Das Auftreten von Finanzkrisen ist für die einen eine Form von Katastrophe, andere sehen darin eines der wenigen stabil wiederkehrenden Ereignisse, über die die Finanzwelt verfügt, wieder andere sehen in Finanzkrisen rational bubbles, Selbstreiningungsmechanismen, die dazu führen, dass unproduktiv geparktes Kapital freigesetzt und der Markt verdünnt wird.
Franklin Allen und Douglas Gale haben sich die Aufgabe gesetzt, Finanzkrisen zu erklären. Dazu analysieren sie zunächst die vielen Bank-, Währungs- und gemischten Krisen, die es bislang an den Finanzmärkten gegeben hat, mit folgendem Ergebnis:
“In summary, the analysis of Bordo et al. (2000, 2001) leads to a number of conclusions. Banking crises, currency crises and twin crises have occurred under a variety of different monetary and regulatory regimes. Over the last 120 years crises have been followed by economic downturns lasting on average from 2 to 3 years and costing 5 to 10 percent of GDP. Twin crises are associated with particularly large output losses. Recessions with crises were more severe than recessions without them.
The Bretton Woods period from 1945 to 1971 was quite specials. Countries either regulated bank balance sheets to prevent them from taking very much risk or owned them directly to achieve the same aim. These measures were successful in that there were no banking crises during this time and only one twin crises.
The interwar period was also special. Banking crises and currency crises were widespread. Moreover the output losses from these were severe particularly when they occurred together and there was a twin crisis.
The most recent period does indeed appear more crisis prone than any other period except for the interwar years. In particular, it seems more crisis prone than the Gold Standard Era, which was the last time that capital markets were as globalized as they are now.” (Allen & Gale, Understanding Financial Crisis, pp.12-13.)