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September 29, 2015: The 2008 financial crisis was a major event, equivalent in its initial scope – if not its duration – to the Great Depression of the 1930s. What caused it will be debated for years. Conventional wisdom claims that the crisis was caused by Wall Street greed and insufficient regulation of the financial system. Thus, the most comprehensive financial-system regulation since the New Deal – the Dodd-Frank Act – was enacted. Peter J. Wallison, however, offers a compelling, competing narrative that contends the crisis was actually caused by government housing policies and that in reality the Dodd-Frank Act has only served to slow the recovery from the recession.

Peter J. Wallison is the Arthur F. Burns Chair in Financial Policy Studies and is co-director of AEI’s program on Financial Policy Studies and former White House counsel under President Reagan.