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Did regulations cause current crisis?

Business Times - 07 Aug 2009


Did regulations cause current crisis?

Some economists contend government intrusion into capitalism, and not capitalism, is to blame for the financial mess

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

THE intellectual starting point for much of the conventional wisdom regarding the origins of the current financial crisis is that it was brought about by capitalism gone wrong and that it combined with the failure of the US government to prevent it through effective regulation of the financial system.

Not surprisingly, most of the policy prescriptions advanced by economic pundits and embraced by lawmakers and officials have called on the government to take forceful steps to discipline the free and wild market system that is supposedly responsible for the mess we are in.

But a contrarian view that points to the government and its regulatory agencies as prime agents of this economic mess has been promoted by free market-oriented research institutions and magazines.

That…