Why did the recent subprime mortgage meltdown undermine financial-market stability notwithstanding the protections provided by market norms and financial regulation? This Essay attempts to answer that question by identifying anomalies and obvious protections that failed by examining hypotheses that might explain the anomalies and failures. Although some of the anomalies and failures result from a type of tragedy of the commons (in which the benefits of exploiting finite capital resources accrue to individual market participants, whereas the costs of exploitation are distributed among an even wider class of persons), most result from three sources: conflicts, complacency, and complexity, all exacerbated by a possible fourth source known as cupidity. This framework of understanding provides critical insights into protecting financial markets.
Volume 93 - No. 2
- Note: Providing Clarity for Standard of Conduct for Directors Within Benefit Corporations: Requiring Priority of a Specific Public Benefit
- Note: Economic Protectionism and Occupational Licensing Reform
- The Luxembourg Effect: Patent Boxes and the Limits of International Cooperation
- The Geography of Equal Protection
- What Legal Authority Does the Fed Need During a Financial Crisis?
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