In Bootleggers & Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics, economists Bruce Yandle and Adam Smith explain how money and morality are often combined in politics to produce arbitrary regulations benefiting cronies, while constraining productive economic activities by the general public.
Featuring Johan Norberg, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; with comments by Dr. Anthony Sanders, Distinguished Professor of Real Estate Finance, George Mason University; and Dawn Kopecki, Reporter, Bloomberg News.
How was it possible that in a world where thousands of people regulated financial markets the whole system crashed down? And should we now give more power to central banks, government agencies, politicians, and regulators? Isn’t that what brought us here in the first place? Financial Fiasco digs deep into the foundation of the economic meltdown, revealing how it was the product of conscious actions by decisionmakers in companies, government agencies, and political institutions, and by consumers. Financial Fiasco tells the compelling story of how rate-cutting by the Federal Reserve inflated the real estate market and fueled increased risk-taking in the financial markets; how new government policies to promote home ownership blasted air into the credit bubble; how new financial instruments, credit-rating requirements, and accounting rules intended to prevent cheating backfired; and much more. Financial Fiasco guides readers through a world of irresponsible behavior, warns that many of the “solutions” being implemented are repeating the mistakes that caused the crisis, and offers guidance on how to move forward.