The air temperature here in Wisconsin has settled down to humane levels, signaling the school year is nigh. So, to kick off our Free Market Monday, let’s check in with Guy Sorman at the City Journal on the origin of our current financial crisis.
Sorman interviews many of the heavyweights — Calomiris, Fama, Zingales, Cochrane, Taylor, and a host of others (including James Hamilton at EconBrowser, who I’ve never thought of as a “free marketeer”). If you recognize some of those names, it is clear that the emphasis here is mainly on the role of the financial sector.
Some interesting thoughts, including this coda:
Every economist I interviewed agreed that ballooning American and European debt poses a huge threat to long-term prosperity. The debt will be paid either through inflation, which would make everyone poorer, or—a far better scenario—through economic growth that would increase both individual and government revenues. Unfortunately, by increasing taxes and imposing the wrong regulations, Western governments are hindering entrepreneurship and hence growth, Cochrane says.
Ah, entrepreneurship and growth. It’s all coming back to me now.