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The Squam Lake Report: Fifteen Economists In Search Of Financial Reform

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Executive Summary

The Squam Lake Report is a volume by economists for economists. It offers the fruits of the labors of 15 top economists who met at Squam Lake, New Hampshire, to discuss financial reform. While somewhat disjointed, and avoiding many important issues, the book is nonetheless a tour du force. Its many recommendations derive from two basic principles: that reformers need to think systemically, and that third-party costs stemming from systemic risk need to be internalized. And its approach is just what you would expect from a group of academic economists. It asks (and answers) questions like: Where did incentives go wrong? What were the sources of market failure? How can we better protect society against negative externalities?

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