Simon Evenett, St Gallen

An expert in international trade defines the term global financial crisis

Simon Evenett, professor of international trade and economic development at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland, defines the term global financial crisis

Every week a business school professor, an expert in his or her field, defines a key term on FT Lexicon, our online economics, business and finance glossary.

Our professor this week

Simon J. Evenett is professor of international trade and economic development at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland. He is also the co-ordinator of the watchdog Global Trade Alert and co-director of an established group of international trade researchers in Europe, organised by the Centre for Economic Policy Research.

Prof Evenett’s interests include protectionism, trade disputes, the World Trade Organisation and regional trade negotiations, emerging markets and the manner in which firms actually compete internationally.

He was educated at Cambridge and Yale universities, taking economics degrees at both. Previously Prof Evenett has taught at Oxford and Rutgers universities and has been a visiting professor of corporate strategy at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, a non-resident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution in Washington and a World Bank official, twice.

Prof Evenett comments frequently on leading international economic developments to the media and to corporate audiences. He has more than 125 publications.

Prof Evenett has chosen to define global financial crisis.

Why Prof Evenett thinks it is important to understand the global financial crisis

“The sheer scale and speed of the crisis’ spread around the world overwhelms many,” says Prof Evenett, adding that the global connections that propelled growth before the crisis went into reverse once the crisis struck. “Fortunately, the policy response this time around was better than in the 1930s, not that governments get much credit for that,” Prof Evenett adds.

He says it is critical to understand the distinct phases of any financial crisis. “Keeping the timeline in mind is key,” he says, adding that it is also crucial to screen out the rhetoric.

“Use publicly available data on policies and macro outcomes to assess what’s really going on. During the crisis there’s too many interests under threat for many to talk honestly,” he says.

To find out more about global financial crises in general and the last global financial crisis in particular, click on the linked definitions.

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