Introduction

  • Jerome L. Stein
Chapter

Abstract

The theme of this book is that the application of Stochastic Optimal Control (SOC) is very helpful in understanding and predicting debt crises. The mathematical analysis is applied empirically to the financial debt crisis of 2008, the crises of the 1980s and concludes with an analysis of the European debt crisis. I use SOC to derive a theoretically founded quantitative measure of an optimal, and an excessive leverage/debt/risk that increases the probability of a crisis. The optimal leverage balances risk against expected growth. The environment is stochastic: the capital gain, productivity of capital and interest rate are stochastic variables, and for an insurance company, such as AIG, the claims are also stochastic. I associate the housing price bubble with the growth of household debt. A bubble is dangerous insofar as it induces a non-sustainable debt. This danger is exacerbated insofar as a complex financial system is based upon it.

Keywords

Economic Crisis Europe Income Stein Volatility 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerome L. Stein
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Applied MathematicsBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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