Line of Inquiry: John H. Cochrane on how to prevent financial crises

Nov 27, 2018

Many economists and policy makers agree the US financial system has gotten safer since the 2008-10 financial crisis. But is it safe enough? John H. Cochrane, senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and distinguished senior fellow at Chicago Booth, says what's made us safer is the obligation of banks to hold more capital—but they still don't hold enough to make us immune from crisis. Cochrane suggests offering the most well-capitalized banks a regulatory reward—namely, less regulation—and keeping the regulatory pressure on those banks that prefer to remain highly leveraged. Making banks even safer should be a priority, Cochrane says, because the next crisis may well be more severe, and more difficult to resolve.