Growing out of Crises and Recessions: Regulating Systemic Financial Institutions and Redefining Government Responsibilities

I characterize and discuss the challenges and pitfalls we must face to grow out for good of recent and future financial crises and economic recessions. I propose a brief history of the 2008 crisis and insist on the loss of confidence within the banking and financial sector, which propagated later to the real sector. I discuss the factors underlying this loss of confidence: the failure of the Federal Reserve Board to abide by its mission; the ill-advised political interventions in mortgage markets; the leniency of (captured) financial regulators; the faulty risk management mechanisms in the banking sector; and the omnipresence of poorly designed compensation systems in the banking and financial sector. I also discuss the ways to rebuild confidence and move out of a bad and stable economic equilibrium. Considering data on gross job creation and loss in the US private sector, I challenge the sorcerer’s apprentices’ plan for reforming capitalism and I recall the key role played by creative destruction. I suggest that government deficits and economic growth are not good friends, offering a reference to the Canadian experience of the two decades 1985-2005. Finally, I discuss fiscal and regulatory reforms and propose a set of redefined roles for public/governmental and competitive/private sectors in generating a more prosperous economy.

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