The Corner

Posner: It’s Worse Than You Think

In his forthcoming book A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of ’08 and the Descent into Depression (Harvard University Press), the amazingly prolific Richard A. Posner (who in his spare time serves as a Seventh Circuit judge) aims to present a “concise, constructive, jargon- and acronym-free, non-technical, unsensational, light-on-anecdote, analytical examination of the major facets of the biggest U.S. economic disaster in my lifetime [Posner was born in 1939] and that of most people living today.” 


I’ve just received the galley version and have read only the preface and the conclusion, but it’s clear from those that Posner blames the deregulation of the banking industry since the 1970s as the ultimate cause of the ongoing crisis and that he also faults the Federal Reserve and other economic agencies for being unprepared to deal with the crisis when it arose. Writing even before President Obama presented his budget plan, Posner thinks it will be a long time before the economy recovers.


It looks like an important and interesting book. I’ll leave it to others more competent than I am on matters of economic policy to read and offer informed commentary on it.