Now Playing at Author Johan Norberg on the Orgins of the Financial Crisis


A loose monetary policy that created lots of cheap money, government interventions into the housing market, and the hubris of Wall Street firms deemed "too big to fail" combined to send the world economy into a tailspin, argues Swedish author Johan Norberg.

Reason senior editor Michael C. Moynihan sat down with author Norberg to discuss his latest book Financial Fiasco: How America's Infatuation with Homeownership and Easy Money Created the Economic Crisis, an overview of what caused the current financial crisis (and what did not) and how politicians of all parties and all ideologies helped make the problem much worse.

Approximately 10 minutes. Shot by Meredith Bragg and Dan Hayes. Edited by Dan Hayes.

For podcast and downloadable versions of this video, click here.

NEXT: An Afghan Anniversary

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. That guy sounds like a European. Therefore, he is to be dismissed as a socialist or racist or both.

  2. The origins? The organs? Which is it, Moynihan?

  3. MELTDOWN by Thomas Woods-beat this guy to the punch by half a year!


    Did this guy predict the collapse? NO? Whaya re people taking these monetarist neolibs seriously? or are they? The Chicago school has been discredited. The only economists to predict the collapse were Roubini and the Austrians.

  5. Reason mag takes them seriously because they are desperate to blame anyone other than WallStreet, big business etc. Watch, as soon as there are enough “green shoots” you’ll see loads of stories about how the economy has improved, and those dead beats and whiners just need to work harder for less.

    1. So you didn’t listen to the interview. Your comments will have more meaning if you do.

  6. This book is quite good. I recommend it strongly along with Meltdown.

  7. Our problem was caused by the separation of risk and consequences. Lenders could make a questionable loan and then sell it right away – so they really didn’t care if the loan could be paid back by the borrower or not. In an expanding market with rising prices, this worked for a while. But, like a Ponzi scheme, the chickens eventually came home to roost. Our government set up this situation, and should not have done that, but the lenders also carry a lot of blame. They should have known better, but only cared about making a fast buck. And, of course, the borrowers share at least some of the blame as well. Some of them were probably mislead by lenders about their ability to afford the loans, and they probably weren’t educated by the lenders about the consequences of 0 down flexible payment loans that could end up with rising principle at the minimum payment level – but ignorance isn’t always a good excuse.

    1. Bob B,

      The borrowers were too stupid to recognize that they were borrowing more money than they could repay! Getting something for nothing is all they were considering!

  8. Spot on, Johan!

  9. . Our government set up this situation, and should not have done that, but the lenders also carry a lot of blame.

    Sure blame the lenders.

    Blame your lungs for breathing too.

    The Govt basically forced eveyone to be a predatory lender. I read a lot of the documentation from the 90s when the Fed and HUD and the GSEs were laying down the law that all lenders need to flood minority areas and heavily promote in the community that hte rules for lending have changed.

    THis all a Govt created disaster… they established the architencture that (like someome said above) , removed risk from trillions of dollars of loans… how monumentally stupid.

    And I’m sorta believing that this entire fucking thing was planned from the beginning so that it would blow up and destory this country.

    It’s so fantastic to think that any group of people could be so crafty, far-sighted, and able to do it.. that I really cant believe that 100% but there being this conspi4racy does make a number of things make sense.

  10. Vince, I don’t believe that humans can keep secrets well enough to pull off these large-scale conspiracies. As I said, the Government is most to blame for this – but if you get told by somebody to hold your hand over a flame for ten minutes and you do it, how much of it is your own fault?

  11. Are you serious? This guy ripped off Ron Paul and Tom Woods. He’s verbally plagiarizing in this video.

  12. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.