Not All Banks Are Doing Badly

The Washington Post had a story on Friday pointing out that not all banks are on the verge of collapse: Many smaller banks said they were actually benefiting from the problems on Wall Street. Deposits are flowing in as customers flee riskier investments, and well-qualified borrowers are lining up for loans. “We collect money from […]

Statism 101

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is trying to seize some online casinos.   Unlike casinos that are on the land, online casinos are difficult for the government to tax.  According to Mr. Beshear,  if the tax collectors can’t get their paws on a business, then that business is a “leech” on the community.  This type of thinking comes from […]

Intervention Is Not the Answer

The current turmoil in financial markets is the result of bad government policy, particularly easy-money policy by the Federal Reserve and unsustainable subsidies to housing by Fannie and Freddie. The bailout did not address these problems. Instead, it sought to compound the problem by increasing government intervention. Ideally, politicians now will shift gears and seek […]

It’s Not a Pretty Picture

The failure of the bailout plan essentially shows the huge lack of confidence among the public that it would achieve its objectives. It also registers doubt about the government’s ability to implement it successfully. The impasse shows how blunt fiscal policy is and how inept politicians are in managing the economy. The current set of […]

Repeal the Income Tax?

The New York Times takes note of the brewing tax revolt in Massachusetts, where a grassroots group has put an initiative on the ballot to repeal the state income tax. The Times headline (on paper) reads, “On Massachusetts Ballot, a Tax Repeal That Worries Leaders.” Why does a newspaper that purports to be a check on […]

Munich All over Again (and Again, and Again)

Although it is likely to get lost amidst the brouhaha over the proposed bailout, Geoffrey Wheatcroft’s article ”‘Munich’ Shouldn’t Be Such a Dirty Word,” in the Washington Post’s Sunday Outlook section is worth reading now, and storing away for future reference. (And, in case you missed it, also revisit Justin Logan’s article on the overuse of the Munich analogy.) […]

Let Palin Be Palin

Some commentators are suggesting that the McCain campaign has panicked about Sarah Palin’s appeal, trying to cram her head with policy-wonkery and then hiding her in a closet when that didn’t work. Let Palin be Palin, they say — let her show her authentic self, the gun-totin’, family-raisin’, reformist governor that Alaskans love. Good idea. […]

Harvey Silverglate’s Libertarian Ire

Cato’s new adjunct scholar, Harvey Silverglate, is in the news again for combating political correctness on campus.  From the New York Times:  “Silverglate’s column described events at Harvard Law School, where a sexual harassment speech code was adopted after a student parody of a woman law professor sparked a huge outcry. The code prohibits speech […]

I Stand Corrected

In a blog last week, I suggested that after years of carrying water for the Bush administration’s big-government agenda, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Oh) had “suddenly found a spine” and learned to say no.    Apparently not.  Accepting little more than a fig-leaf of change, Boehner now has endorsed the president’s $700 billion bail-out of Wall […]

Our Intellectual President

Last week, a group of 192 economists signed a letter expressing concern over the Treasury Department’s proposed bailout of the financial industry.  They write: The plan is a subsidy to investors at taxpayers’ expense. Investors who took risks to earn profits must also bear the losses.  Not every business failure carries systemic risk. The government […]