The 2008-2009 crisis was characterized by an unprecedented degree of international synchronization as all major industrialized countries experienced large macroeconomic contractions. Countries also experienced large and synchronized contractions in the growth of financial flows. In this paper we present a two-country model with financial markets frictions where credit-driven recessions can explain these features of the recent crisis. A credit contraction can emerge as a self-fulfilling equilibrium caused by pessimistic but fully rational expectations. As a result of the credit contraction, in a financially integrated world, countries experience large and, endogenously synchronized, declines in asset prices and economic activity (international recessions).
Views expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Japan or Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies.