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Financial Crisis: Beyond the 1929-2008 comparison Essay

There has been major economic and financial crisis that have afflicted the world economy since 1929. It all started with “a great depression” in 1929 that lasted for about 10 years and then some of the other major crisis followed it, the next one being the oil crisis in 1973 then the Latin American debt crisis in 1980’s, in 1990’s the collapse of the Japanese asset price bubble and then in 1997 the Asian financial crisis and then in 2007 United states’ subprime mortgage crisis leading to a Global financial Crisis (Wikipedia: 1973 Oil Crisis, 2010).

But there has been certain strategy of the corporate sector that distinguishes the crisis and its impact whenever it took place, as during the times of crisis the steps taken by the people who are economically and financially linked either directly or indirectly becomes very important due to the criticality of the situation and a particular step could make or break for the companies and economy as a whole.

Getting over to the 1929 “The Great depression” that is considered to be a ravaging stock market crash in the history of United States of America that initially occurred because of the over-optimism of economists who believed that the stock prices are invulnerably high which they actually were in early 1920’s but soon those believes and certain predictions proved to be wrong when the stock market collapsed badly in October 1929 and remained broken-down for the next decade (Wikipedia: Wall Street Crash of 1929, 2010).

People who borrowed money to buy the number of stocks relying on to the predictions of the economists were helpless with the situation, some people sold in a loss rite away but some kept it with them in a desire to make them even but had to wait for it for most of their life. The economy of U. S fell to its all time low in 1933 with industrial output being only 65% of the previous level. It not only affected U. S but all the countries worldwide as with some examples being Germany, Australia and Canada where the unemployment rates reached nearly 30% (Xinhua News Agency, 2009).

The depression that began in United States but quickly transformed into a worldwide slump because of the underlying weaknesses and imbalances within the U. S economy that was previously vague by the Booming economy psychology and the blues of 1920s. The depression unveiled those weaknesses as it did the capabilities if the nation’s political and financial institutions to cope with the massive downward economic cycle that was set in 1930.

As it was a depression never sighted by the countries, government took a very little or no action in times of economic downturn and relied heavily on an automatic market forces (Demand and Supply) to accomplish the economic correction. But those forces were unsuccessful in getting the desired recovery during the initial stages of the Great Depression and this badly hit discovery gradually inspired some of the fundamental changes in U.

S economic structure and soon government came up with interfering in the form of taxations, public relations, industrial ordinance, insurance, welfare services and certain spending from them confirmed economic stability in the industries with free Market economies. The second biggest recession came in 1973, when Arab countries imposed embargo on the exports of oil and petroleum in retaliation to the U. S decision to re-supply the Israeli military. As Arab countries announced during the Yom Kippur war, the countries that supported Israelis in the conflict.

Hence, the long lasting capabilities of embargo related to massive oil prices, disrupted oil supply and recession and with persistent increase in the need for crude oil and petroleum for the industries lead U. S and other European countries made it tough for the industrial sector there to grow and not only that Arab Oil suppliers got united with others to boost up the prices of Oil and crisis further exacerbated that limited the price of an old oil with that allowing newly extracted oil being sold at a higher price, resulting in a secession of an old oil from the market, creating artificial shortage.

As with this the 1973 oil inducted the worst ever economic crisis since World War II in key Industrial states, resulting in a deadline of more than 14 per cent industrial output in the U. S and more than 20 per cent in Japan. As a striking inflation was experienced during that period and this massive increase in prices were to be blamed for being suppressive of economic activity. The infected countries responded with a variety of new and probably taking a permanent initiative to contain further dependency. As the oil price stunned the economy by further leading to a stock market crash in 1973-1974.

The impact followed several years of steep income declines after the recent failure of pulling off the major Western oil companies. The third real crisis situation occurred that was in 1980’s that were the Latin American Debt crisis. It all started when the Latin American countries started borrowing huge sums of foreign cash to develop the domestic industries during 1960’s. The Latin American region that includes people speaking Roman languages and specifically Spanish, Portuguese and French termed as Latin (Romance languages).

The foreign debts for the Latin Americans exceeded USD 300 billion (Xinhua News Agency, 2009) in the early 1980s. In 1982 Mexico revealed it incapability of repaying the debts that triggered a world Shaking debt crisis. Mexicans requested a 90 day rollover of the payments of the principal in order to restructure the financial packages. Unfortunately that problem aroused all other Latin American countries and some other debtor countries in all parts of the world. The Mexican impact was far reaching as it created an atmosphere that caused to issue dreadful forecasts by the people that were thankfully never realized.

Most of the observers believe that the petrodollar recycling during 1970s gave birth to this debt crisis. As during that period the oil prices grew dramatically. Commercial banks were as well eager of making profitable loans to the governments and state-owned entities in developing countries, using dollars that were flown from the Middle Eastern countries and because of that the Latin America also got keen of borrowing the relatively cheap money from the banks (Ruggiero, 1999).

