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This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly

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This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"This Time Is Different is a tremendously exciting, topical, and controversial book on the history of debt and default. This one belongs on everyone's shelf."--Barry Eichengreen, author of The European Economy since 1945

"This is quite simply the best empirical investigation of financial crises ever published. Covering hundreds of years and bringing together a dizzying array of data, Reinhart and Rogoff have made a truly heroic contribution to financial history. This single marvelous volume is worth a thousand mathematical models."--Niall Ferguson, author of The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

"This Time is Different is terrific, for it gives just the perspective we need on the current world economic crisis. People can't expect to understand the current crisis without some in-depth look at past crises. That is exactly what this excellent and timely book provides."--Robert J. Shiller, author of Irrational Exuberance and coauthor of Animal Spirits

"You will be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive and insightful analysis of financial crises. Reinhart and Rogoff's superb book is a must-read for anyone looking to understand past and present crises, as well as navigate those of tomorrow."--Mohamed El-Erian, author of When Markets Collide

"I would say that her [Carmen Reinhart's] book with Ken Rogoff on debt crises and financial crises is an extraordinary piece of work."--Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking before the House Budget Committee (6/9/2010)

"A classic."--Nouriel Roubini

"The most important authorities probably in the world now on financial crashes are Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart. . . . And I read it [This Time is Different]."--Former President Bill Clinton, speech at Youngstown, OH, October 31, 2012

Synopsis:

"A classic."--Nouriel Roubini

"This is quite simply the best empirical investigation of financial crises ever published. Covering hundreds of years and bringing together a dizzying array of data, Reinhart and Rogoff have made a truly heroic contribution to financial history. This single marvelous volume is worth a thousand mathematical models."--Niall Ferguson, author of The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

"This Time is Different is terrific, for it gives just the perspective we need on the current world economic crisis. People can't expect to understand the current crisis without some in-depth look at past crises. That is exactly what this excellent and timely book provides."--Robert J. Shiller, author of Irrational Exuberance and coauthor of Animal Spirits

"You will be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive and insightful analysis of financial crises. Reinhart and Rogoff's superb book is a must-read for anyone looking to understand past and present crises, as well as navigate those of tomorrow."--Mohamed El-Erian, author of When Markets Collide

"This Time Is Different is a tremendously exciting, topical, and controversial book on the history of debt and default. This one belongs on everyone's shelf."--Barry Eichengreen, author of The European Economy since 1945

Synopsis:

Throughout history, rich and poor countries alike have been lending, borrowing, crashing--and recovering--their way through an extraordinary range of financial crises. Each time, the experts have chimed, "this time is different"--claiming that the old rules of valuation no longer apply and that the new situation bears little similarity to past disasters. With this breakthrough study, leading economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff definitively prove them wrong. Covering sixty-six countries across five continents, This Time Is Different presents a comprehensive look at the varieties of financial crises, and guides us through eight astonishing centuries of government defaults, banking panics, and inflationary spikes--from medieval currency debasements to today's subprime catastrophe. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, leading economists whose work has been influential in the policy debate concerning the current financial crisis, provocatively argue that financial combustions are universal rites of passage for emerging and established market nations. The authors draw important lessons from history to show us how much--or how little--we have learned.

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.

About the Author

Carmen M. Reinhart is the Dennis Weatherstone Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. She was previously professor of economics at the University of Maryland. Kenneth S. Rogoff is the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and professor of economics at Harvard University. He is a frequent commentator for "NPR", the "Wall Street Journal", and the "Financial Times".

