This is an abridged version of an MIT Sloan School of Management lecture delivered online by Prof. Andrew W. Lo to students in his 15.481 class "Financial Market Dynamics and Human Behavior" on March 31, 2020.
At the height of the credit crunch in 2008, academics at the London School of Economics were infamously caught off guard when the Queen of England asked why no one saw the financial crisis coming. Now, 10 years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. on Sept. 15, 2008, economists, regulators, policymakers and finance industry insiders are asking themselves where the next financial crisis could come from, and what danger signals they should watch for, to avoid being blindsided again.
While there are several areas of potential concern, industry experts broadly do not believe a systemic collapse on the same scale of 2008 is on the horizon.
The financial system has gotten much more complex, but many financial regulations are from the 1930's and 40's, notes Andrew Lo, professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Lo helped come up with the idea for the U.S. Office of Financial Regulation, which was created by the 2010 Dodd Frank Act. Nonetheless, much of Dodd Frank is way too long and difficult for anyone to understand, Lo contends. 'That wasn't so much an update as it was a piling on of new regulations,' Lo says of Dodd Frank.
A professor of finance at MIT, Andrew W. Lo is an editor of the RSF volume Rethinking the Financial Crisis. The volume addresses important questions about the complex workings of American finance and shows how the study of economics needs to change to deepen our understanding of the financial sector.
MIT economist Andrew Lo set out to review a couple books about the financial crisis. Those books led to a couple more books, which led — you see where this is going — to 17 more books. Now, Lo is about to publish "Reading About The Financial Crisis: A 21 Book Review."
As the Greek government appears increasingly likely to default on its debt, economists are envisioning potential dire spillovers to the United States, with anxiety afflicting the financial system, making money tight and possibly tipping the American economy back into recession. MIT Sloan Professor Andrew Lo says, "We may see a number of banks go under."
As investors adjusted to a new world in which the United States government doesn't have a perfect credit rating, stocks suffered one of the worst sell-offs in history Monday, and a fresh recession seems increasingly possible. Professor Andrew Lo says: "American voters are going to realize that the political impasse has consequences that will hit them in the pocketbook."