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Alex J. Pollock
by | May 29, 2009

1. “When it comes to the home mortgage boom and bust, who was to blame? The borrowers? The lenders? The government? The financial markets? The answer is yes. All were responsible.” (Thomas Sowell, The Housing Boom and Bust, 2009.) This…

by | Jan 21, 2009

As the bailouts in the current bust inexorably mount, financed in rapidly increasing U.S. government debt, one might wonder whether a default on Treasury debt is imaginable. In the course of history, did the U.S. ever default on its debt?…

by | Jan 12, 2009

Asset bubbles inflate because enough people believe that the good times of expanding credit and rising asset prices will last forever, but of course they don’t. In the midst of the bust that follows, it seems that the bad times…

by | Dec 22, 2008

Many of us argued against Financial Accounting Standard (FAS) 133, a big step on the downhill path of “fair value” accounting ten years ago, finding it not only wildly convoluted and expensive, but conceptually wrong. The more criticism the Financial…

by | Apr 10, 2008

The most notable thing about Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s proposed plan for restructuring financial regulation is the expansion of the Federal Reserve into a sort of “Super Fed.” This new Fed would have oversight of all financial markets and firms,…

by | Nov 16, 2006

With the 2006 elections, we have a federal government divided on partisan lines between the legislative and executive branches. But enhancing the international competitiveness of the American economy and capital markets needs to be a priority for both parties. Just…

by | May 25, 2006

WASHINGTON — With today’s intense network of communication, the Securities and Exchange Commission cannot regulate the capital markets from an Olympian height. It is itself immersed in the markets: its own investigations are market-moving events. This effect has been magnified…

by | Mar 30, 2006

To address reform of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Sarb-Ox), recall that it was passed in the political furor following the Enron and WorldCom scandals to try to prevent future accounting frauds. Let’s start with its most obvious, largely unintended,…

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