During the crisis, GDP per capita of Latin American countries dropped by 10 percent (Xinhua News Agency, 2009). The adjustable interest rates interest loans sky rocketed in the early 1980s when the United States attempted to minimize inflation by enforcing rigorous monetary policies where, at the same time, it also increased its military spending. The administration of Reagan during that time in U. S did all this while shortening their Income tax rates. The raw material prices fell drastically around the Globe, which resulted poor countries with lesser money even to re pay their debts.

Brazil and Mexico for example closely defaulted on their loans, and according to an International Law, there was no other option for these poor countries but to declare bankruptcy. Though commercial banks in that situation came to the rescue and prevented its defaults. Although many developing countries were left in huge debts and as a result they could no longer get loans. With no real way out, these nations have always relied heavily on the World Bank and/or International Monetary Fund (Ruggiero, 1999).

The next real collapse of the Japanese Asset Price bubble was an economic bubble in Japan that took place from late 1980’s to early 1990s when the Japanese real estate and stock prices experienced a ruinous crash in 1990 after years of Inflation. During that time Japan suffered inveterate deflation and economic recession due to its asset devaluation and in the middle of 1990’s the country’s economy entered into a phase where there was a Zero growth (Xinhua News Agency, 2009). Since late 1980s the Japan’s experience shows the emergence and bursting of the bubble that played an important role in economic fluctuations throughout that period.

The experience that was observed to have given the indication of a close relations in both financial and macroeconomic instability to large fluctuations in assets prices and raising the question of what has to be an appropriate way of treating asset prices in macroeconomic policy making. It has to be noted that Japan’s experience is the enthusiasm of market participants and together with inconsistent projection of fundamentals that contributed to a large degree to maintaining temporarily high asset prices during that time.

Such enthusiasm is often quoted Euphoria that is being excessively optimistic but un-getable expectations for the long term economic performance being lasted for many years before dissipating. The escalated bullish expectations clearly observed in an increased equity yield during the period from the late 1980’s to the early 1990s. As the growth rate of nominal GDP was computed from the equity yield spread in 1990 as high as 8 per cent with the standard assumption that was based on the discount factor.

Although the view of low inflation at the time, it was unlikely that the potential growth rate of nominal GDP was close to 8 per cent. Hence that would be more natural to infer the high level of the yield spread in 1990 reflecting the intensification of optimistic expectations, which were not sustainable in the Long run (Shiratsuka, 2005). In the late 1990’s that is in 1997 the Asian financial crisis emerged against the backdrop of U. S dollar appreciation where the exports of many Asian countries whose currencies were nailed down to the dollar and became less competitive.

In July, a widespread devaluation of Asian currencies followed Thailand’s decision to float their currency “Baht”, hence, marking the outbreak of the Asian financial crisis. Indonesia on the other hand with Thailand as well as South Korea was most affected by the crisis. Indonesia’s GDP shrank with a massive 83. 4 per cent followed by Thailand and South Korea’s 40. 4 per cent and 34. 2 per cent respectively the time of crisis (Xinhua News Agency, 2009). The scope and the severity of the collapse were so massive that the outside intervention became somewhat mandatory as considered by many as a new kind of colonialism needed urgently.

Since the countries that were sighting a huge downfall were not only the richest in their region but in the world since hundreds of billions of dollars were at stake and any response to the crisis had to be cooperative and international, in the desired case it was International Monetary Fund (IMF). They created rescue packages i. e. the series of bailouts for the most affected economies enabling those affected to avoid defaults that tied the packages to reforms that were intended to make the restored Asian currency with banking and financial systems.

In some of the affected countries, restrictions on foreign ownership were greatly reduced and there were sufficient government controls set up to supervise all financial activities and ones they were to be independent and of private interest and the insolvent institutions had to be closed down in order to avoid insolvency affecting other institutions. The financial systems had to become more transparent to provide the kind of reliable financial information used in the West to make sound financial decisions.

Somehow the strategy of IMF was opposed and came under great criticism because as countries fell into crisis, many local businesses and governments had taken out loans in terms of U. S dollars that made the currency much more expensive as compared to the local currencies which formed their income actually found unable to pay back to their creditors (Wikipedia: 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, 2010). IN 2007 the U. S subprime mortgage crises lead to another monumental crisis situation that has hurt globally and has forced many businesses to shut down.

The crisis broke out in the summer of 2007 in the U. S and its root being mortgages that were made to the borrowers with less ability to repay the loans. The largely invested in products related to subprime mortgages and the tightening of credits around the world. It all started with the bankruptcy of one of the top banks in the world “Lehman Brothers” and Merrill Lynch’s buyouts in 2008 that caused a major slow down in the global economic growth with contraction in global trade and an astonishing rise in the level of unemployed workforce.

Deep recession that emerged in Japan and some other countries that were on the verge of improving their economy somehow got dented with the current crisis (Xinhua News Agency, 2009). The crisis that is named “the Great Recession” that resulted in the collapse of large financial institutions plus the bailouts of banks by national governments and penultimate downturns in stock markets around the world. The housing market in many countries also suffered, resulting in numerous dispossessions, foreclosures and prolonged vacancies as being considered the worst ever crisis situation since the Great depression in 1930s.

