The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
In the past decade, most of the EU New Member States experienced a severe credit-boom bust cycle. This paper argues that the credit boom-bust cycle was to a large extent the result of factors external to the region ('bad luck'). Rapid credit growth followed from a high liquidity in global markets and the particular attractiveness of 'new Europe' for capital flows, while the end of the credit cycle was brought about by a global crisis. However, the fact that some countries managed to avoid most of the excesses, including asset price bubbles and foreign exchange lending, suggests that policies and policy failures ('bad policies')-in particular overly expansionary macroeconomic settings and excessively optimistic views on prudential risks-also have played a critical role.