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    Many actors have been blamed for the financial crisis: Greenspan, banks, rating agencies, careless mortgage takers and incompetent mainstream economists. This paper however focusses on other explanations for the crisis which are usually neglected in mainstream economics. The imbalances in the income and wealth distribution worldwide have become so large, that the poor cannot buy the goods produced by rich countries anymore, while the rich have become so rich that they cannot spend all their income anymore in the real sector. This lack of demand for goods has artificially been filled by unsecured debts given to the poor, but eventually led to a taking off of financial markets, and to a crisis. When imbalances are too large, this backfires. Government packages aimed at stabilizing the economy should therefore not forget the income and wealth distribution in order to be successful in the long run.


B. Unger
Prof. dr. Brigitte Unger is hoogleraar economie van de publieke sector bij de Utrecht School of Economics.
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