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Event Summary

In his new book, “Infiltrated: How to Stop the Insiders and Activists Who Are Exploiting the Financial Crisis to Control Our Lives and Our Fortunes” (McGraw-Hill, August 2013), Jay Richards argues that the popular narrative about the financial crisis — that it was caused by greed and regulatory laxity — is not only factually incorrect, but it was also written in service of an antimarket policy agenda. At an AEI book forum on Thursday afternoon, Richards discussed his book’s thesis and what he sees in the future of regulatory policy.

Drawing heavily from the work of AEI’s Peter Wallison and Ed Pinto, Richards made the case that policy reforms enacted in response to the financial crisis were based on a flawed understanding of the crisis’s causes. Furthermore, he explained how many of these policies were enacted at the behest of self-proclaimed consumer and housing activists. Richards put the financial crisis and the response to it in the context of a larger national discourse on free enterprise and corporate cronyism.

Wayne Abernathy of the American Bankers Association said Richards’s “Infiltrated” encourages a new understanding of the 2008 financial crisis in the same way that Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz’s “Monetary History of the United States” led to a fundamental rethinking of the underlying causes of the Great Depression. Mark Calabria of the Cato Institute extolled “Infiltrated” for being widely accessible and for having scholarly value, adding that it is an enjoyable read to boot.

Event Description

The 2008 financial crisis led to the worst recession in the United States since the Great Depression, increased the unemployment rate, and prompted enormous bailouts of multibillion-dollar corporations.

In his new book, “Infiltrated: How to Stop the Insiders and Activists Who Are Exploiting the Financial Crisis to Control Our Lives and Our Fortunes” (McGraw-Hill, August 2013), Jay Richards explains how a select group of activists, philanthropists, and Washington insiders laid the foundation for the economic meltdown and how they continue to exploit the financial crisis for their own gain. Richards debunks the myth that centralized financial regulation helps the poor and disenfranchised and argues that inappropriate regulation was responsible for the 2008 crisis.

Join Richards and a panel of financial experts for the first Washington, DC, discussion of Richards’s new book.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.


11:45 AM
Registration and Lunch

12:00 PM
Timothy P. Carney, AEI

12:05 PM
Jay W. Richards, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics and The Discovery Institute

12:35 PM
Wayne A. Abernathy, American Bankers Association
Mark P. Calabria, Cato Institute

1:30 PM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Janine Nichols at [email protected], 202.862.7172.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Wayne A. Abernathy joined the American Bankers Association (ABA) in February 2005 and serves as executive vice president for financial institutions policy and regulatory affairs. Abernathy oversees ABA groups that deal with policy development, regulatory and compliance issues, bank general counsels, securities and investment, derivatives policy, and risk management. Before joining ABA, Abernathy served two years as treasury assistant secretary for financial institutions under former president George W. Bush, receiving the Alexander Hamilton Award in recognition of his service. In that office, he was also a member of the board of directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. Before his work in the treasury, Abernathy served as staff director of the US Senate Banking Committee under then-chairman Phil Gramm. Abernathy’s previous experience with the Senate Banking Committee includes serving as staff director of the Subcommittee on Securities from 1995 to 1998. From 1989 to 1994, Abernathy was a Republican economist for the committee. He previously worked as a senior legislative assistant for Gramm from 1987 to 1989 and as an economist for the Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on International Finance and Monetary Policy from 1981 to 1986.

Mark A. Calabria is director of financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute. Before joining Cato in 2009, he spent seven years as a member of the senior professional staff of the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. In that position, he handled issues related to housing, mortgage finance, economics, banking, and insurance for Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL). During his service on Capitol Hill, Calabria drafted significant portions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which established a new regulatory regime for government-sponsored enterprises. Before his service on Capitol Hill, Calabria served as deputy assistant secretary for regulatory affairs at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has also held a variety of positions at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the National Association of Home Builders, and the National Association of Realtors. Calabria has also been a research associate with the US Census Bureau’s Center for Economic Studies. He is a frequent contributor to the op-ed pages of the New York Post, National Review, and Investor’s Business Daily and makes frequent appearances on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business, BBC, and BNN.

Timothy P. Carney is a visiting fellow at AEI, where he helps direct the Culture of Competition Project, examining barriers to competition in all areas of American life, from the economy to the world of ideas. Carney has over a decade of experience as a journalist covering the intersection of politics and economics. His work at AEI focuses on how to reinvigorate a competitive culture in America in which all can reap the benefits of a fair economy. Carney is the author of two books: “The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money” (John Wiley & Sons, 2006) and “Obamanomics: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses” (Regnery Publishing, 2009).

Jay W. Richards is a distinguished fellow at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, where he directs the Center of Wealth, Poverty and Morality. Richards recently edited an apologetics anthology titled “God & Evolution: Protestants, Catholics and Jews Explore Darwin’s Challenge to Faith” (Discovery Institute Press, 2010) and authored “Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem” (HarperOne, 2009). Richards has also served as the executive producer for several documentaries on free-market principles, including “The Call of the Entrepreneur” and “The Birth of Freedom.” His articles and essays have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and a variety of other publications. In 2008, Richards appeared with the late Christopher Hitchens at Stanford University in a debate moderated by Ben Stein. An experienced public speaker, Richards has appeared multiple times on “Larry King Live,” “Fox and Friends,” “Glenn Beck TV,” “C-Span Book TV,” and the “Michael Medved Show,” among other radio and television programs.

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