Table of Contents

LIST OF TABLES xiii
LIST OF FIGURES xvii
LIST OF BOXES xxiii
PREFACE xxv
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xxxvii
PREAMBLE: SOME INITIAL INTUITIONS ON FINANCIAL FRAGILITY AND THE FICKLE NATURE OF CONFIDENCE xxxix

PART I: Financial Crises: An Operational Primer 1
Chapter 1: Varieties of Crises and Their Dates 3
Crises Defined by Quantitative Thresholds: Inflation, Currency Crashes, and Debasement 4
Crises Defined by Events: Banking Crises and External and Domestic Default 8
Other Key Concepts 14
Chapter 2: Debt Intolerance: The Genesis of Serial Default 21
Debt Thresholds 21
Measuring Vulnerability 25
Clubs and Regions 27
Reflections on Debt Intolerance 29
Chapter 3: A Global Database on Financial Crises with a Long-Term View 34
Prices, Exchange Rates, Currency Debasement, and Real GDP 35
Government Finances and National Accounts 39
Public Debt and Its Composition 40
Global Variables 43
Country Coverage 43

PART II: Sovereign External Debt Crises 49
Chapter 4: A Digression on the Theoretical Underpinnings of Debt Crises 51
Sovereign Lending 54
Illiquidity versus Insolvency 59
Partial Default and Rescheduling 61
Odious Debt 63
Domestic Public Debt 64
Conclusions 67
Chapter 5: Cycles of Sovereign Default on External Debt 68
Recurring Patterns 68
Default and Banking Crises 73
Default and Inflation 75
Global Factors and Cycles of Global External Default 77
The Duration of Default Episodes 81
Chapter 6: External Default through History 86
The Early History of Serial Default: Emerging Europe, 1300-1799 86
Capital Inflows and Default: An "Old World" Story 89
External Sovereign Default after 1800: A Global Picture 89

PART III: The Forgotten History of Domestic Debt and Default 101
Chapter 7: The Stylized Facts of Domestic Debt and Default 103
Domestic and External Debt 103
Maturity, Rates of Return, and Currency Composition 105
Episodes of Domestic Default 110
Some Caveats Regarding Domestic Debt 111
Chapter 8: Domestic Debt: The Missing Link Explaining External Default and High Inflation 119
Understanding the Debt Intolerance Puzzle 119
Domestic Debt on the Eve and in the Aftermath of External Default 123
The Literature on Inflation and the "Inflation Tax" 124
Defining the Tax Base: Domestic Debt or the Monetary Base? 125
The "Temptation to Inflate" Revisited 127
Chapter 9: Domestic and External Default: Which Is Worse? Who Is Senior? 128
Real GDP in the Run-up to and the Aftermath of Debt Defaults 129
Inflation in the Run-up to and the Aftermath of Debt Defaults 129
The Incidence of Default on Debts Owed to External and Domestic Creditors 133
Summary and Discussion of Selected Issues 136

PART IV: Banking Crises, Inflation, and Currency Crashes 139
Chapter 10: Banking Crises 141
A Preamble on the Theory of Banking Crises 143
Banking Crises: An Equal-Opportunity Menace 147
Banking Crises, Capital Mobility, and Financial Liberalization 155
Capital Flow Bonanzas, Credit Cycles, and Asset Prices 157
Overcapacity Bubbles in the Financial Industry? 162
The Fiscal Legacy of Financial Crises Revisited 162
Living with the Wreckage: Some Observations 171
Chapter 11: Default through Debasement: An "Old World Favorite" 174
Chapter 12: Inflation and Modern Currency Crashes 180
An Early History of Inflation Crises 181
Modern Inflation Crises: Regional Comparisons 182
Currency Crashes 189
The Aftermath of High Inflation and Currency Collapses 191
Undoing Domestic Dollarization 193

