The current narrative regarding the 2008 systemic financial system collapse is that numerous seemingly unrelated events occurred in unregulated markets, requiring widespread bailouts of the financial system. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, created by the U.S. Congress to investigate the causes of the crisis, promotes this politically convenient narrative, and the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act operationalizes it by extending federal protection and regulation of banking and finance to cover virtually all financial activities, including hedge funds and proprietary trading. Markets can become unbalanced, but they generally correct themselves before crises become systemic. Because of the accumulation of past political reactions to previous crises, this did not occur with the most recent crisis. Public enterprises had crowded out private enterprises, and public protection and the associated prudential regulation had trumped market discipline. Prudential regulation created moral hazard, and public protection invited mission regulation, both of which undermined prudential regulation itself and eventually led to systemic failure. Join us for a discussion of this issue with Kevin Villani, co-author of the new paper, “What Made the Financial Crisis Systemic?”
Featuring Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Chairman of the Congressional Constitution Caucus; Neal McCluskey, Associate Director, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute; and Lindsey Burke, Will Skillman Fellow in Education, Heritage Foundation; moderated by Laura Odato, Director of Government Affairs, Cato Institute.
Featured PublicationWe are grateful to the Harry and Lynde Bradley Foundation and the Carthage Foundation whose support of the October 2012 Cato Conference “Europe’s Crisis and the Welfare State: Lessons for the United States” made possible this special issue of the Cato Journal.
Featured BookRenowned development economist Deepak Lal draws on 50 years of experience around the globe to describe developing-country realities and rectify misguided notions about economic progress.
More Bang for Your Buck
The Cato Institute tops a new measure of think tank performance in the United States, according to a recent report. Cato bested all other U.S. think tanks in the main category of “Aggregate Profile per Dollar Spent.” “I’m grateful to the Center for Global Development for showing that Cato gives its sponsors something I wish government gave more of to taxpayers: bang for the buck,” said Cato CEO John Allison.