Tag: finance

The Other Money Heist »

Sometimes fiction offers better lessons in political economy than reality.

Does Regulation Prevent Financial Fraud? »

Predictably, the Bernie Madoff financial scandal has prompted calls for stricter regulation of the investment industry, just as the collapse of the Manhattan Capital hedge fund led to calls, by the Securities and Exchange Commission and others, for new anti-fraud regulations in 2004. If those regulations reduced fraud significantly, they would seem to be...
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The Data Don’t Justify Financial-Market Panic »

As the hysteria has grown in the discussion of financial markets and related government policies, I have been puzzled by the discrepancy between the best available data and the descriptions quoted in the press—statements by financial gurus, traders, and professors, as well as by government officials. To hear these spokesmen tell the story, you’d...
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Two Unspoken Assumptions in the Credit-Crisis Debate »

In the heated, sometimes almost hysterical discussions and debates of the “credit crisis” now swirling through the press, the Internet, and the programs broadcast on radio and television, nearly everybody is making two, usually implicit assumptions: I. The volume of outstanding credit should never decline. II. If the volume of outstanding credit has declined, the government should act to reverse that...
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Metaphors Reveal the Economic Ignorance of Politicians and Journalists »

The past few weeks have been a difficult time for economic educators. Never has it been more obvious that all their efforts have been in vain. Neither the politicians nor the journalists, who have been spewing out words at a rapid rate with regard to the so-called financial crisis and the proposed financial bailout, have a...
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Bailout Will Only Worsen Federally Caused Crisis »

On the second try in a week, the $700 billion bailout (“rescue”) bill (“The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008”) was easily stampeded through the House with a vote of 263 to 171, despite public opposition. The measure strongly and eerily resembles the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), which as Independent Institute Senior Fellow Robert...
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Credit Is Flowing, Sky Is Not Falling, Don’t Panic »

In democratic societies, every great surge of the government’s size, scope, and power rests on a foundation of fear, and the present occasion is no exception. The president, the secretary of the treasury, congressional leaders, and the vultures now swarming Washington to pick the remaining flesh from the taxpayers’ bones would have us believe that unless the...
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And Now a $700 Billion Bailout »

The Bush Administration’s proposal to ram through without any deliberation a $700 billion Treasury Department, blank-check bailout of Wall Street firms is astounding and unprecedented and would increase the federal debt ceiling to an incredible $11.3 trillion. In response, Democrats have unhesitatingly joined in as is reported by the Los Angeles Times: Democratic leaders...
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