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    Points to Ponder as the Fed Gathers

    The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee meets today in the face of tremendous economic uncertainty. In light of last week’s dismal jobs report and related evidence of a faltering recovery, markets are looking for signs as to what the Fed might say and do. It’s widely expected that the Fed … More

    Are Spring Doves Flocking to the Fed?

    The White House has indicated it intends to nominate San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Janet Yellen as Vice-Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington. The White House has said the top candidates for the two remaining Board slots are the relatively unknown attorney Sarah Raskin, Maryland’s Commissioner on … More

    In the Green Room: Professor Todd Zywicki on Proposed Financial Reforms

    After the panel, Professor Zywicki, a Senior Scholar of the Mercatus Center and contributor to the popular legal blog The Volokh Conspiracy, sat down with us for an “In the Green Room” segment. We talked about the problems we face if Congress enacts the CFPA, the real causes behind our current financial crisis, and what principles should undergird real financial regulatory reform. More

    Obama Jobs Deficit Hits 8.3 Million, Another No-Jobs Bill Pending in Congress

    President Obama announced a renewed focus on jobs in his State of the Union address.  His budget stated (PDF) “it is critical that we take steps to jump-start job creation”. He’s right, of course. He is also explicitly admitted the failure of last year’s $862 billion “jump-start” stimulus program.  On March 4, … More

    The Fed and Inflation, Late Again?

    Inflation is ultimately and always a monetary phenomenon.  The Federal Reserve’s extraordinary actions during the recent crisis now require executing a difficult exit strategy without short-circuiting the recovery and most especially without letting inflation get out of control.  Comments by Fed officials beginning with Chairman Ben Bernanke suggest they are … More

    The Obama-Frank Systemic Risk Plan: Some Good and a Lot of Bad

    The Treasury Department and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank have just released a highly complex 253 page draft bill that is supposed to deal with questions ranging from indentifying and dealing with systemic risk facing the financial services system, regulating and closing failing “too big to fail” financial … More

    More Bad News on Pay: Government Aims at the Wrong Target

    Not only do government wage controls not work, they usually backfire. Perhaps worse, like a lot of ill-conceived government schemes, they often punish the wrong people. The Federal Reserve yesterday announced a bank pay limits affecting every bank employee in America in (over)reaction to controversy to big bonuses at a … More

    Morning Bell: The Unaccountable Obama Czar State

    Yesterday the United States Department of the Treasury Special Master of Compensation Kenneth Feinberg announced a wage control scheme for the 175 executives of the seven companies that have received the most funds from the taxpayer funded Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). At first the Obama administration denied any involvement … More

    The Dollar: Down But Not Out

    The rumblings of the dollar’s decline are louder than usual at the moment, tied to speculation that oil producing countries are seeking to move to a basket of currencies in oil pricing, rather than using the dollar alone. There are genuine developments behind such rumblings, mostly concerning American economic policy. … More

    Bernanke Makes The Right Call On Systemic Financial Risk

    One of the larger mistakes in the Obama financial regulatory reform package was its attempt to give the Federal Reserve additional powers so that it could in theory protect the economy from risks such as the housing bubble that could endanger the entire financial system. As we have argued in … More