Daily Archives: Jul 2, 2022 at 04:11 am EDT

Book Bits: 2 July 2022

The Illusion of Control: Why Financial Crises Happen, and What We Can (and Can’t) Do About It
Jon Danielsson
Review via Foreign Affairs
“Not another book about financial crises!” one is tempted to exclaim. Fortunately, this is an exceptionally provocative and original addition to an ample literature. Drawing on the historical record, Danielsson explains why regulators have not been more successful at limiting financial instability. They tend to focus excessively on exogenous risks (shocks coming from outside the financial system) while neglecting endogenous risks—the destabilizing responses of the participants in financial markets to those same exogenous shocks and, no less, to regulatory action. Having been encouraged in the wake of past crises to develop numerical measures of financial risks, regulators tend to place excessive confidence in the accuracy of those numbers, which are better at predicting the last crisis than the next one, given the ever-changing nature of the financial system.

Continue reading