Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit

(Princeton University Press, 2014)

Book Forum
September 8, 2014 5:00PM
Hayek Auditorium
Featuring the author Charles Calomiris, Henry Kaufman Professor of Financial Institutions, Columbia Business School; with comments by Andrew Olmem, Partner, Venable LLP; moderated by Mark Calabria, Director, Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute.

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In the wake of the 2008–2009 financial crisis a pervasive view began to emerge of banking as an inherently unstable occupation that must be tightly regulated and monitored by government agencies. Charles Calomiris and co-author Stephen Haber overturn this notion by presenting an inconvenient truth: not all countries suffer systemic banking crises. Some countries have managed to create a system that provides abundant credit without the propensity for banks to fail. So what is their secret? The answer is equally simple: The well-being of a banking sector depends on the ability of political institutions to limit rent-seeking by populist groups. Join the Cato Institute for a lively discussion of the true causes of the financial crisis and whether in light of the evidence presented by the authors the antidote (Dodd-Frank) causes more problems than it solves.