Banking Should Go Back to Being Boring

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2009 9:20 AM CDT
Banking became boring again following the Great Depression.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – When Paul Krugman was in grad school, nobody wanted to be a banker. Sure, it paid more than being an academic economist, but “everyone knew that banking was, well, boring,” he writes in the New York Times. That was before deregulation came into vogue in the 1980s, turning finance into an exciting and vastly lucrative business…and, incidentally, “a monster that ate the world economy.”

The last time banking was that exciting was in the high-flying, debt-laden decades ahead of the Great Depression. After that catastrophe, regulators swooped in and made banking the plodding, dependable beast it was until the 1980s’ deregulation wave. Do today’s politicians, flush with Wall Street campaign contributions, have the will to bring the boring back? “If not, the current crisis won’t be a one-time event,” says Krugman. “It will be the shape of things to come.”