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.
Defense Spending, National Security, and the War on Terrorism
Featuring Charles V. Peña, Cato Institute; Stanley Weiss, Business Executives for National Security; Winslow Wheeler, Author, Wastrels of Defense; and moderated by Christopher Preble, Cato Institute.
The fiscal year 2005 defense budget is more than $400 billion, a seven percent increase over the FY04 defense budget. The administration argues that the increased military spending is necessary for the war on terrorism. The Defense Department projects its budget to grow to more than $487 billion in FY09. Is that sum necessary for U.S. national security and to fight the war on terrorism? How much of the defense budget is wasted on nonessential projects? How can defense spending be better allocated? With the defense budget comprising nearly half of all government discretionary spending, and with U.S. defense spending projected to eclipse what the other nations of the world combined spend on defense before the end of this decade, can the United States sustain such high levels of defense expenditures?