Simplifying the Financial-Reform Bill


Stephen J. Dubner, NYT journalist and co-author of the book Freakonomics, asks the following question at the Freakonomics/Times blog:

“How Would You Simplify the Financial-Reform Bill?

The rules were simple: 5 suggestions, 500 words.

The other participants are Nassim Taleb, Justin Wolfers (Professor of Business and Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania), and Raghuram Rajan (Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago, former Chief Economist at the IMF).

My answer began as follows:

“The lessons of this crisis are manifestly obvious: Three decades of “Radical Deregulation” freed banks to engage in all manner of reckless behavior. Leaving the status quo in place guarantees another crisis in the future. Historical patterns suggest the next calamity will dwarf the collapse of 2007-09.

How to fix it? Here are the first 5 ideas out of a longer list in Bailout Nation that not only would have prevented this past crisis, but would also prevent the next one:″

The rest of my answer — and Taleb, Wolfers and Rajan’s — are here . . .

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