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.
The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State
Since long before the attacks of September 11, 2001, government officials have been working to devise systems that would “connect the dots” and predict the next national security incident. As recent events have shown, this goal continues to elude the national security bureaucracy. But its information-gathering capabilities continue to grow. The government can now spy on Americans with an ease that was impossible — and illegal — just a few years ago.
In his book, The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State, Shane Harris of National Journal draws on his deep reservoir of contacts with some of the most significant national security players to tell how the dream of protective government omniscience evolved from a fancy of right-wing technocrats to a cornerstone of the Obama administration’s counterterrorism policies. Join us for a discussion of the book by the author, with commentary from one of the surveillance state’s top observers and critics.