PART V: The U.S. Subprime Meltdown and the Second Great Contraction 199
Chapter 13: The U.S. Subprime Crisis: An International and Historical Comparison 203
A Global Historical View of the Subprime Crisis and Its Aftermath 204
The This-Time-Is-Different Syndrome and the Run-up to the Subprime Crisis 208
Risks Posed by Sustained U.S. Borrowing from the Rest of the World: The Debate before the Crisis 208
The Episodes of Postwar Bank-Centered Financial Crisis 215
A Comparison of the Subprime Crisis with Past Crises in Advanced Economies 216
Summary 221
Chapter 14: The Aftermath of Financial Crises 223
Historical Episodes Revisited 225
The Downturn after a Crisis: Depth and Duration 226
The Fiscal Legacy of Crises 231
Sovereign Risk 232
Comparisons with Experiences from the First Great Contraction in the 1930s 233
Concluding Remarks 238
Chapter 15: The International Dimensions of the Subprime Crisis:
The Results of Contagion or Common Fundamentals? 240
Concepts of Contagion 241
Selected Earlier Episodes 241
Common Fundamentals and the Second Great Contraction 242
Are More Spillovers Under Way? 246
Chapter 16: Composite Measures of Financial Turmoil 248
Developing a Composite Index of Crises: The BCDI Index 249
Defining a Global Financial Crisis 260
The Sequencing of Crises: A Prototype 270
Summary 273

PART VI: What Have We Learned? 275
Chapter 17: Reflections on Early Warnings, Graduation, Policy Responses, and the Foibles of Human Nature 277
On Early Warnings of Crises 278
The Role of International Institutions 281
Graduation 283
Some Observations on Policy Responses 287
The Latest Version of the This-Time-Is-Different Syndrome 290

DATA APPENDIXES 293
A.1. Macroeconomic Time Series 295
A.2. Public Debt 327
A.3. Dates of Banking Crises 344
A.4. Historical Summaries of Banking Crises 348
NOTES 393
REFERENCES 409
NAME INDEX 435
SUBJECT INDEX 443

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691152646
Author:
Reinhart, Carmen M
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
Rogoff, Kenneth
Author:
ff, Kenneth
Author:
Reinhart, Carmen M.
Author:
Rogo
Author:
Carmen M. Re
Author:
inhart
Subject:
Economic History
Subject:
Economics
Subject:
Finance
Subject:
Business-History and Biography
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
62 line illus. 30 tables.
Pages:
512
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Product details 512 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691152646 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "A classic."--Nouriel Roubini

"This is quite simply the best empirical investigation of financial crises ever published. Covering hundreds of years and bringing together a dizzying array of data, Reinhart and Rogoff have made a truly heroic contribution to financial history. This single marvelous volume is worth a thousand mathematical models."--Niall Ferguson, author of The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

"This Time is Different is terrific, for it gives just the perspective we need on the current world economic crisis. People can't expect to understand the current crisis without some in-depth look at past crises. That is exactly what this excellent and timely book provides."--Robert J. Shiller, author of Irrational Exuberance and coauthor of Animal Spirits

"You will be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive and insightful analysis of financial crises. Reinhart and Rogoff's superb book is a must-read for anyone looking to understand past and present crises, as well as navigate those of tomorrow."--Mohamed El-Erian, author of When Markets Collide

"This Time Is Different is a tremendously exciting, topical, and controversial book on the history of debt and default. This one belongs on everyone's shelf."--Barry Eichengreen, author of The European Economy since 1945

"Synopsis" by , Throughout history, rich and poor countries alike have been lending, borrowing, crashing--and recovering--their way through an extraordinary range of financial crises. Each time, the experts have chimed, "this time is different"--claiming that the old rules of valuation no longer apply and that the new situation bears little similarity to past disasters. With this breakthrough study, leading economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff definitively prove them wrong. Covering sixty-six countries across five continents, This Time Is Different presents a comprehensive look at the varieties of financial crises, and guides us through eight astonishing centuries of government defaults, banking panics, and inflationary spikes--from medieval currency debasements to today's subprime catastrophe. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, leading economists whose work has been influential in the policy debate concerning the current financial crisis, provocatively argue that financial combustions are universal rites of passage for emerging and established market nations. The authors draw important lessons from history to show us how much--or how little--we have learned.

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.

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