Monday, 21 June 2010

Mr Liikanen on the Finnish Housing Bubble

The Finnish economy has been slow to come out of recession. Both GDP and exports continued to decline in the first quarter of 2010.

On the brighter side, the employment situation has stabilised during the course of the spring, and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has actually fallen slightly.

On the other hand, the recent rapid rise in house prices contains some risks. ‘When deciding on a loan in Finland, both households and banks should assess the borrower’s ability to service the debt beyond the current low interest rate environment,’ Governor Liikanen emphasised.

In fact, all the policy makers are "touching wood", after all they consumed almost all the possible artifacts that were in their monetary and fiscal policies toolkit (ultra low interest rates, euro falling and higher state deficits)

Since they do not clearly know where the next shock is coming, the question is would they be able to handle it.

Coming back to Mr Liikanen, indeed confidence as you outline between the lines is key - but regulation, something the central banks failed to adress seem to still operate in Finland (otherwise how would you explain the current double digits inflation in housing price?).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Agree with you, it seems that Finland forgot what happened in the 90s ...

An extract from a FSA Paper ...

"To put it simply, the banking crisis in 1991-1994 can be seen as one consequence of a deep economic recession preceded by an exceptionally long boom period. This aspect leads us to seek the reasons for the banking crisis in external shock factors - bad luck factors. In our case, bad luck can be specified by the recession preceded by financial market liberalisation with a large increase in bank lending volumes, asset prices and - unfortunately - in corporate and household indebtedness."

Looks like our current situation ... funny to talk about bad luck ...