In the wake of the bubble
Trying, but failing, to escape Pollock's Law

Bigstock/marilynv

Download the full text of this article as a PDF

The dominant financial and economic fact of 2011 is that we are still living in the wake of the great 21-st century bubble. The dominant problem with being in the wake of the bubble is that we cannot escape Pollock’s Law of Finance, which states: Loans that cannot be paid will not be paid. Because they will not be paid, the loans will default and impose losses. In the wake of a bubble, the losses are unavoidably massive. This applies both to the American housing and commercial real estate bubble, and to the European sovereign debt bubble. Because this iron law and its implications are highly unpleasant, financial actors and politicians strive mightily to escape them in spite of the fact that they cannot, with scheme after scheme. All to no avail, or course. The massive losses must ultimately be taken.

Alex J. Pollock is a resident fellow at AEI.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Alex J.
Pollock

What's new on AEI

Poverty in America—and What to Do About It
image GDP for second quarter: Strong headline, weak innards
image Paul Ryan and the emerging conservative reform agenda in higher education
image Democrats' impeachment fixation
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 28
    MON
  • 29
    TUE
  • 30
    WED
  • 31
    THU
  • 01
    FRI
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Is Medicare's future secure? The 2014 Trustees Report

Please join AEI as the chief actuary for Medicare summarizes the report’s results, followed by a panel discussion of what those spending trends are likely to mean for seniors, taxpayers, the health industry, and federal policy.

Friday, August 01, 2014 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Watergate revisited: The reforms and the reality, 40 years later

Please join us as four of Washington’s most distinguished political observers will revisit the Watergate hearings and discuss reforms that followed.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.