Since 1999 the Geneva Reports on the World Economy, published jointly by CEPR and ICMB, have informed the highest calibre discussion and debate on global economics issues. The 16th issue delivers on this reputation: the Report provides an in-depth analysis of the role of debt dynamics in the recovery from the global crisis.
The authors’ approach is comprehensive and takes into account the changing nature of debt and the way it relates to the global investment position. The report offers not only the context of debt dynamics over the last decade, but also a detailed analysis of the changing nature of debt over time and across the world, the occurrence of leverage cycles, and the capacity for debt and leverage – and the policies to deploy in managing both debt and the legacies of the past crises.
We are very grateful to Luigi Buttiglione, Philip Lane, Lucrezia Reichlin and Vincent Reinhart for work in devising this report, and to the participants of the discussion of the issues raised by this Report that took place on 9 May 2014 for the insights they provide. We are also thankful to the CEPR Publications team and to Anil Shamdasani for their work in making the publication of this report a smooth and professional process.
This report is clear in its outlook: the policy path to less volatile debt dynamics is a narrow one, and it is already clear that developed economies at least must expect prolonged low growth or another crisis along the way. We hope and expect this Geneva Report to make a considerable contribution to the discussion around de-leveraging policy.