1 Jan 2010

Stiglitz: 6 harsh lessons we failed to learn

1. Markets are not self-correcting, and without adequate regulation, they are prone to excess.

2. There are many reasons for market failures. Too-big-to-fail financial institutions had perverse incentives: Privatized gains, socialized losses. .

3. When information is imperfect, markets often do not work well – and information imperfections are central in finance.

4. Keynesian policies do work. Countries, like Australia, that implemented large, well-designed stimulus programs early emerged from the crisis faster

5. There is more to monetary policy than just fighting inflation. Excessive focus on inflation meant that some central banks ignored what was happening to their financial markets. The costs of mild inflation are miniscule compared to the costs imposed on economies when central banks allow asset bubbles to grow unchecked.

6. Not all innovation leads to a more efficient and productive economy – let alone a better society. Private incentives matter, and if they are not properly aligned, the result can be excessive risk taking, excessively shortsighted behavior, and distorted innovation.

Via The Big Picture


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