We have just experienced the worst financial crash the world has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. While real economies in general did not crash as they did in the 1930s, the financial parts of the economy certainly did, or, at least, came very close to doing so. Hundreds of banks in the United States and Europe have been closed by their supervisory authorities, forcibly merged with stronger partners, nationalized or recapitalized with the tax payers' money. Banks and insurance companies had, by mid 2010, already written off some 2000 billion dollars in credit write-downs on loans and securities. In this book, Johan Lybeck draws on his experience as both an academic economist and a professional banker to present a detailed yet non-technical analysis of the crash. He describes how the crisis began in early 2007, explains why it happened and shows how it compares to earlier financial crises.
Johan A. Lybeck has worked as Managing Director of Finanskonsult AB (Stockholm) and Risk Analysis SA (Brussels) for the last twenty-five years. As an academic, he has been, inter alia, a Chaired Professor of Economics, an Associate Professor of Econometrics and an Adjunct Professor of Finance. His banking career includes positions as Senior Vice President of Swedbank (Stockholm) in charge of financial strategy and Chief Economist at Matteus Bank. He holds a PhD in Economics (University of Michigan, 1971) and a 'fil. lic.' in Political Science (University of Gothenburg, 1986). He is also a captain and Chief Interrogator in the Swedish Air Force.
List of figures; List of tables; Acknowledgements; Why you - yes, you! - should read this book; 1. Introduction; 2. Financial crises in the United States and Europe but not in Asia; Appendix 2.1. A chronological presentation of events January 2007-December 2010; 3. Could today's financial crisis have been foreseen? Some theory and some facts; 4. The American housing market and the subprime crisis; 5. Securitization and derivatives spread the crisis around the world; Appendix 5.1. Inherent conflicts of interest in subprime securitization; Appendix 5.2. Write-downs in individual banks, investment banks and insurance companies, 2007-9; 6. Liquidity risk aspects of the crisis and a comparison with 1907 and 1929; Appendix 6.1. The liquidity-risk framework proposed by the FSA and the BIS; 7. Credit risk aspects of the crisis, rating and solvency; Appendix 7.1. Government support activities for banks' capital ratios 2007-9; Appendix 7.2. The proposed new capital requirements under 'Basel III'; 8. Financial crises in modern history: similarities and differences; 9. Worldwide changes in regulation and supervision as a result of the crisis; Appendix 9.1. List of regulatory authorities in the United States; Outstanding issues; References; Index.
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