Failure and bailout of Banco Espírito are no surprise

The failure and bailout of Banco Espírito Santo in Portugal "is surprising," says your "Portugal Unveils Rescue for Espirito" (Money & Investing, Aug. 4), because "a few weeks ago the Bank of Portugal said the lender had enough capital." To the contrary, there is nothing in the least surprising about that. Anyone who has seen a few financial crises knows that one of their typical occurrences is for central banks and governments to offer assurances that things are all right, when in fact a disaster is approaching. Central banks and governments have strong incentives to issue such optimistic pronouncements to try to keep the game going while they scramble about trying to figure out what is happening and what to do.

Alex J. Pollock

American Enterprise Institute

Washington

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Constitution as political theory

Please join us for the third-annual Walter Berns Constitution Day Lecture as James Ceasar, Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, explores some of the Constitution’s most significant contributions to political theory, focusing on themes that have been largely unexamined in current scholarship.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 8:10 a.m. – Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 1:30 p.m.
Third international conference on housing risk: New risk measures and their applications

We invite you to join us for this year’s international conference on housing risk — cosponsored by the Collateral Risk Network and AEI International Center on Housing Risk — which will focus on new mortgage and collateral risk measures and their applications.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Speaker of the House John Boehner on resetting America’s economic foundation

Please join us as Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) delivers his five-point policy vision to reset America’s economy.

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Friday, September 19, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Reforming Medicare: What does the public think?

Please join us as a panel of distinguished experts explore the implications of the report and the consumer role in shaping the future of Medicare.

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