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.
Playing Monopoly with the Devil: Dollarization and Domestic Currencies in Developing Countries
Featuring the author, Manuel Hinds, former minister of finance of El Salvador; with comments by Steve Hanke, Professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, and Senior Fellow, Cato Institute.
Poor countries should not forgo the benefits of dollarizing their economies in the name of having a currency they can call their own. Manuel Hinds, an architect of El Salvador’s dollarization, will challenge conventional thinking about monetary sovereignty and optimal currency areas. The sorry record of central banks in developing countries is not the only reason to favor the use of a hard currency. Without an internationally tradable currency, developing countries are walled off from the globalized financial system, thus raising the cost of business and increasing risk and uncertainty in the economy. Steve Hanke will discuss how the book’s insights relate to currency experiences in countries as diverse as Ecuador and Montenegro.