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The Unfolding Fiscal Disaster Behind ACA Enrollment Figures

Charles Blahous | 04/17/2014

Earlier this month there was tremendous press attention to new data indicating that enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s health insurance exchanges had surpassed 7 million. The White House took a victory lap while much of the press, desperate to write something positive after months of reporting Read more...

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Making Central Banks More Resistant to Political Pressures and Fads

Charles W. Calomiris | April 14, 2014

This paper was presented April 13, 2014 at the International Monetary Fund’s Spring 2014 Meetings, in the session entitled “Can or Should Central Banks Remain Fully Independent Despite a Wider Mandate and Considerable Fiscal Pressure?”

Over the first 100 years of Federal Reserve System history, the United States enjoyed both price stability and the absence of banking crises in only about a quarter of those years. Allan Meltzer’s (2003, 2009, 2010) three volume history of the Fed (and the voluminous literature on Fed history published before and since)[1] document that two main influences explain persistent Fed failure: politicization of Fed decisions (especially to elicit Fed assistance in accomplishing short-term fiscal or electoral objectives of the Administration), and model misspecification (reflecting the limits of Fed knowledge about the economy).

Recent Monetary Policy and the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level

Bennett T. McCallum | March 17, 2014

The policy actions taken by the Federal Reserve over the past six years have left the United States in an unusual condition that has led some prominent economists to suggest that the messages provided by the “Fiscal Theory of the Price Level” (henceforth, FTPL) will be of crucial importance in the near future.  The most prominent of these writings, arguably, has been a major piece by Christopher Sims in the April 2013 issue of the American Economic Review.

Has the Federal Reserve Learned to be an Effective Lender of Last Resort in its First One Hundred Years?

Michael D. Bordo | March 17, 2014


The Federal Reserve was established a century ago in large part to serve as a lender of last resort to allay the financial instability of the National banking era and especially to avoid panics like that of 1907. Other advanced countries had long established central banks and they, especially the Bank of England had learned to act as LLR by adopting Walter Bagehot’s rules. In simplest terms what is commonly known today as Bagehot’s Rule is to “Lend freely at a penalty rate”. To be more exact Bagehot had a number of strictures (Humphrey 1975, Bordo 1990);


Economics21 Event with Vanderbilt University Professor Brian Fitzpatrick and Center for Class Action Fairness Founder & President Ted Frank. 

The Spring 2014 Shadow Open Market Committee Meeting featured six papers and a presentation by Martin Feldstein, the George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University and President Emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Discussion centered around the future of the...

City Journal associate editor Matthew Hennessey and Jared Meyer, policy analyst at Economics21, discuss movie tax credits.