The Mercatus Center at George Mason University has been doing a fine job of chronicling the details of financial services regulation following the 2008 crisis. See, in particular, the research of the seventeen members of its Financial Markets Working Group.
Today Mercatus announced that two of its scholars, Hester Peirce and James Broughel, have edited a new book on Dodd-Frank, “the largest and most complex piece of financial services legislation in American history.” Check out Dodd Frank: What It Does and Why It’s Flawed (available on Amazon here; I immediately ordered a copy).
The Mercatus scholars writing on financial services consistently outline the costs and benefits of proposed and actual regulations, never forgetting Bastiat’s lesson that the difference between a good economist and a bad one is that the bad economist confines himself to the visible effects of a policy while the good economist considers both the effects that can be seen and those that must be foreseen.
They also understand political economy. See, for example, this paper by Adam Smith, Richard E. Wagner and Bruce Yandle, “A Theory of Entangled Political Economy, with Application to TARP and NRA.” The authors argue that crisis is a systemic feature of a political economy in which markets and polities are not meaningfully separate but are, instead, deeply entangled. The result is that reform is hard to achieve and likely requires constitutional-level realignment.
Ed and I will be writing more about the political economy of reform, especially as it pertains to financial services.
(full disclosure: Mercatus provided my scholarship to study economics at George Mason, a rather long time ago. I am most grateful for the life-changing intellectual experience.)