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News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2012

Financing Failure: A Century of Bailouts
By Vern McKinley

Jan. 10, 2012, Washington, DC—No issue provoked more passion during the recent financial crisis than the mega-billion-dollar bailouts of major financial institutions.  The dominant rationale for the bailouts has been one of necessity and fear: federal regulatory agencies must seize more authority to respond to the crisis on Wall Street to avoid another Great Depression, and an economic catastrophe on Main Street whose magnitude could only be compared to Armageddon.  But upon further review, and after hundreds of billions of dollars of government spending, does this rationale for the bailouts hold up?

In FINANCING FAILURE: A Century of Bailouts (January 2012), Independent Institute expert and author Vern McKinley presents the untold story of the financial crisis by examining the policy decisions behind the bailouts, and how they relate to previous bailouts of the 1930s and 1980s.  He exposes how government regulators misrepresented the truth to the American people during the mortgage and banking crisis in order to stoke public fears and manufacture a mandate for vigorous federal action.  Vern McKinley is one of the nation’s leading experts on government economic, financial, and regulatory policy.  He has offered testimony before Congress, and worked with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, FDIC, U.S. Treasury Department, and other institutions.  Vern McKinley—who is credited with correctly identifying Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as “financial time bombs” more than a decade before their implosion—reveals the truth behind TARP and the decisions made by high-ranking officials at the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Department, and FDIC.  From the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street, the American people are rightfully angry about government intervention that rewarded failure with taxpayer dollars.

Large financial firms, government bailout agencies, and politicians all claim to have “saved America” (and the world) from economic catastrophe.  In truth, however, they have done everything within their power not just to protect themselves from the disastrous consequences of their own decisions, but also to expand this unaccountable influence far further. 

Vern McKinley reveals the difficulty in uncovering these issues as government agencies have withheld the truth regarding their behavior from the public.  Vern McKinley has filed four cases in federal court to compel release of details regarding how bailout decisions were made by regulators.  Instead of honestly and openly disclosing their actions, these agencies have deliberately concealed what occurred under their watch and wrongly made it appear that their actions promoted economic stability. 

In FINANCING FAILURE, Vern McKinley also reveals the alarming connection between the bailouts of the 2000s and previous government interventions—linking the disastrous decisions of today back to policies of the 1930s.  Ultimately, he shows how history continues to repeat itself with dire results.  This history of a century of government bailouts reveals that the genesis of financial crisis is government policy itself—be it the mismanagement of monetary policy during the 1930s, chaos-inducing action by the Federal Reserve in the 1980s, or the political push to expand homeownership that helped fuel the 2000s crisis.

Vern McKinley argues that a coalition of big banks, government regulators, and politicians—supported by a credulous media—conspired to promote a crisis narrative to justify actions to protect their own interests, conceal their responsibility and complicity in the crisis, and expand their own authority.  As a result, colossal amounts of our nation’s wealth were reallocated without credible justification or transparency.  After a century of failed bailouts, why should the American people trust that the Dodd-Frank financial “reforms” will not result in another episode of fear mongering, demands for more government authority, and economic catastrophe?

More than three years following the government bailouts and takeovers of private industry, America’s economy has not recovered: unemployment remains high, the national debt continues to skyrocket, our credit rating has been downgraded, the housing market remains in shambles, the stock market is volatile, and debt crises abroad threaten to compound our own economic woes.  Vern McKinley’s painstakingly researched and clear-headed analysis of bailouts and government intervention shows that the American public has accepted too many official pronouncements at face value, and that reining in the federal regulators is a necessary step toward truly promoting the safety and soundness of our financial system.

To arrange an interview with Financing Failure author Vern McKinley, please contact Lindsay Boyd at 202.725.7722 or lboyd@independent.org.

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