In late 2008, Dartmouth's Ken French assembled an all-star group of 15 finance and economics scholars at Squam Lake in New Hampshire to discuss what was going on and what to do about it. Their discussions continued over the succeeding months and as consensus was reached, topic by topic, a series of white papers issued forth. These findings have now been gathered together as The Squam Lake Report: Fixing the Financial System. It's concise--barely 150 pages--and crystal clear. It provides the rationale for much of what is in the bill being debated in the House-Senate conference, and points to some areas where the legislation seems likely to fall short.
Arnold Kling is not impressed. I am. If you asked me to recommend one thing to read on reforming financial regulation, this would be it.
The book was launched at a conference in New York this week. Ben Bernanke gave a speech, which is also worth a look.