The 2008 Financial Crisis in Retrospect: Panel Discussion

William White made comments in the concluding panel of a two day meeting (August, 2018) in Reykjavik, Iceland. The papers and proceedings of this conference have just been published by Palgrave Macmillan as

“The 2008 Global Financial Crisis in Retrospect”  Edited by R Z Aliber and G Zoega (2019).

Mr White’s comments focus on whether post-crisis reforms to financial regulation have been sufficiently robust. He welcomes the progress made to date but concludes that threats to financial stability remain uncomfortably high.



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The Limits of Macroprudential Policy

This article was published in the Winter edition of The International Economy, 2019. It suggests that monetary and macroprudential policies should be tightened jointly to resist credit bubbles and the build up of debt to dangerous levels. While central banks have shown no appetite for this, they are increasingly inclined to use macroprudential policies to allow “lower for longer” monetary policies. This implies that monetary and macroprudential policies are now working at cross purposes, which risks raising the costs of future financial instability.

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The Decade of Catching Up: Within the EU

Bill White made a presentation at the annual Lamfalussy Conference held at the Central Bank of Hungary, this year on February 4 in Budapest. His topic was the process of economic convergence between the Central, Eastern and South Eastern Economies (CESEE) in Europe and those richer economies further to the West. After looking at the recent history, Mr White suggested that future prospects for convergence depended in large part on the CESEE economies being resilient in resisting downturns. Historical studies indicated clearly that political division and the erosion of the rule of law reduced the trust and cooperation required for a resilient economy.

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Review of a Book of Essays by Alexander Lamfalussy

Alexander Lamfalussy was the General Manager of the BIS and later the head of the European Monetary Institute, the precursor of the European Central Bank. Lamfalussy’s analysis of problems like financial instability and debt overhang, still with us today, provide important insights into possible solutions. A book that can be read cover to cover, or dipped into as the need arises.;1.172


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Thinking Like an Economist

This essay was used as a foreward to a research study, published on May 8 2018, which looked closely into the course content of eight undergraduate macroeconomic courses taught at Dutch universites. It concludes that the overwhelming emphasis on Neoclassical models and mathematical methods means these courses provide no practical insights into solving the real problems faced by economists in the real world.

ForwardThinkingLikeanEconomist (1)
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Things Keep Getting Worse. Time for a Total Reset?

This essay will be forthcoming in a book published by the Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee. It argues that monetary, fiscal and regulatory policies have all been conducted without adequate consideration being given to their longer run consequences. Policies should try to deliver not only material increases in well being, but also increases that are sustainable and benfit the many and not just the few. To acheive such policy outcomes, we must reform both the domestic and international institutional structures that condition such policies.

Things keep getting worse
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Conducting Monetary Policy in a Complex, Adaptive Economy

This article was published in Credit and Capital Markets, Volume 50, Issue 2, 2017, pp 213-235. It argues that conventional monetary policy fails to recognize that the economy is a complex, adaptive system like many in in nature and society. This failure has resulted in easy monetary policies producing a number of dangerous and unintended consequences whose effects can now only be mitigated by government action. Embracing complexity also leads to many practical suggestions as to how monetary policy might be better conducted in the future.

Creditand CapitalArticle
Posted by williamw in Publications