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Thomas Fricke: Editorial – Out With the Old, In With the New

10. Juli 2018

Nearly ten years have passed since the eruption of one of the most dramatic economic
and fi nancial crises in decades, with the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September
2008 as one of its most defining moments. This crisis, which fueled fundamental systemic
doubts for weeks, not only called into question the ability of banks to function
effi ciently and the benefi ts of fi nancial globalisation; it also became a catalytic moment
leading to the demise of a model profoundly based on a belief in market effi ciency that
for at least three decades guided economic policies in many countries, as well as in major
institutions like the International Monetary Fund, the OECD and the European Commission.

While market orthodoxy was a more or less clear (and easy) guide to politicians before the
crisis – leading to a growing number of free trade arrangements, increasingly sophisticated
fi nancial instruments and less regulation of goods and labour markets – this clearly
has not been the case since. Deregulation is no longer the refl exive answer to problems in
practical policymaking. So far, however, there is no convincing new paradigm to replace
the old orthodoxy, which leads to a lot of ad hoc policies. This likely also helps explain
the emergence of populist movements which have arisen to fi ll the paradigmatic vacuum
with simplistic, unconvincing and protectionist proposals. Thus, there is an urgent need
to come up with better guiding policies using lessons learned from the past decades. The
papers in the following Forum are a starting point in this search.

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