No Guarantees, No Trade!
World trade fell 20 percent relative to world GDP in 2008 and 2009.
Why U.S. Exporters Use Letters of Credit
Banks play a critical role in international trade by offering letters of credit (LCs) that substantially reduce the risk faced by exporters.
The Trade Finance Business of U.S. Banks
Banks facilitate international trade by providing financing and guarantees to importers and exporters.
Did Trade Finance Contribute to the Global Trade Collapse?
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.