Parallels in Financial Crises

Oct 21, 2008Oct 22, 2008
B-354 Rayburn House Office Building

Event Video


Session One: Tuesday, October 21st 
Lessons from the Japanese Experience

Dr. Garett Jones
George Mason University

Click Here  to view video archive.

Click Here to view Dr. Jones' presentation.

Session Two: Wednesday, October 22nd 
A Primer on the 2008 Financial Crisis and the Great Depression
Dr. Gary Richardson

University of California, Irvine

While every nation weathers periodic economic storms and disarray, total and widespread financial collapse is rarely seen. It falls to history, then, to help us glean lessons from past actions and gain perspective on current situations. Most notably, an understanding of the United States’ Great Depression and Japan’s 1990 housing bubble could provide insight on how to emerge from today’s financial turbulence.

In the 1990s, Japan faced its own financial crisis that crippled the nation. Prior to 1990, the land beneath Japan’s Imperial Palace in Tokyo was said to be worth more than the entire state of California; but by 2001, land had reportedly dropped 70% in value. The collapse of the real estate bubble rocked the Japanese economy and launched what became known as “The Lost Decade” in Japan when GDP growth slowed to only 1% a year. To help policy makers understand the economics behind these events, Dr. Garett Jones, a professor with George Mason University, will present an overview of the similarities between the 1990s Japanese turmoil and the United States’ credit crunch in addition to new policy ideas to avoid replicating the elements of previous strategy and avoid such a slowdown in the American economy.

In recent weeks analysts and news commentators have drawn comparisons between the 2008 financial crisis and the economic devastation of the Great Depression. Many economists, including Ben Bernanke, have spent time analyzing what happened in the 1930s and how such hardship may have been averted. To understand the parallels between the current situation and the Depression, Dr. Gary Richardson of the University of California, Irvine will provide background on the current crisis, the Bailout, and what may come next, as predicted by economic theory and historical analogy.

Join us as we examine these issues and address questions such as:

  • What have we learned so far about the financial crisis? Has there been a situation like this before?
  • What factors whould we consider when comparing our current situation with the past? How is our position similar to or different from previous experiences?
  • How can the U.S. avoid failed policies? How do current policy prescriptions compare?