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Free Content A Year of Living Dangerously: The Management of the Financial Crisis in 2008

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There are many reasons to regret the decision of U.S. financial authorities to insert the government into the resolution of the investment bank Bear Stearns in March 2008. The Federal Reserve's use of its discount window built up false hope of future rescues. Paying off the uninsured creditors of Bear Stearns overcompensated them at the time and invited speculative attacks on the equity of similarly situated firms. I will argue that the market seizure after Lehman Brothers' decision to seek the protection of bankruptcy was an echo of the prior official decision to protect Bear Stearns.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-12-01

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  • The Journal of Economic Perspectives (JEP) attempts to fill a gap between the general interest press and most other academic economics journals. The journal aims to publish articles that will serve several goals: to synthesize and integrate lessons learned from active lines of economic research; to provide economic analysis of public policy issues; to encourage cross-fertilization of ideas among the fields of thinking; to offer readers an accessible source for state-of-the-art economic thinking; to suggest directions for future research; to provide insights and readings for classroom use; and to address issues relating to the economics profession.
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