International Financial Integration and Stability: On the Causes of the International Banking Crisis 2007/08 and Some Preliminary Lessons.
Since its beginning, the recent financial market turmoil that has come to be known as the „subprime crisis“ has provoked considerable controversy among both, policymakers and scientists. The debate mainly focuses on two questions. The first is whether and how short-term measures should be taken to stabilize the global financial system. The second is which general lessons can be drawn from this crisis. Up to now, several potential causes of the crisis have been discussed in a more or less isolated manner. However, a predominant source of the crisis has not been identified yet. Accordingly, there is still a lack of knowledge regarding general consequences of the crisis for economic policy. The purpose of this article is twofold. First, we show that to a large extent the crisis is due to the economic integration of formerly peripheral countries into the world economy that led to significant savings and investment imbalances. Thus, we argue that the crisis not only is a global phenomenon in its effects but also has global roots. Based on this argument, the second purpose of our paper is to derive implications for economic policy, where we also discuss the consequences for the future design of the global financial architecture.