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The Second Great Contraction by Kenneth S. Rogoff, Carmen M. Reinhart

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THE U.S. SUBPRIME MELTDOWN ANDTHE SECOND GREAT CONTRACTION

How relevant are historical benchmarks for assessing the trajectory of a modern global financial crisis? In this part of the book we draw on our historical data set to develop benchmarks for measuring the severity of the crisis in terms of both the run-up to it and the possible evolution of its aftermath. A few years back, many people would have said that improvements in financial engineering and the conduct of monetary policy had done much to tame the business cycle and limit the risk of financial contagion. But the recent global financial crisis has proven them wrong.

When the “subprime financial crisis” (as it was initially called) began to unfold in the summer of 2007, a cursory ...

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