailand and South Korea did debt service-to-exports ratios rise."

Panic of 1837

Listed as possible reasons for the financial crisis:

"Others take a different view, blaming a combination of the Second Bank of the United States, Mexican bimetallism (which drove Mexican silver out of Mexican circulation according to Gresham's Law, and into America where it was legal tender), legal tender law, fractional reserve banking, and state government deficit spending, which dramatically increased the money and credit supply, decreased interest rates, and led to erroneous investment decisions before and up to 1837, according to the Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle."

The Great Depression

Interest Rate Policy from 1920 to 1929:

"In 1920–1921 there was an acute recession, followed by the sustained recovery throughout the 1920s. The Federal Reserve expanded credit, by setting below market interest rates and low reserve requirements that favored big banks, and the money supply actually increased by about 60% during the time following the recession. By the latter part of the decade "buying on margin" entered the American vocabulary as more and more Americans over-extended themselves to speculate on the soaring stock market and expanding credit. Very few expected the crash that began in 1929, and none suspected it would be so drastic or so prolonged."

Add all this to the obvious low interest policy that caused the latest financial crisis, and ask yourself, what are we doing differently to get away from this problem?

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