Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Financial crises happen. Get use to it.

From Niall Ferguson in The New York Times Magazine:
The usual response is to introduce a raft of new laws and regulations designed to prevent the crisis from repeating itself. In the months ahead, the world will reverberate to the sound of stable doors being shut long after the horses have bolted, and history suggests that many of the new measures will do more harm than good. The classic example is the legislation passed during the British South-Sea Bubble to restrict the formation of joint-stock companies. The so-called Bubble Act of 1720 remained a needless handicap on the British economy for more than a century.

The reality is that crises are more often caused by bad regulation than by deregulation.

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