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

Mark Calabria
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Posted: Sep 14, 2014 12:01 AM
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.

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