On the Opaque Structure of the Federal Reserve Bank

This short NYTimes Magazine article is one of the best explanations of the purpose behind the diffused structure of the Federal Reserve that I’ve seen. Note the reference to the “hubris” of Alan Greenspan, who this writer claims went against the tradition of the Fed by making himself a focus of attention. Here are some key excerpts: “Journalists try to personify the Fed by talking...

Wall Street’s Lack of Ethical Care: selfishness as morally normative.

From the article: “Cohn thinks it’s possible, even likely, that the causes of the 2008 financial crisis can be traced in part to this permissive culture. “All the problems that we are seeing in recent times, at least to some degree, might be supported by a norm, or by an environment, that tolerates these kinds of behaviors,” he told me. “They think it’s okay to manipulate interest rates, to...

Remarks on equality from the NYTimes philosophy blog.

Excerpt: “Extreme wealth inequality also leads to the de facto control of government by the rich (plutocracy), and so is incompatible with democracy. For this reason we need to disperse concentrated wealth through property and inheritance taxes, or even better, revise rules that allow excessive concentrations of wealth to build up in the first place. For example, stronger anti-trust regulations,...

The error of libertarianism: Rousseau on the natural dominance of the few strong

Rousseau’s thought is one of the primary influences on the Constitution, especially that found in the Social Contract. His thinking was influenced by work he did in Venice in the embassy. He reports that he had a superior who treated him unjustly for years. When he returned to Paris and attempted to have him reprimanded, he got nowhere. This led him to write the following remark in The Confessions: ...

Some remarks on the confused thinking of libertarians and adherents of Ayn Rand.

Remarks by Terence Hoyt. Laissez-faire proponents, e.g. Ayn Rand followers and libertarians and the Tea Party overall, ignore the distinction entailed in the concept of “basic economic needs”. As with all ideologues, they transform various practical notions into deep moral values. In this case, they fetishize the concept of economic freedom and liberty, transforming freedom from a basic arrangement...

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