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Marc Lavoie

Abstract

Misguided economics policies relying on an unrealistic macroeconomic theory that denied the possibility of a crisis are at the origins of the global financial crisis. The goal of the present paper is to recall how the end of the Great Moderation has been interpreted by the advocates of mainstream economics, and how they have questioned their own macroeconomic theories as a consequence of what happened during and after the financial crisis. There is thus a need to reconsider most aspects of mainstream theory. In particular, the crisis has once more demonstrated that potential output is influenced by aggregate demand – a phenomenon associated with hysteresis, which also questions concepts such as the natural rate of interest and crowding-out effects.

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Junji Tokunaga and Gerald Epstein

Abstract

Global financing patterns have been at the center of debates about the global financial crisis in recent years. The ‘global saving glut’ (GSG) view, a prominent hypothesis, attributes the emergence of the global financial crisis to an excess of saving over investment, mirroring the current-account surplus, in emerging market countries. Crucially, according to this view, the financial crisis was triggered by an external and exogenous driver, not the shadow banking system in advanced countries which was the epicenter of the financial crisis. Instead, we argue that the global financial crisis was inherently caused by the endogenously dynamic process of balance-sheet expansion at a handful of large complex financial institutions (LCFIs) in the US and Europe. Importantly, this process was facilitated by the endogenous finance of the global dollar in the shadow banking system in the 2000s before the financial crisis. The endogenous finance of the global dollar became highly elastic during 2004–2006, accelerating the dynamically overstretched nature of balance sheets at LCFIs that contributed to the build-up of global financial fragility. Thus, the supreme position of the US dollar as a debt-financing currency in the shadow banking system, underpinned by the dominant role of the dollar in the development of new financial innovations and instruments, was an important, but underappreciated, driving force in this endogenously dynamic and ultimately destructive process.

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Mohamed Ariff and Shamsher Mohamad

Adam Smith traced the source of opulence of nation, which he called capital, to the uninterrupted efforts of every man to better his condition. Today we define wealth as the item that has some economic substance, a value such that this wealth can be used for several intended purposes, in modern economics, for consumption as theoretically glorified by the Utility Maximization Theorem (Arrow-Debreu). In this chapter, the reader is introduced to the modern idea of net wealth held by households and entities. The amount of wealth as at 2017 is given as US$ 250 trillion after all liabilities are subtracted from total wealth. In this context, Calvin’s contribution of wealth as God’s gift to man is referred to, which provides a continuity with Islam’s claim that wealth belongs to God, and He apportions who begets it.

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The thorny issue of balancing rights

Conflicting Rights in Balance

Federica Giovanella

The chapter introduces the reader to the thorny issue of balancing conflicting rights. It includes an overview of the main theories on the concept of rights balancing and the proportionality principle and it illustrates what is the core of the book, namely the ongoing conflict between copyright and information privacy. The chapter also illustrates a possible different approach that courts adopt in solving this conflict, notably a ‘conceptual balancing’, that is balancing based on the core conception of colliding rights.

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Edited by François-Charles Laprévote, Joanna Gray and Francesco De Cecco

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Edited by François-Charles Laprévote, Joanna Gray and Francesco De Cecco

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Xiaowei Zang and Lucy Xia Zhao

The study of the family and marriage in China is interesting given profound changes in fertility transition, household structure, mate selection, divorce, old age support, and so on, since the nineteenth century. This chapter first reviews the English literature on a few selected aspects of the family institution and marriage in China. Next, it summarizes the outline of each of the chapters, which discuss a wide range of topics including love and marriage, educational endogamy, family planning, son preference, the marriage squeeze, family decision-making power, filial piety and old age support, intermarriage and intercultural dating, international adoption from mainland China, and many more.

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Ioannis Kokkoris

This chapter analyses the special nature of banks, and how the importance of the banking sector and its stability overlaps with the preservation of competitive banking markets. Banks have a unique standing in the economy, and are regarded as more vulnerable to instability than other firms as they provide liquidity and are involved in inter-bank lending markets and the payment system. Due to the systemic nature of banks, governments try to avert a crisis that can affect the whole banking sector by ensuring that banks which are ‘too big to fail’ remain sustainable. Such intervention has a distortive effect on competition, as it prevents ‘self-correction’ of the market. State aid measures that characterized the response of regulators in the recent financial crisis were based on the premise of the special nature of the banking sector and its importance to the economy. In addressing the special nature of banks the chapter looks into the approach adopted towards banks under State aid control, tackling issues such as ‘too-big-to-fail’ and the BRRD and SRM.

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Xavier Castañer and Howard Yu

This chapter takes issue with what the authors identify as a tendency in the literature to overestimate middle managers’ strategic role, and perhaps more importantly, to underestimate top managers’ role in emergent strategy and the development of strategic initiatives. The authors argue that the Bower_Burgelman model – originally developed as descriptive theory – has been overinterpreted as a normative model. The result is a view of top managers’ role as process architect rather than active participant in emergent processes. These scholars argue that there are circumstances requiring a more substantive role. Crucial to understanding this claim, the authors observe that the unit of analysis – who is a middle and who is a top manager – depends on what level of strategy making constitutes the research focus. The chapter takes a contingent view and identifies four conditions requiring direction from top management in emergent processes.

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Preface

Theory and Practice

Edited by Mohamed Ariff and Shamsher Mohamad