This innovative book analyses the role played by real estate markets in global financial stability and examines the fragile link between the two. Through what transmission channels do housing market cycles influence broader economic systems? How has the Global Financial Crisis shifted our view and understanding of these linkages? This detailed book answers these questions in an international comparative perspective. Specific topics covered include macroeconomic transmission channels of the housing cycle, the role of housing in the finance system, construction financing as a cycle amplifier, and various related public policy issues such as the policy remedies needed to deal with housing and mortgage-driven crises. Eminent scholars in the field provide insightful and original contributions, which will appeal to academics in the areas of macroeconomics, policy analysis and financial regulation. Practitioners involved in real estate and the mortgage market will also find it to be of interest.
September 15, 2008 was one of the most important days in American financial market history. Lehman Brothers, one of the oldest and most respected investment banks on Wall Street, filed for bankruptcy, sending a shock through the financial system to a degree not seen since the Great Depression. Massive layoffs from businesses and defaults by households ensued. Several years and trillions of dollars of money supplied by the Federal Reserve later, most Americans still feel as if the economic recovery has never commenced. So today, five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, what is the state of the U.S. economy? Stock markets have risen to all-time highs, yet employment is still well below pre-crisis levels, and most Americans still feel as if the economy is still in recession. So why have stock markets and general economic consensus decoupled? Jonathan H. Todd combs through economic data and financial research to try to parse out exactly why the disconnect between the job and investment markets exists, and where the economy should head from here. Things may seem dire to most Americans today, with a huge pool the unemployed, a massive debt accumulated by the U.S. government, and as uncertain a global economic outlook as ever. The Financial Crisis resulted in a devastating and lasting impact from coast to coast, spawning mass mortgage defaults, and draining the savings assets and 401k accounts of many ordinary Americans. Taking a 40,000 foot view of the economy, the case for optimism and the case for pessimism are laid out, in an attempt to understand how the American economy is likely to perform after five years of poor growth. While there are still many reasons to be worried about the future of our country, there are many reasons to be optimistic as well. The equity markets have recovered, but the real economy - where Americans work, spend, and live - may feel that same strong growth in the near future.
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This edited volume addresses the main lessons and legacies of the Cuban Missile Crisis, some 50 years after the event. The fiftieth anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis provides an opportunity to review and reflect on one of the critical moments of the Cold War. The current volume, featuring essays by both scholars and practitioners, revisits one of the most intensely studied events of the twentieth century, with three principal aims. The primary purpose is to examine distinct memories of the crisis. While often fallible and sometimes self-serving, memory is an essential foundation of historical understanding. The book demonstrates how events that rely on only historical records can provide misleading accounts. Moreover, the traditional focus on perceptions and actions of decision-makers, has both excluded dimensions of the crisis, and moreover provided misleading assessments of the risk of nuclear war. Some memories can be calibrated to serve personal or political aims. Misleading representations of the crisis, for example in Harold Macmillan's memoir, are carefully scrutinized and revealed. Our focus on memory extends the scope and focus of the existing literature by exploring hitherto neglected aspects. These include examination of the operational aspects of Bomber Command activity, examined through recollections of the aircrews that challenge accounts based on official records and raise questions about political control of nuclear weapons; assessments of the British media and the role of the BBC in representing and constructing the crisis; and third by providing hitherto neglected international perspectives by examining Australian and Italian reactions. Second, the collection explores aspects of intelligence whose achievements and failings have increasingly been recognized to be of central importance to the origins, dynamics and outcomes of the missile crisis. While intelligence illuminates the events of October 1962, the events of October 1962 also illuminate intelligence. Forensic analysis of the tradecraft employed in the espionage of Oleg Penkovsky provided by a former clandestine intelligence officer provides a unique perspective on one of the more secret aspects of the subject. Studies of hitherto neglected organizations notably the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the British Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) both extend our understanding of British and American intelligence machinery in this period and enrich our understanding of key episodes and assessments in the missile crisis. Equally important in exploring memory and understanding is to identify the gaps in our knowledge. This is particularly important in exploring Soviet perceptions and assessments. The book explores the risk of nuclear war and map 'known unknowns'; as well as to examine critical counterfactuals in exploring how close we came to nuclear war. The risk of inadvertent use of nuclear weapons is evaluated and the assumption that uncontrolled escalation to global catastrophe is challenged. In short, a new framework for the analysis of nuclear risk is outlined. Third, the contributors provide new evidence and new assessments of key events in October 1962. It is now well established that President John F. Kennedy maneuvered to provide reassurance to General Secretary Khrushchev that missiles in Turkey the Soviet premier had publicly raised would be withdrawn. Recent interpretations are challenged using new archival sources form new international deposits (in Canada and Italy). These help provide fresh interpretation of Kennedy's action, including an original account of Italian-American diplomacy and secret negotiations to facilitate the withdrawal of nuclear missiles from Italy based on both archival evidence and the memories of key Italian officials involved. These accounts also provide greater insight into the patterns of Kennedy's use of clandestine diplomacy to address problems by circumnavigating the foreign policy bureaucracy. Attempts at mediation in the crisis are further scrutinized and evaluated revealing more global dimensions of diplomatic activity. In short new light is cast upon the international diplomacy and on American statecraft in the crisis. The continuing relevance of the lessons of October 1962 cannot be overstated and this multidisciplinary volume will be of much interest to students of intelligence studies, international history, foreign policy, IR and security studies.