Unconventional monetary policy—characterized by “zero interest rate policy” (ZIRP) and “quantitative easing” (QE), along with macro-prudential regulation—has increased the power of central banks in the United States, Japan, and Europe. In the new issue of Cato Journal, contributors revisit the thinking behind unconventional monetary policy and the “new monetary framework,” make the case for transparent monetary rules versus foggy discretion, and point to the distortions generated by ultra-low interest rates and preferential credit allocation.
When the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in 2005, Denmark found itself at the center of a global battle about the freedom of speech. The paper’s culture editor, Flemming Rose, defended the decision to print the 12 drawings, and he quickly came to play a central part in the debate about the limitations to freedom of speech in the 21st century. In The Tyranny of Silence, Flemming Rose provides a personal account of an event that has shaped the debate about what it means to be a citizen in a democracy and how to coexist in a world that is increasingly multicultural, multireligious, and multiethnic.
The Cato Institute has released its 2015 Annual Report, which documents a dynamic year of growth and productivity. The thousands of individuals who contribute to Cato are passionate about freedom and committed to ensuring that future generations enjoy the blessings of liberty, unencumbered by an overreaching state that seeks to control their lives. This is Cato’s optimistic vision for the future, and it would be unimaginable without the Institute’s longstanding partnership with its Sponsors. We will continue our diligence and dedication to seeing this vision realized.
Ashcroft’s U-Turn: Suing Big Tobacco for a Quarter-Trillion Bucks
Featuring Matthew Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids; William B. Schultz, Partner, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP; Robert A. Levy, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute; and Kenneth N. Bass, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis.
Ten months after the tobacco giants and the states settled their differences for a skimpy $246 billion, the federal government decided that it wanted a piece of the pie. So the Clinton Justice Department filed suit, alleging that industry executives conspired to lie about their product, manipulate nicotine content, and target kids with cigarette ads. Then the Republicans took over. Attorney General John Ashcroft, who opposed the suit as a senator, was reluctant to fund litigation that he deemed too weak for trial. But he’s changed his mind. In an astonishing about-face, the Justice Department has now decided to seek an additional $289 billion in damages, with a trial planned for next year if the industry doesn’t cave. Why the reversal? Is the multi-billion-dollar pot just too enticing for the cash-strapped feds? Or is there a real need for one more round in the government’s anti-tobacco campaign? Please join us for a vigorous debate on health, public policy, and the rule of law.