chapter  8
18 Pages

Lessons we learned from the global financial crisis

A Minskian interpretation of the causes, the Fed’s bailout and the future
WithL. Randall Wray

The global financial crisis (GFC) represents a dramatic failure of corporate governance and risk management, in large part a result of an unwarranted and unwise focus on trading and rapid growth. When the GFC struck, many commentators called it the 'Minsky crisis' or 'Minsky moment', after the economist Hyman Minsky, who had developed a famous 'financial instability hypothesis' that described the transformation of an economy from a 'robust' financial structure to a 'fragile' one. Minsky called this new stage 'money manager capitalism'. Although financial crises came along and wiped out some wealth, each crisis was contained so that most wealth survived, and growth quickly resumed. One final comment: many of the Fed's special facilities used 'special purpose vehicles' (SPVs) created to buy assets or to make loans. Further, from the early 1990s Minsky was focused on reform of the financial system.