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OECD on the crisis and after: 10 years, 10 stories

It’s been a decade since the financial crisis changed our world, forever. What did the OECD say at the time? What has the organisation been saying since?

From the financial crisis to the economic downturn (2008) 

Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General

The financial crisis sweeping world markets is the worst since the Great Depression. While the crisis is biting into the real economy, hard lessons are being learned. How should policymakers move forward, particularly as room for manoeuvre is being squeezed?

Subprime crisis: A capital issue (2008)

Adrian Blundell-Wignall, OECD Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs

Financial market turmoil is at extreme levels and threatens economic growth in the OECD area and beyond. A near-term recession is likely in some countries, though the ultimate economic impact will depend on the ability of policymakers to soften the “credit crunch” now unfolding through the balance sheets of financial institutions.

Banking on a crisis and on its resolution (2011)

Sebastian Schich, OECD Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs

The recent financial crisis has left a hole in the public finances of many countries. Yet, with the right preparation, governments may have been better placed to fund that gap. This holds lessons for future crisis resolution strategies.

Making the euro area work (2012)

Sebastian Barnes, OECD Economics Department

The euro area has been at the centre of the global financial storms for two years. Some serious observers have begun to question whether the euro area will survive these currents. The recently published OECD Economic Survey of the Euro Area shows how Europe’s bold experiment in economic integration can be made to work.

Policy can brighten the economic outlook (2012)

Pier Carlo Padoan, Chief Economist and Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD

After five years of crisis, the global economy is weakening again. In this we are not facing a new pattern. Over the recent past, signs of emergence from the crisis have more than once given way to a renewed slowdown or even a double-dip recession in some countries. The risk of a new major contraction cannot be ruled out. A recession is ongoing in the euro area, the US economy is growing but below what was expected earlier this year, and a slowdown has surfaced in many emerging market economies.

Inequality rising in wake of crisis (2013)

OECD Insights 

“There’s a lot of little kids going hungry round here,” explained one friend, who works in a local community centre. Indeed, just the other day she had spoken to a family where the child had been chewing wallpaper at night. “He didn’t want to tell his mum because he knew she didn’t have the money for supper,” she explained.”

More and better jobs for an inclusive recovery (2015)

Martine Durand, Director of the OECD Statistics Directorate, and Stefano Scarpetta, Director, OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs

The world is still repairing the damage done to employment prospects and social equality by the crisis. Governments are trying to create not just more jobs, but better jobs. A new OECD framework helps them to define what job quality means and to measure whether their policies are succeeding.

New Approaches to Economic Challenges: A sustainable and inclusive growth agenda (2015)

Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff and G20 Sherpa

“Neither economists nor market participants, nor indeed governments foresaw a financial crisis of the type and magnitude we have now. The collapse of trust and subsequent credit freeze in the wake of the Lehman Brothers collapse was a shock.” These remarks by Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, then OECD chief economist, were made in October 2008, a month after Lehman Brothers fell.

A complex global financial system (2016)

Adrian Blundell-Wignall, Special Advisor to the OECD Secretary-General

Global finance is the perfect example of a complex system, consisting as it does of a highly interconnected system of sub-systems featuring tipping points, emergence, asymmetries, unintended consequences, a “parts-within-parts” structure (to quote Herbert Simon), and all the other defining characteristics of complexity. It is shaped by numerous internal and external trends and shocks that it also influences and generates in turn.

People, trust and government: Getting the measure (2017)

Lara Fleischer, OECD Statistics Directorate    

Is trust between people and their governments crumbling? What the great philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau called the social contract, whereby free citizens voluntarily agree to concede authority to the state in their own interest, could be in question. The OECD’s How’s Life? 2017 report finds that only 38% of people in OECD countries say they trust their government. In 2006, this figure was around 42%. Why is there such a “disconnect” between citizens and their elected representatives?

©OECD Observer September 2018