Regulators’ Irrational Rationality and Bankers’ Rational Irrationality: Too Big to Fail, Self-Regulation, Moral Hazard and the Global Financial Crisis, 2007-2009

A new article by me will be published in the Oesterreichische Zeitschrift fuer Geschichtswissenschaften (OeZG) in early 2015. The Working Paper may be downloaded from the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

The abstract is provided below, for the full text, please visit SSRN.


Banks and other financial institutions which were too-big-to-fail (TBTF) played a central role during the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2009. The present article lays out how misguided policies enabled banks to grow both in size as well as in complexity and therefore acquire TBTF status, particularly in the 10-year period preceding the crisis. The article then proceeds by detailing how an ill-designed policy framework, relying on supposed market approaches to regulation – including self-regulation and credit rating agencies – enabled TBTF financial institutions to game the system and thereby exploit negative externalities which the flawed policy framework in connection with TBTF status had granted large, systemically important financial institutions. The article therefore identifies defective government policies as the chief cause for the financial crisis of 2007-2009, revealing an urgent need for financial sector reform.


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