Daily Archives: December 19, 2008

By Niall Ferguson

In the Old Testament Book of Leviticus, God commands the children of Israel to observe a jubilee every 50 years. Nowadays we tend to associate the word with celebrations of royal anniversaries such as Queen Elizabeth’s golden jubilee in 2002. But the biblical conception of a jubilee was more precise: that of a general cancellation of debts. Read more

By George Magnus

After the Minsky Moment – where euphoria tips into crisis, named after Hyman Minsky – the capitulation of economic activity has been rapid and severe. The outlook is as dark as the doomsayers assert. The only thing that stands between today’s dire economic prospects and a lost decade similar to Japan’s in the 1990s is the competence and authority of macroeconomic policy. We have a long way to go, but for five reasons, even doomsayers can start to feel the force, so to speak. Read more

By Lucian Bebchuk and Itay Goldstein

An important aspect of the econ­omic crisis has been the drying up of credit that US banks normally extend to Main Street companies. Borrowing by businesses remains costly and difficult, with spreads between yields on corporate bonds and treasuries at extremely high levels. Read more