October 29, 2008 9:29PM

Today at Cato

By Cato Editors

Article: “Nuclear Energy: Risky Business,” by Jerry Taylor in Reason Magazine

Nuclear energy is to the Right what solar energy is to the Left: Religious devotion in practice, a wonderful technology in theory, but an economic white elephant in fact (some crossovers on both sides notwithstanding). When the day comes that the electricity from solar or nuclear power plants is worth more than the costs associated with generating it, I will be as happy as the next Greenpeace member (in the case of the former) or MIT graduate (in the case of the latter) to support either technology. But that day is not on the horizon and government policies can’t accelerate the economic clock.

Op‐​Ed: “Banking Crises: Plus Ça Change,” by Steve H. Hanke in Globe Asia

Banking crises are all too common. They are also costly. The potential cost of the most recent bail‐​out package in the United States is a staggering $2.25 trillion. That’s 16% of GDP. Compared to the actual bail‐​out costs following Indonesia’s banking crisis of 1997–98, the US figure is small change. Indeed, Indonesia’s bail out costs amounted to 40% of GDP.

The most shocking thing about banking crises is that few lessons are learned.

Article: “Mark to Market Accounting – What Are the Issues?” by Warren Coats for Cato​.org

A number of respected people have blamed accounting rules for much of the current financial crisis. “Fair value” or “mark to market” accounting aims to present a more accurate picture of a bank’s condition and should not be abandoned.

Article: “Global Warming Fantasies Meet Financial Contraction” by Patrick J. MIchaels for Cato​.org

Legislation proposed by both John McCain and Barack Obama will require that the cost of energy to become so high that people will avoid using it. The serious question is: why would we do this in the current economic environment?

Podcast: “Housing Boom, Bust and an Artificial Shortage” featuring Randal O’Toole.