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By Lloyd B. Thomas (auth.)

The monetary predicament and Federal Reserve coverage is absolutely revised and up-to-date with the main actual and thorough insurance to be had of the motives and effects of the 2008 monetary quandary and the position the Federal Reserve performed within the restoration efforts.

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Throughout history, periodic contagious banking panics have occurred, causing severe consequences for nations’ economies. A modern depository institution may maintain perhaps 3 percent of its total deposit liabilities in reserves—cash and deposits at the central bank— with most of the remaining 97 percent having been loaned or used to purchase government bonds and other securities. As was the case with the early goldsmiths, this is not necessarily imprudent because only a small percentage of depositors typically withdraw funds in any given period, and any such withdrawals are normally roughly balanced by incoming reserves associated with new deposits.

This chapter begins by outlining a theory that helps us understand why such crises occur over and over again in nations throughout the world. These crises are also seldom confined to a single country—they strongly tend to occur in clusters, with numerous nations almost simultaneously experiencing the same problems. The Great Crisis of 2007–2009 proved to be contagious, quickly spreading from the United States to many parts of the globe. The underlying forces behind this phenomenon and the various channels through which crises are transmitted from country to country are explored in this chapter.

III. Conclusion This book tells the story of how numerous factors conspired to create enormous bubbles in credit and house prices in the United States and several other nations in the decade extending from 1996 to 2006. It describes the chain reaction that was ignited as the twin bubbles began deflating, giving rise to the most devastating contraction in economic activity since the Great Depression. The story recounts the almost inexplicable failure of the Federal Reserve to contain the wave of bank failures that was instrumental in causing the Great Depression of the 1930s, and contrasts this failure with the remarkable feats of the Federal Reserve and other major central banks in preventing the Great Crisis of 2007–2009 from degenerating into an economic cataclysm rivaling the earlier debacle.

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