Public Policy Brief Highlights No. 92A | October 2007
The US Credit Crunch of 2007
A Minsky Moment
It is now clear that most economists underestimated the widening economic impact of the credit crunch that has shaken American financial markets since at least mid-July. A credit crunch is an economic condition in which loans and investment capital are difficult to obtain; in such a period, banks and other lenders become wary of issuing loans, so the price of borrowing rises, often to the point where deals simply do not get done. Financial economist Hyman P. Minsky (1919–1996) was the foremost expert on such crunches, and his ideas remain relevant to understanding the current situation.
Charles J. Whalen