Oct 25, 2012

Credit Booms

. . . We identified 70 credit booms in a sample of 61 countries with data for the 1960-2010 period, with half of the credit booms in industrial countries and half in emerging economies. The upswing of these booms is associated with economic expansions, rising equity and housing prices, real currency appreciation, and widening external deficits, followed by the opposite dynamics in the downswing. Moreover, credit booms tend to be synchronized internationally and centered on “big events” like the 1980s debt crisis, Sudden Stops in emerging economies and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. 
Credit booms display three striking similarities across industrial and emerging economies: (1) credit booms normalized by the cyclical variability of credit are similar in magnitude across both groups of countries; (2) banking crises, currency crises or Sudden Stops often follow credit booms, and the frequencies with which they do are similar across industrial and emerging economies; and (3) credit booms often follow surges in capital inflows, TFP gains, and financial reforms, and are far more common with managed than flexible exchange rates. These results differ significantly from previous findings in the literature on credit booms suggesting an ambiguous relationship between credit booms and economic expansions, and little or no association between financial crises and credit booms (see Gourinchas et al. (2001)). They are also different from the findings of our previous work (Mendoza and Terrones (2008), which used data until 2006 and reported differences across industrial and emerging economy booms in the above three characteristics that we now find them similar.
That is from a very good paper by Mendoza & Terrones, "An Anatomy of Credit Booms and their Demise" (September 2012). NBER Working Paper No. 18379. 

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