Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pithiness from Chicago

Diane Swonk is good at summarizing:

Moreover, government interventions (most notably regulation and austerity programs) are more likely to suppress growth than promote financial stability, which means we have learned very little from the crisis itself. The G-20 has been particularly bad at fostering coordination across country borders now that the crisis has passed. Financial reforms, in particular, are being implemented on a piecemeal basis, which could encourage--rather than discourage--the kind of regulatory arbitrage that got us into this mess in the first place.

The last point is important. While we still don't know the most important source of the crisis, regulatory arbitrage between shadow banks and regulated banks was almost surely a major contributor.