Opposing fronts

The choice of neutral ground did nothing to lower the intensity of the exchange. The august surroundings of Trinity College, Dublin, was the setting for a heated and at times acrimonious debate between two of the world’s leading economists.1 The subject: the motivation and direction of financial regulation in the US. At times it was all the organisers could do to interrupt them to allow questions from the audience.

Enter Andrei Shleifer of Harvard. Famous for being the most cited economist in th

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