Discussion Paper

Did Trade Finance Contribute to the Global Trade Collapse?

Abstract: The financial crisis of 2008-09 brought about one of the largest collapses in world trade since the end of World War II. Between the first quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, the value of real global GDP fell 4.6 percent while exports plummeted 17 percent, as can be seen in the chart below. The dramatic decline in world trade?a loss of $761 billion in nominal exports?came through two channels: decreased demand for imports and supply effects, most likely arising from financial constraints. In this post, we look at evidence that supply effects, including curtailed funding for export-related activities, played a key role in the trade collapse?and thus in the transmission of the financial crisis from Wall Street to ?Main Street,? here and abroad.

Keywords: exports; trade finance; trade; financial crisis;

JEL Classification: F00;G1;

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    Weinstein, David E.

    Amiti, Mary

Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Part of Series: Liberty Street Economics

Publication Date: 2011-06-29

Number: 20110629