Understanding the Financial Crisis

Nov 18, 2008
B-369 Rayburn House Office Building

Event Video


Sarah Nutter
Associate Professor
George Mason University

Houman B. Shadab
Senior Research Fellow
Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Todd Zywicki
Professor of Law
George Mason University

Ongoing financial market turmoil is leading policymakers to consider increasingly complex regulation for a complex financial world. But without a sound understanding of both the causes of recent instability and the effects of proposed policies, swift action could to lead to undesired outcomes. To help policymakers better understand the issues before them and the decisions they face the Mercatus Center has assembled some of the  brightest academic minds to form the Financial Markets Working Group.

Drawing upon the Mercatus Center's expertise in regulatory analysis, the Financial Markets Working Group combines scholarly research with a deep understanding of the policy process to offer productive ideas to address the serious problems in financial markets. The Mercatus Center's Financial Markets Working Group will lead the effort to inform forthcoming policy debates with rigorous economic analysis and through credible academic research.

In this, the Group’s inaugural event for Congressional and Agency staffers, our scholars will provide background and discuss many of the issues currently being debated in Congress, such as:

  • How are economists viewing the overall situation unraveling in the financial markets? What unique perspective can academics bring to the table?
  • What roll have credit default swaps and derivatives played in the current financial crisis? Is there a role for federal intervention in this arena?
  • Is mark-to-market accounting a viable option in times of crisis? What different accounting standards could have helped facilitate financial transactions?
  • What have we learned from the fallout of the subprime meltdown? How have bankruptcy and consumer lending regulations performed in this stressful climate?