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 2014 Annual Report, which documents a dynamic year of growth and productivity. “Libertarianism is the philosophy of freedom,” Cato’s David Boaz writes in his book, The Libertarian Mind. “It is the indispensable framework for the future.” And as the new report demonstrates, the Cato Institute, thanks largely to the generosity of our Sponsors, is leading the charge to apply this framework across the policy spectrum.
Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit
Featuring the author Charles Calomiris, Henry Kaufman Professor of Financial Institutions, Columbia Business School; with comments by Andrew Olmem, Partner, Venable LLP; moderated by Mark Calabria, Director, Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute.
In the wake of the 2008–2009 financial crisis a pervasive view began to emerge of banking as an inherently unstable occupation that must be tightly regulated and monitored by government agencies. Charles Calomiris and co-author Stephen Haber overturn this notion by presenting an inconvenient truth: not all countries suffer systemic banking crises. Some countries have managed to create a system that provides abundant credit without the propensity for banks to fail. So what is their secret? The answer is equally simple: The well-being of a banking sector depends on the ability of political institutions to limit rent-seeking by populist groups. Join the Cato Institute for a lively discussion of the true causes of the financial crisis and whether in light of the evidence presented by the authors the antidote (Dodd-Frank) causes more problems than it solves.