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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Monetary morphine

By George Will



JewishWorldReview.com | KANSAS CITY, Mo.— Fortunately, not everything is up to date in Kansas City. Esther George, president of the regional Federal Reserve Bank here, is refreshingly retrograde regarding what less circumspect people welcome as the modernizing of the nation’s central bank into a central economic planner. She has concerns, both prudential and philosophical, about the transformation of the Fed in ways that erase the distinction between monetary policy, which is the Fed’s proper business, and fiscal policy, which is inherently political.

The basic interest rate — i.e., the federal funds rate minus the inflation rate — was negative during about 40 percent of the disastrous 1970s and the 2000s, which ended disastrously. Because today’s rate is negative, the Fed’s stimulus repertoire is reduced to “quantitative easing.” That phrase, which is how government speaks when trying not to be understood, means printing money. Except printing is so 20th century. Nowadays, the Fed gives banks digital transfusions of money to lower long-term interest rates, which result in . . .

Not much bang for trillions of bucks. With corporations holding upward of $2 trillion in cash, and 30-year mortgages at 3.5 percent, George, speaking several weeks before this week’s meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, asked: “Is there anyone not borrowing today or purchasing a house because interest rates aren’t low enough? Do we expect that businesses will hire if their long-term rates are lower?”



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Very low interest rates discourage saving, punish retirees living off interest-bearing assets and, George says, “incent people into riskier assets.” These include commodities, farm land (for the first time on record, prices of cropland in George’s district have risen more than 20 percent for two consecutive years) and equities. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke evidently thinks that driving up the stock market will quicken the animal spirits of the affluent 20 percent who own 93 percent of equities, and this “wealth effect” will spur economic activity, eventually benefiting others. So, the interest rates Barack Obama favors are a form of the trickle-down economics he execrates.

Richard W. Fisher, George’s counterpart at the Dallas regional Fed, is “perplexed” by Wall Street’s “preoccupation, bordering upon fetish” concerning a possible third round of qualitative easing, or QE3. Financiers “have become hooked on the monetary morphine we provided when we performed massive reconstructive surgery” during the 2008-09 panic. However, “monetary policy provides the fuel” for America’s economy and “we have filled the gas tank and then some.”

George considers the Fed’s dual mandate — “stable prices” and “maximum employment” — “redundant”: Achieving the former is the best thing the Fed can do for the latter. James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Fed, seems to agree. Monetary policy, George acknowledges, is “a blunt tool.” Its bluntness is, however, a virtue if it discourages the folly of trying to fine-tune the economy.

“People,” George says, “will figure out a way to make a buck if they know what the rules are.” Investing — including hiring, which is investing in employees — is a wager on the future. Fidgety government makes the future unnecessarily opaque. Stanford’s John Taylor notes that “over the past 12 years, the number of provisions of the tax code expiring annually has increased tenfold,” the number of federal regulators has grown 25 percent in five years, and Obamacare and Dodd-Frank expand uncertainty by enlarging the government’s discretion.

Uncertainty is exacerbated by the Fed’s exercise of its vast discretion, including QE1, QE2 and, perhaps soon, QE3 (or QE5, including two “twists” also aimed at lowering borrowing costs). Bernanke, who promises more “policy accommodation” to support the economic recovery, is inadvertently vindicating Milton Friedman’s belief that “the stock of money [should] be increased at a fixed rate year-in and year-out without any variation in the rate of increase to meet cyclical needs.”

When the independent Fed buys bonds to affect short-term economic stimulus by manipulating long-term interest rates, this is less monetary policy than fiscal policy, which is the business of an accountable Congress. It also is a preposterous arrogation by the Fed of a role as the economy’s central planner, a role beyond the Fed’s — or anyone else’s — competence, and incompatible with its independence.

Bernanke’s term ends in 2014, and Mitt Romney says that he would not reappoint him. If Romney becomes president, he should appoint someone such as George, who would concentrate on protecting the currency as a store of value — restraining inflation — while reversing the recent inflation of the bank’s ambitions, which have not prevented the recovery from being dreadful and may have helped to make it so.



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