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This pathway will walk us through the basics of banks, starting with some of the different types and their main functions, then starting to look at the regulation faced by the banks, both before and after the Global Financial Crisis.

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Greenwashing is the act of distributing false information about something being more environmentally friendly than it actually is.

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Tackling the Cost of Living Crisis

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CSR and Sustainability in Financial Services

In the first video of this two-part video series, Elisa introduces us to sustainability. She begins by looking at the difference between sustainability and corporate social responsibility, two terms that can be easily confused.

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Banking Essentials - Part I

This pathway will walk us through the basics of banks, starting with some of the different types and their main functions, then starting to look at the regulation faced by the banks, both before and after the Global Financial Crisis.

Greenwashing

Greenwashing is the act of distributing false information about something being more environmentally friendly than it actually is.

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Connect Finance Unlocked to your current platform

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Tackling the Cost of Living Crisis

In this video, Max discusses the cost-of-living crisis currently enveloping the UK. He examines its impact on households as well as the overall economy.

CSR and Sustainability in Financial Services

In the first video of this two-part video series, Elisa introduces us to sustainability. She begins by looking at the difference between sustainability and corporate social responsibility, two terms that can be easily confused.

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Misconceptions of the 2008 Financial Crisis

Misconceptions of the 2008 Financial Crisis

Kevin Gardiner

30 years: Macroeconomist

Many contrasting view are held about the causes of the global financial crisis. Kevin outlines his view on the matter and why it differs to the popular opinion.

Many contrasting view are held about the causes of the global financial crisis. Kevin outlines his view on the matter and why it differs to the popular opinion.

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Misconceptions of the 2008 Financial Crisis

9 mins 42 secs

Key learning objectives:

  • Discuss the popular view for the cause of the financial crisis

  • Explain the the real cause of the financial crisis in 2008

Overview:

The common (misguided) view of the global financial crisis of 2008 that there was too much debt in the economy. Instead the cause can be traced back to the collapse of the US housing market and the complicated securities that mortgages were backing. This occurred because of a mix of overly ambitious policy and reckless lending. Collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) and really complex securitisations meant that, when things went wrong, it was tremendously difficult to unravel exactly what the root cause was.

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Summary
Why did the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) happen?
All accounts would place debt at the centre of the story. For many people, there was just too much debt out there in the global economy, capital markets effectively imploded under the weight of all that debt. Alongside those concerns about debt, other concerns have developed more recently. People suggest that an ageing economy just cannot grow very quickly anymore or that we are running out of natural resources.
What is wrong with the popular view of the GFC?
The popular view, the idea that because of all that debt and all those other concerns, the global economy was built on sand and was an accident waiting to happen. It is inaccurate. The problems were in the financial sector itself, not in the global economy. When we look at what actually went wrong in 2008 it was a problem with some very specific problems focused in the sub-prime component of the US housing market. This occurred because of a mix of overly ambitious policy and reckless lending. Collateralised debt obligations, really complex securitisations and so forth, meant that when things went wrong, it was tremendously difficult to unravel exactly what had gone wrong. We saw some institutions become insolvent, and when they went bust, they effectively froze the global money supply as other banks wouldn't lend to the stricken banks.
Why does it matter if the popular view is mistaken?
If you feel that the world economy can't grow because there is too much debt, you're going to be pretty pessimistic about the prospects for the economy and for investment markets as a result. The total amount of debt is not going to fall any time soon. It was never going to fall any time soon because as the global economy becomes wealthier, balance sheets get bigger and every financial asset is matched by a financial liability and It's quite likely that that process will continue. In aggregate, the global financial crisis could only be a liquidity crunch, not a solvency issue. This can be solved easily as central banks create liquidity on demand. The global economy now is roughly two fifths bigger than it was at the peak before the global financial crisis. Unemployment in the United States, the U. K, Germany and Japan is at the lowest levels we've seen for decades, and corporate profitability is pretty healthy. If you had focused too much on that big caricature, the idea that the global economy couldn't grow because of all that debt, you would have missed out on a lot of opportunity.

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Kevin Gardiner

Kevin Gardiner

Kevin has worked in the city for over 30 years, with experience as an economist, investor strategist and chief investment officer. Kevin proudly coined the term "Celtic Tiger" used to refer to the Irish economy.

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