The roots of the 2007–2008 financial crisis go back several decades. Could the catastrophe have been prevented? In this study, economist Arnold Kling presents a short but thorough history of financial markets and regulations as they pertain to the crisis. He looks at the role that housing policy, capital regulation, industry structure, innovation, and monetary policy played in creating the bad bets, excessive leverage, domino effects, and 21st-century bank runs that characterized the crisis. This study contextualizes the different factors that led to the crisis, draws meaningful lessons for anyone who wants to understand how the financial crisis came into being, why its impact was so devastating, and what policymakers should be thinking about as they redesign the financial regulatory system.