Credit Supply Disruptions: From Credit Crunches to Financial Crisis
Events that transpired during the recent financial crisis highlight the important role that financial intermediaries still play in the economy, especially during economic downturns. While the breadth and severity of the financial crisis took most observers by surprise, it has renewed academic interest in understanding the effects on the real economy of both financial shocks and the changing nature of financial intermediation. This interest in the real effects of financial shocks highlights a literature that began more than 20 years ago associated with the bank credit crunch of the early 1990s. It is useful to reflect on what we thought we had learned from that research and how that research has helped to guide policy in the more recent crisis.