Financing Failure: A Century of Bailouts

(Independent Institute 2012)

Book Forum
April 30, 2012 12:00PM
Hayek Auditorium
Featuring the author Vern McKinley, Research Fellow, Independent Institute; with comments by Matthew Stoller, Fellow, Roosevelt Institute, Contributing editor, Naked Capitalism; moderated by Mark Calabria, Director, Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute.

In the economic crisis, no issue has aroused more passion than the mega-trillion-dollar bailouts of large financial firms. The standard narrative has been one of necessity and fear, claiming the government must have greater power to respond or we all face terrible consequences. Now, in Financing Failure, Vern McKinley examines the policy decisions behind the bailouts and reveals the untold story and how it relates to the history of U.S. government intervention. Based on new revelations from documents uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act, he scrutinizes the decisions made by the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve, and FDIC during the crisis of the first decade of the 21st century and connects them to decisions of the 1930s and 1980s. These findings reveal that the genesis of financial crises is government itself, be it the interventions behind the Great Depression or the mandates that pushed for expanded homeownership that led to the recent crisis.