Wasting a Crisis: Why Securities Regulation Fails (Paperback)
  • Wasting a Crisis: Why Securities Regulation Fails (Paperback)
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Wasting a Crisis: Why Securities Regulation Fails (Paperback)

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Paperback 208 Pages / Published: 22/11/2016
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The recent financial crisis led to sweeping reforms that inspired countless references to the financial reforms of the New Deal. Comparable to the reforms of the New Deal in both scope and scale, the 2,300-page Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 the main regulatory reform package introduced in the United States also shared with New Deal reforms the assumption that the underlying cause of the crisis was misbehavior by securities market participants, exacerbated by lax regulatory oversight. With Wasting a Crisis, Paul G. Mahoney offers persuasive research to show that this now almost universally accepted narrative of market failure broadly similar across financial crises is formulated by political actors hoping to deflect blame from prior policy errors. Drawing on a cache of data, from congressional investigations, litigation, regulatory reports, and filings to stock quotes from the 1920s and '30s, Mahoney moves beyond the received wisdom about the financial reforms of the New Deal, showing that lax regulation was not a substantial cause of the financial problems of the Great Depression. As new regulations were formed around this narrative of market failure, not only were the majority largely ineffective, they were also often counterproductive, consolidating market share in the hands of leading financial firms. An overview of twenty-first-century securities reforms from the same analytic perspective, including Dodd-Frank and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, shows a similar pattern and suggests that they too may offer little benefit to investors and some measurable harm.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226420998
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 295 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
With Wasting a Crisis, Mahoney counters the prevailing view that financial crises are the product of market failure. Rather, he suggests, regulation itself often produces problems and, moreover, does not fix those it is intended to fix. Mahoney has an important perspective that is at odds with the conventional wisdom, and his powerful and persuasive critique is theoretically and empirically grounded with a narrative that pulls the reader in. --Jennifer H. Arlen, New York University School of Law"
For the past twenty years, Mahoney has cheerfully punctured the conventional wisdom about corporate and financial regulation. Ranging as far back as the 1696 crisis in England and as close up as the aftermath of the Great Recession, but training his eye most carefully on the New Deal era, Mahoney shows in Wasting a Crisis that the reforms enacted after a crisis are nearly always hasty and are usually designed to deflect blame from governmental officials precrisis missteps. Wasting a Crisis is both erudite and readable, supported with clever empirical analysis and full of counterintuitive insights into the political process. It is a classic of economic history, a superb book by a superb scholar."--David Skeel, University of Pennsylvania Law School"
"With Wasting a Crisis, Mahoney counters the prevailing view that financial crises are the product of market failure. Rather, he suggests, regulation itself often produces problems--and, moreover, does not fix those it is intended to fix. Mahoney has an important perspective that is at odds with the conventional wisdom, and his powerful and persuasive critique is theoretically and empirically grounded with a narrative that pulls the reader in."--Jennifer H. Arlen, New York University School of Law
"For the past twenty years, Mahoney has cheerfully punctured the conventional wisdom about corporate and financial regulation. Ranging as far back as the 1696 crisis in England and as close up as the aftermath of the Great Recession, but training his eye most carefully on the New Deal era, Mahoney shows in Wasting a Crisis that the reforms enacted after a crisis are nearly always hasty and are usually designed to deflect blame from governmental officials' precrisis missteps. Wasting a Crisis is both erudite and readable, supported with clever empirical analysis and full of counterintuitive insights into the political process. It is a classic of economic history, a superb book by a superb scholar."--David Skeel, University of Pennsylvania Law School

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