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Tokunaga & Epstein - Endogenous Finance of a Dollar-Based World-System: A Minskian Approach

Junji Tokunaga & Gerald Epstein 

From the Abstract:
Global financing patterns have been at the center of debates on the global financial crisis in recent years. The global imbalance view, a prominent hypothesis, attributes the financial crisis to excess saving over investment in emerging market countries which have run current account surplus since the end of the 1990s. The excess saving flowed into advanced countries running current account deficits, particularly the U.S., thus depressing long-term interest rates and fuelling a credit boom there in the 2000s. According to this view, the financial crisis was triggered by an external and exogenous shock that resulted from excess saving in emerging market countries, not the shadow banking system in advanced countries which was the epicenter of the financial crisis. Instead, we argue that a key cause of the global financial crisis was the dynamic expansion of balance sheets at large complex financial institutions (LCFIs)(Borio and Disyatat [2011] and Shin [2012]), driven by the endogenously elastic finance of global dollar funding in the global shadow banking system. The endogenously elastic finance of the global dollar contributed to the buildup of global financial fragility that led to the global financial crisis. Importantly, the supreme position of U.S. dollar as debt- financing currency, underpinned by the dominant role of the dollar in the development of new financial innovations and instruments, and was a driving force in this endogenously dynamic and ultimately destructive process.
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