The Shifts and the Shocks: What We’ve Learned – and Have Still to Learn – from the Financial Crisis
The underlying problem is that the world economy is unable to cope with the major shifts it is undergoing: rapid economic integration, competition from billions of new workers, technological revolutions, and the floods of capital across the world. These shifts have transformed relationships among economies and within them, creating new competitors, huge imbalances, and huge increases in inequality.
With those shifts have come vast and largely unforeseen financial shocks. The breakdown of the financial system in the high-income countries of the West was a symptom of unsuccessful, incomplete, and misguided adjustments to the imbalances created by this new world. The shocks are partly the result of the financial system’s frailties, which must be remedied durably and radically. But they are also the consequence of deeper economic forces. To focus only on the financial breakdown is to mistake symptoms with causes. As important as improving the financial system is making the global economic system more stable.
Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial Times