Rand Paul Likens Fed to Soviet Politburo After Interest Rate Increase

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced that it was raising interest rates for the first time in seven years. Surprisingly, longtime critic of zero interest rates Senator Rand Paul skipped the expected sigh of relief, instead expanding his criticism of the Federal Reserve’s role in setting the value of money: “Is it a good thing or a bad thing to raise the interest rate?” Paul asked. “Well, I’m kind of agnostic on it. It’s kind of like if you ask me: All right, should the Politburo raise the price of bread or lower the price of bread? I like both

BBC Asks Why Americans Distrust the Federal Reserve

The debate over monetary policy has started to spill over into foreign media. In an article Monday, the BBC noted voters’ negative outlook on the Federal Reserve: Just a third of Americans felt the Fed was doing a good or excellent job, according to the last Gallup poll to check on the bank’s popularity. The only US federal agency with a consistently lower approval rating was the IRS, the Internal Revenue Service or tax collector. BBC also noted a high (74 percent) support for auditing the central bank and tried to examine why the Fed has become so unpopular since

Poll Shows Americans Agree With J.K. Rowling: Voldemort Could Take Trump

When BBC Newsbeat tweeted that people were starting to compare GOP front runner Donald Trump with the wizarding world’s greatest villain, Dark Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling leapt to defend him…Voldemort, that is: How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad. https://t.co/hFO0XmOpPH — J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 8, 2015 Let’s leave aside for a moment the fact that comparing Donald Trump, abrasive as he is, to a homicidal maniac who advocates the genocide of all Muggles isn’t exactly apples to apples. Does she have a point about Trump being less well regarded than the Dark Lord? A Washington

Forbes Defends Cruz on Gold Against NYT

Steve Forbes explains how The New York Times just doesn’t understand the gold debate and misfires in attacking Ted Cruz: The New York Times recently ran an article trashing the idea of a return to a gold standard. A growing number of Republicans, including presidential hopeful Senator Ted Cruz, advocate fixing the value of the dollar to gold. If the purpose of the Times story was to discredit such a possibility before it gained any more momentum, it failed. The piece is actually useful in that it encapsulates some of the egregious myths, misunderstandings and just plain ignorance of what

Cruz Questions Yellen on Fed Policy

Ralph, you noted this first, but this New York Sun editorial is worth a closer look. In a glowing column Friday, the Sun praised Ted Cruz for his astute questioning of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in last week’s Joint Economic Committee hearing, and in particular for focusing on the effectiveness of having a monetary rule verses current Fed policy: The key question Mr. Cruz asked is whether Mrs. Yellen agrees with her predecessor Paul Volcker that the absence of a cooperatively managed rules-based monetary system has not been a great success. Mr. Volcker offered that assessment in a speech

Rand Paul Rips Federal Reserve, Says Shrinking Dollar Hurts Poor

Rand Paul criticized Bernie Sanders for his “free college” plan Wednesday, pointing out that the money had to come from somewhere and predicting it would be from either taxpayers or the Federal Reserve.  Paul then pivoted to criticize the Fed’s monetary policy, saying that the falling value of the dollar and rising prices hurt the poor more than anyone else.  His full comments are below (starts around 1:10): Somebody’s got to pay. The education will not be free. The professors will be paid; the buildings will be built; there’ll be electricity; there’ll be heat. There is an expense. Somebody will

Fed Responds to Critiques by Trying to Curb Own Power

The Federal Reserve announced Monday that it is scaling back its controversial bailout authority in the latest sign that increasing congressional scrutiny is making Fed officials nervous. The move by the central bank seeks to reduce the impression that the Fed shows favoritism when bailing out financial industries, as some have alleged happened in the 2008 cases of AIG and Bear Sterns: From now on, the Fed would be prevented from extending assistance to a single bank or insurer. Any emergency lending would instead need to be broad-based and addressed to the wider financial system, a response to worries that

Cruz Surge Sets Off Panic in Congress

Ted Cruz’s strong showing in recent polls is provoking an interesting response from his colleagues in the Senate.  The more success he shows, the more people line up behind his rival for the nomination, Marco Rubio: Senior Republican senators who’ve clashed with Cruz for years have had nothing but nice things to say about Rubio even as he’s dissed — and largely ditched — his day job in the Capitol. Just this month, Rubio has racked up endorsements from nine members of Congress, compared with two for early GOP front-runner Jeb Bush. More House endorsements for Rubio are set to

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