It massively contributed to the failure of key businesses, declines in consumer wealth that is estimated to be in the trillions of U. S dollars with substantial financial commitments incurred by the governments, and a significant decline in the economic activities. The market based and regulatory solutions have been implemented or are under consideration, while significant risks remain for the world economy over the periods from 2008. The collapse of in the housing bubble that peaked in U.

S in 2006, affected the securities tied to real estate pricing to plumb thereafter, damaging financial institutions in all around the world. The bank insolvencies declined credit availability and damaged investor’s confidence and gradually had its impact on the stock markets, where securities suffered huge losses during late 2008. Critics argued though that credit rating agencies and investors were not successful in pricing the risks involved with mortgage related financial products, and that governments did not adjust their regulatory practices to address the 21st Century financial markets.

Governments and central banks had responded with unprecedented fiscal stimulus, monetary policy expansion and institutional bailouts (Wikipedia: Financial Crisis of 2007-2010, 2010). The Crisis throughout the Great depression in 1929 to the Great recession in 2008 are focused as have occurred due to different reasons but end of the day had the same impact and that was denting the global markets.

But the strategies throughout the crisis had varied by the policy makers, sometimes it has been successful but sometimes as the recession that stands currently prior to the year 2008 in still active and measures are being taken to overcome the problem. Many companies in between had come up with the strategy of mergers and acquisitions in order to save themselves from bankruptcy and over the years it has become successful for some but has also been unsuccessful.

It is somehow noticed that the Mergers and Acquisitions have had the bitter part. The history clearly tells that mergers are not ALWAYS successful for the firms. It takes a great deal of experience and courage to settle with the other firm and handle matters on a larger scale but as it is said the risks are sooner or later paid with dividends. The failures of Dunlop and Pirelli Merger that initiated in 1970, the British –Europe conglomeration went sour as the Pirelli sank into the red.

Difficulties in European tire operations in France, West Germany and Ireland as well as Britain were somehow balanced for some time by Profits from Africa, Asia, North America and Australia. The two companies merged because of an intense competition in the tire market and an increased demand for the Japan and North American tires made it challenging for the European markets to grow and the only solution was to increase the financial resources and gain recognition through it hence that resulted in a merger of these two firms.

But the troubled economic trends of the 70s played a lead role in the failure of the alliance between Pirelli and Dunlop, progressively deteriorating the relationship between top management of the two groups and their mutual confidence and the deeper elements that led to the Union dissolution was an attempt to combine the groups characterized by significant differences in their models of Corporate Governance, as Pirelli was a family business, while Dunlop was a Public company.

Pirelli, as well as many other Italian groups, was controlled by means of a pyramidal structure, cross-holdings of shares and agreement between shareholders, a delicate balance which could be compromised by little changes in the share capital distribution or in its total amount. A delicate balance to preserve which Italian top management refused to implement deeper changes in the Union structure that, in the difficult 70s, might have led the group to achieve better performances.

In this regard we can find some similarities between the Union history and a subsequent unfortunate international merger attempt: the one between Fiat and Ford in 1985. Notwithstanding the potential synergies of the joint-venture between the two automotive producers this project failed because the two head offices were incapable of achieving an agreement on the crucial issue of “corporate control”.

The IMF and World Banks on the other hand have been actively participating but the crisis as the history shows, in most of the situations are so massive that their efforts are ruined as well. Bibliography Ruggiero, Gregory. (1999). Latin American Debt Crisis: What Where It’s Causes And Is It Over? Available: http://www. angelfire. com/nj/GregoryRuggiero/latinamericancrisis. html. Last accessed 01 May 2010. Shiratsuka, Shigenori. (2005). The asset price bubble in Japan in the 1980s: lessons for financial and macroeconomic stability.

Available: http://www. bis. org/publ/bppdf/bispap21e. pdf. Last accessed 01 May 2010. Wikipedia. (2010). Wall Street Crash of 1929. Available: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Wall_Street_Crash_of_1929. Last accessed 01 May 2010. Wikipedia. (2010). 1973 Oil Crisis. Available: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis. Last accessed 01 May 2010. Wikipedia. (2010). 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. Available: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/1997_Asian_Financial_Crisis. Last accessed 01 May 2010. Wikipedia.

(2010). Financial Crisis of 2007-2010. Available: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Financial_crisis_of_2007%E2%80%932010. Last accessed 01 May 2010. Wright, William M. (n. d. ). The Great Depression that Changed Economic Theory. Available: http://windowtowallstreet. com/1929marketcrash. aspx. Last accessed 01 May 2010. Xinhua News Agency. (2009). Backgrounder: Major economic, financial crises since 1929. Available: http://news. xinhuanet. com/english/2009-03/31/content_11107060. htm. Last accessed 01 May 2010.

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