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Guardians of Finance: Making Regulators Work for Us

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Author Info

  • Barth, James R.

    ()
    (Auburn University)

  • Caprio, Gerard Jr.

    ()
    (Center for Development Economics, Williams College)

  • Levine, Ross

    ()
    (William R. Rhodes Center for International Economics and Finance, Brown University)

Abstract

The recent financial crisis was an accident, a “perfect storm” fueled by an unforeseeable confluence of events that unfortunately combined to bring down the global financial systems. And policy makers? They did everything they could, given their limited authority. It was all a terrible, unavoidable accident. Or at least this is the story told and retold by a chorus of luminaries that includes Timothy Geithner, Henry Paulson, Robert Rubin, Ben Bernanke, and Alan Greenspan. In Guardians of Finance, economists James Barth, Gerard Caprio, and Ross Levine argue that the financial meltdown of 2007 to 2009 was no accident; it was negligent homicide. They show that senior regulatory officials around the world knew or should have known that their policies were destabilizing the global financial system, had years to process the evidence that risks were rising, had the authority to change their policies--and yet chose not to act until the crisis had fully emerged. The current system, the authors write, is simply not designed to make policy choices on behalf of the public. It is virtually impossible for the public and its elected officials to obtain informed and impartial assessment of financial regulation and to hold regulators accountable. Barth, Caprio, and Levine propose a reform to counter this systemic failure: the establishment of a “Sentinel” to provide an informed, expert, and independent assessment of financial regulation. Its sole power would be to demand information and to evaluate it from the perspective of the public--rather than that of the financial industry, the regulators, or politicians.

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Bibliographic Info

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This book is provided by The MIT Press in its series MIT Press Books with number 0262017393 and published in 2012.

Volume: 1
Edition: 1
ISBN: 0-262-01739-3
Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262017393

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu

Related research

Keywords: finance; policy;

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Cited by:
  1. Monika Marcinkowska, 2013. "Regulation and self-regulation in banking: in search of optimum," Bank i Kredyt, National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute, vol. 44(2), pages 119-158.
  2. Gropper, Daniel M. & Jahera, John S. & Park, Jung Chul, 2013. "Does it help to have friends in high places? Bank stock performance and congressional committee chairmanships," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1986-1999.
  3. Cihak, Martin & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Johnston, R. Barry, 2013. "Incentive audits : a new approach to financial regulation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6308, The World Bank.
  4. Carlos Hurtado, 2012. "The Euro Experience: A Review of the Euro Crisis, Policy Issues, Issues Going Forward and Policy Implications for Latin America," Research Department Publications 4786, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  5. Thorsten Beck, 2013. "Finance, growth and fragility: the role of government," International Journal of Banking, Accounting and Finance, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(1/2), pages 49-77.
  6. Cihak, Martin & Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad & Mohseni-Cheraghlou, Amin, 2013. "Bank regulation and supervision in the context of the global crisis," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 733-746.
  7. Beck, T.H.L., 2011. "The Role of Finance in Economic Development: Benefits, Risks, and Politics," Discussion Paper 2011-141, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  8. Cukierman, Alex, 2013. "Monetary policy and institutions before, during, and after the global financial crisis," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 373-384.
  9. Cihak, Martin & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Peria, Maria Soledad Martinez & Mohseni-Cheraghlou, Amin, 2012. "Bank regulation and supervision around the world : a crisis update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6286, The World Bank.
  10. Stijn Claessens & Laura E. Kodres, 2014. "The Regulatory Responses to the Global Financial Crisis: Some Uncomfortable Questions," IMF Working Papers 14/46, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Edwin M. Truman, 2013. "Asian and European Financial Crises Compared," Working Paper Series WP13-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  12. Martin Čihák & Asli Demirgüč-Kunt & Erik Feyen & Ross Levine, 2013. "Financial Development in 205 Economies, 1960 to 2010," NBER Working Papers 18946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Roger B. Myerson, 2014. "Rethinking the Principles of Bank Regulation: A Review of Admati and Hellwig's The Bankers' New Clothes," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(1), pages 197-210, March.
  14. Barth, James R. & Caprio, Gerard, Jr. & Levine, Ross, 2012. "The evolution and impact of bank regulations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6288, The World Bank.

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