Ask Rogoff and Reinhart Questions About the History of Financial Failures

BY Business Desk  November 2, 2009 at 3:33 PM EDT

Rogoff/Reinhart book

Editor’s note: Tonight on the NewsHour, Paul sits down with economists Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, authors of a new book chronicling an incredible eight centuries of financial crises around the world, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.

The authors dug through mountains of data on every financial crisis they could uncover back to the 1300s, hoping to uncover common elements. And uncover them they did: Rapid deregulation, bubbles in real estate, and an influx of foreign savings are often tell-tale signs of a financial crisis to come.

So why didn’t we see this crisis, which Rogoff and Reinhart argue is far from extraordinary, coming before it hit? Because of another two recurring themes: Arrogance and ignorance.

Kenneth Rogoff: Ignorance that this has happened before in other places, in other countries and arrogance thinking we’re special, this time is different, we have financial globalization, we’re running our economy better.

Rogoff and Reinhart are taking viewers’ questions about past financial crises and comparisons to today. Simply leave your questions in the comments below or in the box to the right and they’ll post their answers here later this week.