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Is This the Minsky Moment for Reform of Financial Regulation?


  • Jan Kregel


The current financial crisis has been characterized as a “Minsky” moment, and as such provides the conditions required for a reregulation of the financial system similar to that of the New Deal banking reforms of the 1930s. However, Minsky’s theory was not one that dealt in moments but rather in systemic, structural changes in the operations of financial institutions. Therefore, the framework for reregulation must start with an understanding of the longer-term systemic changes that took place between the New Deal reforms and their formal repeal under the 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act. This paper attempts to identify some of those changes and their sources. In particular, it notes that the New Deal reforms were eroded by an internal process in which commercial banks that were given a monopoly position in deposit taking sought to remove those protections because unregulated banks were able to provide substitute instruments that were more efficient and unregulated but unavailable to regulated banks, since they involved securities market activities that would eventually be recognized as securitization. Regulators and the courts contributed to this process by progressively ruling that these activities were related to the regulated activities of the commercial banks, allowing them to reclaim securities market activities that had been precluded in the New Deal legislation. The 1999 Act simply made official the de facto repeal of the 1930s protections. Any attempt to provide reregulation of the system will thus require safeguards to ensure that this internal process of deregulation is not repeated.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Kregel, 2010. "Is This the Minsky Moment for Reform of Financial Regulation?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_586, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_586

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carl Chiarella & Roberto Dieci & Xue-Zhong He, 2008. "Heterogeneity, Market Mechanisms, and Asset Price Dynamics," Research Paper Series 231, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
    2. Philip Arestis, 2002. "Financial crisis in Southeast Asia: dispelling illusion the Minskyan way," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 237-260, March.
    3. Claude Gnos & Louis-Philippe Rochon, 2011. "Credit, Money and Macroeconomic Policy. A Post Keynesian Approach," Post-Print halshs-01231787, HAL.
    4. Paul Davidson, 2008. "Is the current financial distress caused by the subprime mortgage crisis a Minsky moment? or is it the result of attempting to securitize illiquid noncommercial mortgage loans?," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 669-676, July.
    5. Vercelli,Allessandro, 1991. "Methodological Foundations of Macroeconomics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521392945, March.
    6. Desai, Meghnad, 1973. "Growth cycles and inflation in a model of the class struggle," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(6), pages 527-545, December.
    7. Jan Toporowski, 2008. "Minsky's 'induced investment and business cycles'," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(5), pages 725-737, September.
    8. Sordi, Serena & Vercelli, Alessandro, 2006. "Financial fragility and economic fluctuations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 543-561, December.
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    Blog mentions

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    1. Is This the Minsky Moment for Reform of Financial Regulation?
      by Miguel in Simoleon Sense on 2010-06-16 20:34:59


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    Cited by:

    1. Faruk Ülgen, 2014. "Financialized capitalism and the irrelevance of self-regulation : a Minskyian analysis of systemic viability," Post-Print halshs-01111162, HAL.
    2. Xiaosheng Ju & Dic Lo, 2012. "The cost and benefit of banking regulations and controls, Chinese style," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 65(263), pages 385-402.
    3. Nina Shapiro, 2012. "Josef Steindl: An Economist of His Times," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 65(260), pages 293-315.

    More about this item


    Financial Regulation; Financial Crisis; Subprime Crisis; Mortgage Affiliate Regulation; Financial Legislation; Supreme Court and Financial Deregulation;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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