The Corner

A Good, Quick Read on the Crisis

In response to yesterday’s post about shoring up the intellectual defense of market economics, in which I aruged that conservatives should not only explain the origins of the current crisis but also unapologetically praise the success of market liberalization since the 1970s, many readers asked for assistance with the first task. Plenty of smart folks have traced the origins of the financial crisis, including NR authors online and in the mag. Here’s a quick suggestion, though: read, copy, and distribute University of Missouri Professor Lawrence White’s briefing paper for the Cato Institute, published a couple of months ago. It’s concise, straightforward, and persuasive. A key graf:

The actual causes of our financial troubles were unusual monetary policy moves and novel federal regulatory interventions. These poorly chosen policies distorted interest rates and asset prices, diverted loanable funds into the wrong investments, and twisted normally robust financial institutions into unsustainable positions.

John Hood is president of the John William Pope Foundation, a North Carolina-based grantmaker. His latest book is a novel, Mountain Folk (Defiance Press, 2021).


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