In a new paper, Ben Bernanke pins the majority of the blame for the financial crisis of 2008 on fragile markets, and not on the surge and subsequent collapse of household borrowing.
Writing for the Brookings Institution, the former Fed chair weighs up the two possible main triggers of the crash: household borrowing and the slump in house prices versus “flighty” financial markets, based heavily on short-term wholesale funding.
While he acknowledges both played a role, Bernanke argues the latter
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