Bernanke’s legacy

Barack Obama recently indicated that he is unlikely to reappoint Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve when his term expires next January. Understandably, the media is focused on who might succeed Bernanke to lead the US central bank. After all, the chairman of the Federal Reserve is often described as the second most … Read moreBernanke’s legacy

A Blatant Misuse of History

Writing nearly 40 years ago, historian Ernest R. May warned of the dangers of misusing history for policy purposes.  May was primarily concerned that policy makers drew the wrong lessons from the past. In their opinion piece in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School and an advisor to Mitt Romney, … Read moreA Blatant Misuse of History

Enforce the regulations that we already have

Republicans and Democrats are arguing over how many regulations we should add—or remove—from the financial services industry.  Before we think about altering the regulations, we should think about enforcing the ones we currently have. Ever since the sub-prime meltdown erupted during 2008, politicians on both sides of the aisle have taken aim at the rules … Read moreEnforce the regulations that we already have

Alan Meltzer’s straw “Keynesian”

Remember when “liberal” became the insult of choice among Republicans? Apparently, “Keynesian” has now taken on that status for Republican economists.  Never mind that Keynesian is ill-defined (old Keynesian?  new Keynesian?  the Keynesian part of the neoclassical synthesis?)–making Keynesian a dirty word and applying it to those with whom you disagree has become the tactic … Read moreAlan Meltzer’s straw “Keynesian”

Gary Becker and the law of the jungle

The sub-prime crisis and the ensuing economic slowdown have led many to question some widely held economic tenets, particularly the belief that unfettered markets inevitably lead to the best of all possible outcomes. Writing in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, University of Chicago economics professor and Nobel laureate Gary Becker whines about this assault on the … Read moreGary Becker and the law of the jungle

How bad does Edward Lazear need it to be?

Writing in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, Stanford professor Edward Lazear argues that the real danger to the American worker is too much government–in other words: too many taxes and too much spending. Prof. Lazear writes: During the debt-ceiling debate, President Obama characterized his push for higher taxes and less aggressive budget cuts as being helpful … Read moreHow bad does Edward Lazear need it to be?