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It’s not over yet: Experts warn of lingering financial risk

Publication Date : 03-06-2014


Six years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, economic experts said there are signs of recovery from the global financial crisis but warned of lingering uncertainties at a two-day forum hosted by the Bank of Korea that started on Monday.

One of the significant indicators is that the US real estate market - the key origin of the global recession triggered by the Lehman Brothers crisis - is not as promising as market analysts claim, according to Harvard economist Robert Barro.

US real estate prices, which took a nosedive from 2007 to 2012, have so far only recovered to 2001 levels, he noted.

“I’m surprised the market is so optimistic,” he said during his keynote speech.

The classical macroeconomist pointed, in particular, to the US Federal Reserve’s massive quantitative easing policy and its follow-up exit strategy for avoiding inflation as causing “policy uncertainty” in many other countries.

“The Fed is overconfident about its ability to manage (an) exit strategy,” he said.

Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol also noted lingering concerns about possible financial unrest and slowing growth, particularly in emerging markets.

“The public is now calling for central banks to play a more proactive role to help maintain financial stability and sustainable economic growth, both of which are interdependent on the other,” he said.

Shin Hyun-song, chief economist at the Bank for International Settlements, offered insights on how to view the global financial markets, saying that the world is now entering the second phase of liquidity volatility that is being driven by the bond markets. The first phase, he said, was driven by the banks.

Under the theme of “Strengthening Growth Potential in the Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis,” central bank governors, scholars and business leaders are delivering and engaging in a series of presentations and discussions on challenges and prospects for the global economy.

Key participants include Barro, Shin Hyun-song and Rhee Chang-yong, director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the International Monetary Fund.


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