To the Editor:
Hyman Minsky is featured in Randall W. Forsyth’s “Musk’s Buyout Plan May Signal Market Woes Ahead,”(Up & Down Wall Street, Aug. 11). About Hy, who was a good friend of mine and from whom I learned a lot, Forsyth says that his “insights were rediscovered after the financial crisis,” meaning the crisis of 2007-09. That is true, but Hy was previously rediscovered in the financial crises of the 1990s, and before that was discovered during the financial crises of the 1980s. The popularity of his ideas is a coincident indicator of financial stress.

Hy’s most important insight, in my opinion, is that the buildup of financial fragility is endogenous, arising from the intrinsic development of the financial system, not from some “shock” that comes from outside. I believe this key contribution to understanding credit cycles can be improved by adding that “the financial system” includes within itself all of the financial regulators, central banks, and governments. All are within the system; no one is outside it, looking down. They all are part of the endogenous process that generates the crises, which periodically cause Hy Minsky to be rediscovered again.

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