An Austrian Perspective on the Great Recession 2008-2009
The Great Recession has been, at least in the US, arguably the worst recession since World War II. It has been variously blamed on greed, irrationality, and other supposed failures of capitalism. In this talk, Prof Horwitz will offer an Austrian perspective on the Great Recession, focusing on the role of the Fed in generating the excess credit that fuelled the boom, and the misguided US housing policies in channelling that credit into housing markets and mortgage-backed securities. He will touch on the ways in which these features of the boom have made it much harder for us to recover once we hit the bust. He will conclude with some thoughts about why expansionary fiscal and monetary policy is not the path to recovery.
Steven Horwitz is Charles A Dana Professor of Economics at St Lawrence University in Canton, NY and an Affiliated Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center in Arlington, VA. He is the author of two books, Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective (Routledge, 2000) and Monetary Evolution, Free Banking, and Economic Order (Westview, 1992), and he has written extensively on Austrian economics, Hayekian political economy, monetary theory and history, and the economics and social theory of gender and the family. His work has been published in professional journals such as History of Political Economy, Southern Economic Journal, and The Cambridge Journal of Economics. He has also done public policy research for the Mercatus Center, Heartland Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, and the Cato Institute, with his most recent work being on the role of Wal-Mart and other big box stores in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Prof Horwitz serves as the book review editor of the Review of Austrian Economics and is a contributing editor of The Freeman, where he also has a weekly online column. He has a PhD in Economics from George Mason University and an AB in Economics and Philosophy from The University of Michigan. He is currently working on a book on classical liberalism and the family.
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