Read a new interview about ‘The Alchemists’ with the New York Times’s Economix blog

April 4, 2013 1 Comment by Neil

Binyamin Appelbaum, the New York Times’s Fed correspondent, interviewed me about The Alchemists. We covered a range of questions, from which central banker would make the best dinner party companion to whether the global economy is truly in the clear. Appelbaum’s questions were that rarest of variety that made the interviewee (me, that is) think more deeply about some crucial questions than I had before.

Here is one bit. Read the whole thing here.

Q: Americans generally view the financial crisis as a domestic event, and it’s already fading from memory. A central message of your book seems to be that it was primarily a European event, and it’s not over yet.

A: If history teaches one thing, it is that when a severe global financial panic sets in, it can easily bend and warp and metastasize. That’s how what we once quaintly called the subprime crisis came to have such varied effects as banking collapses in Iceland and Ireland and Cyprus, a lost decade for the British economy, and a series of events that nearly unraveled 60 years of progress toward a united and peaceful Europe. At its worst, those types of unpredictable domino effects can lead to some very bad places, of which the Great Depression and World War II are the prime examples. Fortunately nothing nearly that bad has happened this time. But as catastrophic as the 2008 experience was for the U.S. economy and millions of Americans, it was closer to the start of the crisis than the end.

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