Joseph Stiglitz: Why We Can't Trust Regulators To Rein In Wall Street

08/07/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Joseph Stiglitz Project Syndicate

This is important not just as a matter of history and accountability: much is being left up to regulators. And that leaves open the question: can we trust them? To me, the answer is an unambiguous no, which is why we need to "hard-wire" more of the regulatory framework. The usual approach "delegating responsibility to regulators to work out the details" will not suffice.

And that raises another question: whom can we trust? On complex economic matters, trust had been vested in bankers (after all, if they make so much money, they obviously know something!) and in regulators, who often (but not always) came from the markets. But the events of recent years have shown that bankers can make megabucks, even as they undermine the economy and impose massive losses on their own firms.

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