That is Ken Rogoff, reflecting on the 1 year anniversary of the onset of the financial crisis.
Hat-tip to Greg Mankiw.
Why is it, though, that while we agree on what the consequences are, we disagree on how: (a) the current situation arose; (b) the current situation could have avoided them; and (c) the consequences of the financial crisis can be minimized rather than exacerbated?
Rogoff, however, did point out that: "The fact is global imbalances in debt and asset prices had been building up to a crescendo for years, and had reached the point where there was no easy way out." But Rogoff doesn't suggest that this situation is the inevitable consequence of an orgy of government activism. Businessmen neither were "drunk with profit" nor collectively stupid with respect to the business activity they were engaged in. There has to be a reason why businessmen were so highly leveraged, why they took the risk positions they did, and why they put themselves in such a vulnerable position. The real trick as far as economic explanation is concerned is to explain the "cluster of errors" in the investment sector that rational actors were led into by the manipulation of money and credit.
That was the task pre-Keynesian economists set for themselves, and once we finally end the Keynesian era in macroeconomic thinking and public policy, it will be the task of the economist again.