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Articles by Alex J. Pollock

The Federal Reserve’s Real Mandates Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The Federal Reserve has a 'triple mandate.' Grasping this allows us to understand why the Fed, while not doing so well at stabilizing prices or maximizing ...
Would You Settle Your Claims on Social Security for 83 Cents on the Dollar? (I Would) Thursday, April 7, 2011
Here’s a win-win proposition for all involved.
Municipal Debt Crises: Some Historical Perspective Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Lessons from the Big Apple merit keeping in mind today.
Can Our Last International Advantage Withstand the Dodd-Frank Act? Saturday, January 15, 2011
America is eroding its social infrastructure, the nation’s last competitive advantage.
Living in the Political Wake of the Bubble Monday, January 3, 2011
We are repeating history and thus will repeat the mistakes of history; here are four ideas to make sure the future is better than the past.
Why the Fed Cannot Regulate ‘Systemic Risk’ Saturday, November 13, 2010
A systemic risk advisor might help ameliorate bubbles and busts, though not avoid financial cycles.
Is Economics a Science? Saturday, November 6, 2010
It would be, if it weren’t for the people.
It’s Easier to Be Brilliant than Right Saturday, September 25, 2010
There is a danger with intellectual brightness. It is to overemphasize and develop a bias for cleverness, quickness, facility with data, and the ability to ...
Error vs. Fraud Monday, January 4, 2010
How do groups of intelligent, sophisticated bankers, investors, borrowers, entrepreneurs, and traders find themselves caught together in the recurring bubbles ...
TARP and Leviathan Monday, November 30, 2009
In the world after the crisis, how can we move toward reprivatization? Alternately stated, how can we put the enlarged Leviathan on a diet?
It Wasn’t a Bubble—It Was a Double Bubble Saturday, September 12, 2009
Many are accustomed to thinking in terms of a 'housing bubble.' But this is only part of the story. In fact, the first decade of the 21st century brought us a ...
Ten Ways to Do Better in the Next Financial Cycle Tuesday, July 28, 2009
We can do better next time provided we take these steps.
The Greenspan Gamble Wednesday, June 3, 2009
In the wake of the burst tech stock bubble and the shock of the terrorist attacks, the Greenspan Gamble was to purposefully ignite a housing boom. Ex ante, it ...
Why Not Negative Interest Rates? Thursday, May 21, 2009
Could we have negative nominal interest rates to combat a potential deflation? The question is debated from time to time, especially recently. It may seem ...
Is a ‘Systemic Risk Regulator’ Possible? Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Political reaction to financial crises is usually accompanied by what proves to be greatly overstated expectations about its future effectiveness.
Did They Really Believe House Prices Could Not Go Down? Thursday, April 9, 2009
A wise saying is, ‘Many things previously considered impossible nevertheless came to pass.’
Out With the Old Banks, In With the New Friday, February 20, 2009
Creating new banks deserves to be a priority, but regulations make it difficult.
Bank to the Future Monday, February 2, 2009
With talk of a ‘Bad Bank’ we are back where we were with the original TARP. Here’s how to get it right this time.
A Theory of Two Big Balance Sheets Friday, January 16, 2009
Alex Pollock explains the recent period of bubbles, busts, and bailouts—with lessons for improving the financial system.
Your Guide to the Housing Crisis Monday, May 5, 2008
With the financial world in turmoil, here’s a handy guide to the bursting of the housing market bubble.
What Happened to Liquidity? Friday, September 21, 2007
ALEX J. POLLOCK examines the subprime mortgage bust and explains why “liquidity” is often a misleading metaphor.
Subprime Bust Expands Monday, August 6, 2007
To the students of history, the vicious cycle around the bust is all too familiar.
Send Sarbanes-Oxley to the Court of Investors Friday, May 4, 2007
A new study sees only one side of the cost/benefit picture.
To Make Mortgages Fair, Keep Disclosures To a Page Wednesday, May 2, 2007
A simple summary is the best way to make sure borrowers understand their loans.
Subprime Time Thursday, March 8, 2007
Recent trouble in the riskiest part of the mortgage market fits a surprisingly consistent historical pattern.
The SEC Takes a First Step Toward Reform Friday, December 15, 2006
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, particularly the notoriously inefficient implementation of its Section 404, has become a synonym for wasteful expense, bureaucracy and ...