David Finch Public Lecture 2017 - The Safe Asset Scarcity Conundrum

Presented by Professor Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas.

Safe real interest rates in advanced economies have declined by more than 6% since 1980, revealing a major increase in the demand for safe assets. This lecture explores the sources and consequences of this safe asset `scarcity' for global imbalances, economic activity, currency wars, financial stability and the future of the International Monetary System.

Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas grew up in France where he attended Ecole Polytechnique. He received his PhD in 1996 from MIT and taught at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Princeton University before joining the Berkeley economics department in 2003 as an assistant professor. He is a Research Associate with NBER and a Research Fellow with CEPR (London) and the International Growth Center (London). Professor Gourinchas is editor of the IMF Economic Review. He is also associate editor of the Journal of the European Economic Association and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Fondation Banque de France. He is the winner of the 2007 Bernacer Prize for best European Economist under 40 working in macroeconomics and finance, and winner of the 2008 prize for best French economist under 40.