Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cato Institute challenging Federal Reserve

Libertarian Think Tank is Spoiling for a Fight with the Fed - Real Time Economics - Wall Street Journal - Ben Leubsdorf:

October 20, 2014 - "The Cato Institute has some bones to pick with the Federal Reserve.

"The Washington libertarian think tank this week will launch a new Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives. Its goal: challenge the central bank’s policies and explore alternative ways to manage the U.S. money supply, including but not limited to a return to the gold standard.

"'I think we can do better than the Federal Reserve,' said George Selgin, the center’s director and a former economics professor at the University of Georgia. 'We should be exploring how to do better. We should be exploring alternatives that could do better, instead of dismissing that entire inquiry as something that should be only of interest to people on the fringe.'

"The new center is the latest manifestation of growing public and academic attention on the Fed and central banking after the 2008 financial crisis.... The Fed’s extraordinary actions in recent years – helping rescue large financial firms, pinning interest rates at zero for nearly six years and counting, three rounds of bond-buying aimed at stimulating economic recovery – remain controversial.

"Critics have variously accused the Fed of bailing out fat-cat Wall Street bankers, harming Americans who rely on interest from their savings, distorting the flows of the free market, failing to generate sustainable economic growth and flirting with out-of-control inflation and a debased currency. Defenders say the Fed’s policies prevented the crisis from escalating into a financial catastrophe, helped stabilize the financial system and helped nurture a fitful recovery, and they note inflation remains low and the dollar strong.

Read more: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/10/20/libertarian-think-tank-is-spoiling-for-a-fight-with-the-fed/
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