Somebody in Charge: A Solution to Recessions?

Hardcover | March 15, 2011

byPierre Lemieux

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This book asks a fundamental question, that is, whether “somebody in charge” could have prevented or solved the problem leading up to our current financial crisis.   This book explores and answers that question from a scholarly and academic economic viewpoint.

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This book asks a fundamental question, that is, whether “somebody in charge” could have prevented or solved the problem leading up to our current financial crisis.   This book explores and answers that question from a scholarly and academic economic viewpoint.

Pierre Lemieux is an economist affiliated with the Department of Management Sciences of the Université du Québec en Outaouais, a Senior Fellow at the Montréal Economic Institute, and a Research Fellow at The Independent Institute (Oakland, California). The author of several books published in Paris (France), he has also published many...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:220 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.56 inPublished:March 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230112692

ISBN - 13:9780230112698


Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction: Adult Supervision * 1 The Limits of Authority * 1.1 Social Complexity * 1.2 The Impossibility of Planning * 1.3 The Inconvenient Individual * 1.4 The Tribe and the Great Society * 2 Are Recessions Possible?  * 2.1 Business Cycles and Crashes * 2.2 An Economist in Wonderland * 2.3 Classical Economics * 2.4 Recessions Happen * 3 Macroeconomic Controversies * 3.1 The Old Idea of Underconsumption * 3.2 Keynes’s Ideas: A Brief Summary * 3.3 Price Adjustments * 3.4 Multiplying Bread and Fish * 3.5 Meaningless Aggregates * 3.6 Information and Coordination * 3.7 Government Activism * 3.8 More Recent Theories of the Business Cycle * 4 The Mixed Economy * 4.1 A Failure of Capitalism?  * 4.2 Government Revenues and Expenditures * 4.3 Regulation and Control * 4.4 The Welfare State * 4.5 Businessmen as Domestic Animals * 5 Financial Deregulation: An Urban Legend * 5.1 Lax Regulation * 5.2 Deregulation * 5.3 U.S. Banks in a World Perspective * 5.4 Necessary Regulation?  * 6 The Crime Scene: Envy of the World * 6.1 Residential Home Market Driven by Government * 6.2 A Half-nationalized Residential Mortgage Market * 6.3 Securitization * 6.4 Subsidization of Risk * 6.5 The Collapse of the House of Cards * 6.6 Larger Consequences * 7 Monetary Meddling * 7.1 The Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle * 7.2 Some Doubts on the Austrian Interpretation of the Crisis * 7.3 Monetary Policy Played a Role * 7.4 On Balance: A Contributing Factor * 8 State Animal Spirits * 8.1 State Greed * 8.2 Faddish Behavior and State Bubbles * 8.3 Regulatory failure * 8.4 Collectivism * 8.5 Power and Hubris * 8.6 Systemic risk * Conclusion: Something Must Be Done * Bibliography * Name Index * Topics Index * Charts

Editorial Reviews

"Lemieux argues that the government's clumsy and ill-considered attempts to control market outcomeshave often been at the heart of economic instability, and that the recent subprime crisis is a telling example ofthe costs of risky interventionisminto the financial system. People who find that argument surprisingmay be even more surprised by how much their horizons will be broadened by reading this book." - Charles Calomiris, Henry Kaufman Professor of Financial Institutions, Columbia University Graduate School of Business "Most people think that the recent financial crisis is attributable to greedy bankers and low interest rates. The scientific literature suggests otherwise. I have worked on this issue, and read much about the argument (the work of Levine or Rajan to name a few), but I never saw it so eloquently put than by Pierre Lemieux in his ''Somebody in Charge''. It is a delight to go pages after pages and see how brilliantly the author demonstrates the deep involvement of the government in the making-of of this tragedy. Any reader would benefit tremendously from this reading, opening our eyes on the possibility that ''the authorities'' is just a mental creation of our mind trying to escape the naked truth : there is no such a thing as a mechanistic, manageable, and predictable society. Society is a matter of Nature." - Christian Calmès, Professor of Economics and Finance, Université du Québec en Outaouais Administrative Science Department "Far too many works about the recent financial crisis either turn on anecdotal personal accounts with sensationalistic and exaggerated finger pointing or are hopelessly enmeshed in highly technical financial details and economic theories. Nearly all perpetuate the widespread myth that the crisis resulted from some giant market failure. Pierre Lemieux's SOMEBODY IN CHARGE systematically and convincingly demolishes that myth. In doing so, he offers not only a readable survey of the myriad government regulations, interventions, and institutions that hobbled the market economy before the crisis and brought on that calamity, but also an accessible and insightful introduction to recent financial innovations and alternative economic theories." - Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, Department of Economics, San Jose State University "Lemieux presents a good but depressing read. Depressing because, as he convincingly shows, the current economic crisis was caused by government intervention, particularly regulation, yet deregulation/the free market/Capitalism has unjustly gotten the blame. Lemieux amasses substantial evidence to prove both that the banking and financial system was very heavily regulated and that the claims to the contrary are specious. This book is best described as a starting point for further research because it gives a broad and comprehensive overview of the major issues that led to the current economic downturn." - CHOICE "Somebody in Charge is a very useful contribution to literature on the recent financial meltdown, recession, and slow recovery. If this book was widely read in and out of classrooms, it might be very useful in awakening more of the public to the fact that we do not need somebody in charge." - The Independent Review