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Repeated Crises: from US Savings Banks to Subprime Mortgages

Dominique Plihon * Centre d'économie de Paris-Nord, rattaché au CNRS. Contact :

Financial crises have multiplied since the beginning of the process of financial globalisation four decades ago. These successive crises have affected very diverse financial systems, located in developing and emerging countries, as well as in the most developed countries. Recent financial crises have taken different forms: stock market crises, real estate crises, banking crises, currency crises, sovereign debt crises. Beyond their diversity, financial crises obey a small number of fundamental mechanisms. Most economists have put forward financial liberalisation since the 1970s as the main factor explaining the acceleration of financial crises, increasing the vulnerability of banks, contributing to greater interdependence of financial markets, amplification of financial cycles, contagion processes and the formation of financial bubbles.

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1   La loi du 2 décembre 1945 a défini trois catégories : les banques de dépôts, les banques de crédit à moyen long terme et les banques d'affaires.

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