Financial crises always start the same way. Loose monetary policy leads to an increase in debt and a rise in risk-taking. Overconfident financiers, lax regulators and politicians desperate to please voters operate in this toxic environment until a bubble eventually bursts, taking the financial system down with it. I am not saying we are heading for this fate in the very near future. But it is worth noting that this coming week the US Congress may very well pass a bill to roll back the post-financial crisis era Dodd-Frank reforms. This is happening at a time when interest rates have been at historic lows for nearly 10 years, public and private debt is at record levels, consumer debt loads and subprime defaults are rising and politicians are looking to throw a bit more kerosene on the economy to seduce voters in the run-up to November’s midterm elections. The bill, authored by Mike Crapo, the Republican head of the Senate banking committee, is being couched as a way to reduce onerous ...

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