Leveraged – The New Economics of Debt and Financial Fragility
An authoritative guide to the new economics of our crisis-filled century.
The 2008 financial crisis was a seismic event that laid bare how financial institutions’ instabilities can have devastating effects on societies and economies. COVID-19 brought similar financial devastation at the beginning of 2020 and once more massive interventions by central banks were needed to heed off the collapse of the financial system. All of which begs the question: why is our financial system so fragile and vulnerable that it needs government support so often?
For a generation of economists who have risen to prominence since 2008, these events have defined not only how they view financial instability, but financial markets more broadly. Leveraged brings together these voices to take stock of what we have learned about the costs and causes of financial fragility and to offer a new canonical framework for understanding it. Their message: the origins of financial instability in modern economies run deeper than the technical debates around banking regulation, countercyclical capital buffers, or living wills for financial institutions. Leveraged offers a fundamentally new picture of how financial institutions and societies coexist, for better or worse.
The essays here mark a new starting point for research in financial economics. As we muddle through the effects of a second financial crisis in this young century, Leveraged provides a road map and a research agenda for the future.