Global Finance: Looking Back, And Ahead

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Executive Summary

The world is undergoing the worst financial crisis in decades. Although the global credit crunch was sparked by the bursting U.S. housing bubble, one of the most important causes was more basic: For too long, spending in the United States has outpaced incomes. This fundamental mismatch was supported temporarily by an extremely lax U.S. monetary policy that led to easy credit, and by foreign producers who supplied cheap goods to America in part by managing their currencies. This paper is the compilation of the articles from Knowledge@Wharton look at these and other developments in global finance. They also examine how similar crises have been managed successfully - or not - on a national basis in the past, and what lessons they may offer.

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