17th Annual Hyman P. Minsky Conference on the State of the US and World Economies

Credit, Markets, and the Real Economy: Is the Financial System Working?

In April 2008, top policymakers, economists, and analysts from government, industry, and academia gathered at the Levy Institute’s research and conference facility in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, to present their insights about the American economy and the financial sector in the context of Minsky’s economic theories. Participants discussed Minsky’s financial instability hypothesis and the ability of monetary policy to stabilize financial markets and the economy, as well as the role of the Federal Reserve and its ability to function as a systemic lender of last resort. Speakers frequently compared events in the 1930s (the New Deal era) to the present, and they considered the prospect of another debt deflation rivaling the Great Depression. They also examined today’s complex and fragile financial system (e.g., the advent of securitization) and potential solutions to the mortgage crisis. Other related topics included the timing, cause, and length of recession; the nature and effectiveness of proposed economic stimulus packages; regulatory failures and the reformulation of policy; and the deleveraging process and potential financial losses.

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