Minor Thoughts

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.

QE3: An Example of Regulatory Capture

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The Federal Reserve Bank’s recent QE3 announcement that they will be buying $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities a month for an indefinite period of time is an excellent example of regulatory capture. Under Chairman Bernanke, the Fed has successfully pushed to increase its regulatory role over the financial industry, and Stigler’s capture theory would predict that the Fed, as a financial regulator, would act to benefit the financial industry it regulates.

In recent posts on The Beacon I have argued that the Fed’s purchases of these securities is unprecedented, that it is an example of crony capitalism, and now am arguing that it is an example of the regulatory capture that Stigler described. Just like the government’s purchase of Chevy Volts, the Fed is creating demand for a product (morgtage-backed securities) that is in weak demand, for the benefit of the industry it regulates.

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