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    As Fed Tapers, More Central Bank Independence Needed

    This week finance ministers and central bank officials from around the world will converge on Washington for the spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Discussions of monetary policy normalization are leading this year’s expansive schedule. One notable item missing from the agenda is discussion of … More

    9 Things Janet Yellen Tried to Say Carefully as the Dow Plunged

    Janet Yellen appeared to emerge with her confidence intact this afternoon after her first press conference as chairman of the Federal Reserve. However, stock markets dropped sharply when, as head of the nation’s central bank, she said the Fed may begin to raise interest rates “six months” after the final … More

    Obamacare Is Already Reducing Employment

    Employers are responding to the uncertainty of the Obamacare rollout by slashing hours and limiting their new hires. Although the Obamacare employer mandate will not take effect until next year, employee health insurance premiums have already skyrocketed. And surveys report that many business owners are making changes based on Obamacare … More

    Amid Woes, Emerging Markets Need More Economic Freedom

    Global markets are huffing and puffing and trying to blow the BRICs down. Some of the BRICs—Brazil, India, and China in particular, along with other emerging markets such as Turkey—are feeling the pinch as their economies weaken and currencies slide. This week, central bankers from Turkey and Brazil are considering … More

    Sorry, Janet Yellen, We Can’t Spend Our Way to Prosperity

    In spite of aggressive expansionary Federal Reserve policies and several rounds of fiscal stimulus since 2007, the U.S. economy has yet to take off. Nonetheless, some officials are refusing to give up and even explaining to the public exactly how these Keynesian stimulus policies will (eventually) work. In a Time … More

    The Fed at 100: Why Do We Have a Central Bank?

    The Federal Reserve, the U.S. central bank, is surrounded by as much controversy today as it was at its creation 100 years ago. The Fed has never been short on critics, but the anti-Fed movement has even gained traction inside Congress, according to a recent National Journal article. The Fed’s … More

    Economy Still Growing Too Slowly

    The Bureau of Economic Analysis’s (BEA) first estimate of economic growth for the third quarter of this year shows an economy that continues to grow at a plodding pace. According to BEA, the economy grew at 2.8 percent from July 1 through September 30. This was slightly faster than the … More

    Proof That Obamacare Is Hurting the Economy

    Today’s jobs report shows the labor market recovery remains weak—and businesses are telling the Federal Reserve one of the main reasons is Obamacare. Last week’s Federal Reserve Beige Book includes direct references to the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) causing employers not to hire workers. The Beige Book “summarizes comments … More

    Next Fed Chairman: Independence Is Paramount

    Larry Summers withdrew his name from consideration for the next chairmanship of the Federal Reserve. The office currently occupied by Ben Bernanke wields enormous power over short-run economic changes. Poor decisions at the Fed can cause recessions or boost markets briefly. For that reason, the most important feature of the … More

    Emerging Markets Have Caught a “Fed Cold”

    Stock prices and exchange rates in emerging markets such as India and Indonesia are taking a beating this week. The immediate cause is that the Federal Reserve just might reduce the gigantic amount of stimulus it’s been applying to the world economy. What’s really on display is the failure of … More