It’s easy to explain why financial markets like the bail-out – it’s a big transfer from tax-payers to investors. But Arnold points out that the market liked Nixon’s price controls, too: “In 1971, the market gave a huge thumbs-up to wage and price controls, which turned out to have damaging economic effects that persisted for years.”

That’s harder to explain. Do financial markets generally respond positively to overall price controls? Was this a fluke? Were the price controls less bad than expected? Do price controls indirectly transfer income to investors? Or what?