Nabeel Zafar describes the last batch of Nobel Prizes
The last two categories awarded the Nobel prizes for 2022 are literature and economics and they have been given to French writers and three celebrated American economists. The French writer Annie Ernaux is described as an uncompromising 50-year body of work exploring a life marked by great disparities regarding gender, language, and class.
The 82-year-old Arnie Ernaux is the first French woman to win the literature prize and her books include A Man’s Place and A Woman’s Story which are considered to be contemporary classics in France. Ernaux was born in 1940 in Normandy, where the setting for her early life was poor but ambitious.
Her parents ran a café and grocery shop and when she encountered girls from middle-class backgrounds she experienced the shame of her working-class parents and milieu for the first time. That would later feed into her novels. The main themes of her work were the body and sexuality; intimate relationships; social inequality and the experience of changing class through education; time and memory; and the overarching question of how to write these life experiences.
Ernaux’s work is largely autobiographical and she manifestly believes in the liberating force of writing. Her work is uncompromising and written in plain language, scraped clean. She got divorced in the early 1980s, and in 2000 she retired from teaching to devote herself to writing. Another of her books, The Years, won the Prix Renaudot in France in 2008 and the Premio Strega in Italy in 2016, while a year later she won the Marguerite Yourcenar Prize for her life’s work. In 2019, The Years went on to be shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, whose judges called it a genre-bending masterpiece.
Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
US Federal Reserve’s former chairman Ben S. Bernanke, Douglas W. Diamond of the University of Chicago, and Philip H. Dybvig of Washington University in St. Louis were awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for their work on banks and financial crises.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm said research published by the three Americans in 1983 and 1984 provided a new understanding of the role banks play in making the economy work and causing it to plunge into crisis. Bernanke, who led the Fed during the 2008 financial crisis, was recognized for his path-breaking 1983 analysis of the Great Depression. The committee said his research showed how bank runs had turned an ordinary recession in the 1930s into the worst global economic crisis in history.
Bernanke demonstrated that bank failures — rather than resulting from the downturn — were responsible for making it so deep and so long. When banks collapsed, valuable information about borrowers disappeared, making it difficult for new institutions to channel savings to productive investments, the committee said. During the 2008 crisis, Bernanke piloted the Fed to an expansive use of central bank powers, dropping interest rates to near zero and accumulating assets worth a then-record $4 trillion in a bid to spur economic activity.
Diamond and Dybvig were honored for pioneering theoretical work, also in 1983, which explained banks’ role in linking savers and borrowers in a mutually beneficial relationship. The two men showed how banks resolve an inherent conflict between those with excess funds at any one time and those who need more cash than they have.
Diamond And Dybvig Bank
Savers want immediate Nobel Prizes For Literature And Economics | The Weekender access to their money in case of unexpected expenses, while borrowers want the assurance that they will not be forced to repay their loans prematurely. By acting as a middleman, banks pool savings from multiple individuals, allowing them to satisfy savers’ demands for easy access to their deposits while providing long-term loans to businesses and others.
Diamond and Dybvig also showed how banks’ essential function leaves them vulnerable to rumors of potential collapse. If savers grow worried that a bank is about to fail, withdrawals can snowball into a destabilizing and self-fulfilling “run” on the bank. That dire outcome can be avoided, as it is in the United States, by having the government offer deposit insurance that protects savers against such losses and by having the central bank operate as a lender of last resort. Diamond also was recognized for his 1984 work showing that banks play a vital role by amassing valuable information about borrowers, assessing their creditworthiness, and ensuring that loans are used for sound ventures.
The three economists will split the prize money of 10 million Swedish kronor, or roughly $885,810. The award comes as world financial leaders are preparing for this week’s annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, with the global economy slowing amid high inflation. Though current conditions bear little resemblance to the 2008 crisis that he managed at the Fed, Bernanke said that financial risks can emerge without warning. The Weekender