The financial crisis and recession of 2007–2009 have changed how students, instructors, and policymakers think about the economy. The first U.S. financial crisis in 75 years showed the importance of the financial system, including “shadow banks,” to macroeconomic theory and policy. The global nature of the crisis demonstrated that countries have become more connected economically and financially. In late 2012, the macroeconomic scene remained unsettled: The euro zone grappled with a debt crisisand austerity plans; growth slowed in the United States, China, and Brazil; recession returned to several European countries; and the U.S. Congress and president struggled to come to terms with a ballooning deficit. Many economists view the Great Recession and its aftermath as a watershed in macroeconomics second only to the Great Depression. The events of the past few years have reinforced the views that inspired us to write the first edition: 1. The financial crisis makes it critical for students to receive more background on the financial system. 2. Short-run macroeconomic policy plays too small a role in many current texts. 3. Students will be interested in macroeconomic models when applied to understanding real-world events and current policies that are in today’s news headlines.
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