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date: 19 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The history of banking around the world has been punctuated by frequent systemic crises. As with Tolstoy’s “unhappy families,” not all crises are the same; distinct roles have been played at different times by mismanagement, government interference, and macroeconomic shocks. This review identifies common features of crises in recent decades and describes how costly they have been in terms of their fiscal burden and the impact on macroeconomic growth. It proceeds to outline the conceptual issues identified by theoreticians and considers appropriate policy responses. Although the crisis that began in 2007 and the euro sovereign debt crisis are claimed to be mostly new, we find key elements that are painfully familiar in each. Brief lessons for regulation are provided.

Keywords: Banking crisis, contagion, euro crisis, financial crisis, sovereign debt

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