21 May 2009

WSJ Letter-to-the-Editor

My letter-to-the-editor was published in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal:
In "Capitalism in Crisis" (op-ed, May 7), is Judge Richard Posner's conclusion that capitalism is inherently unstable intended to be ironic? His article accurately enumerates some of the causes of the financial crisis, including the sheer presence of a government-controlled central bank and the Fed's detrimental manipulation of interest rates. To this we could add government meddling in the housing market through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the reduced lending standards imposed by government policies and programs, the government bailouts and safety nets (like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.) that encourage foolish risk-taking, etc. Judge Posner places the blame where it belongs: "not on the bankers . . . but on the government officials." What has any of this to do with capitalism? The evidence points to what should be obvious: It is not free markets that fail, but government-controlled ones.


Burgess Laughlin said...

Your letter is both effective and efficient. You raise a question, present evidence for an answer, and draw a conclusion from that evidence. Well done!

Stephen Bourque said...

Thank you, Burgess.