Monday, September 21, 2009

Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission began to hold public meetings last week. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a definitive analysis. This week I am going to talk to my economic history class about the Panics of 1837 and 1839. I can tell them that in the last decade economists like Peter Rousseau and John Wallis have added a great deal to our understanding of these events that took place more than a century and a half in the past. See this old post. New papers continue to appear on pretty much every financial crisis in American history. I've recently started reseaching the Panic of 1907 because there are parts of the current story about it that do not make sense to me.

Then again, its not clear the prupose of such commissions is actually better understanding. The opinion page of the Sunday NY Times complains about the commissions slow start and wonders if it reflects "the apparent ambivelence of lawmakers to rein in the banks?"

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