Financial Fiasco: How America’s Infatuation with Home Ownership and Easy Money Created the Economic Crisis
(Cato Institute, 2009)
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.