The story of the financial crisis will be retold endlessly as one of widespread greed, corruption, and incompetence, enabled by a policy agenda dominated by an ideology of deregulation. Yet even if the marketplace had been populated by more ethical and conscientious individuals, and even if their activities had been more carefully scrutinized by regulators, the world would still have wound up with a major boom and bust —such is the power, as history attests, of cheap money.
In Lessons of the Financial Crisis, Benn Steil argues that we are seeing a classic bust of a credit boom created by policies whose combined effects increased the demand for debt to unsustainable levels. U.S. monetary policy, taxation policy, and homeownership promotion policy were so conducive to credit expansion that to lay the blame on regulators who were "asleep at the switch" is dangerously simplistic. The United States in particular, given that it effectively sets monetary and credit conditions for a significant portion of the global economy, needs to put in place policies that can better recognize and curtail an incipient credit boom, and ensure that systemically important financial institutions can withstand its unwinding.
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Benn Steil is senior fellow and director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also the founding editor of International Finance, a top scholarly economics journal, as well as a cofounder and managing member of Efficient Frontiers LLC, a capital markets consultancy.
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Book Description Council on Foreign Relations, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0876094329
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