Tag Archives: David Lipton

Lessons Learned From The 1990s

In the 1990s, the Clinton Administration amassed a great deal of experience fighting financial crises around the world.

Some of the U.S. Treasury’s specific advice was controversial – e.g., pressing Korea to open its capital markets to foreign investors at the height of the crisis – but the broad approach made sense: Fix failing financial systems up-front, because this is the best opportunity to address the underlying problems that helped produce the crisis (e.g., banks taking excessive risks).  If you delay attempts to reform until economic recovery is underway, the banks and other key players are powerful again, real change is harder, and future difficulties await.

In a major retrospective speech to the American Economic Association in 2000, Larry Summers – the primary crisis-fighting strategist – put it this way: Continue reading