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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

Can Yellen stand alone?

By George Will



JewishWorldReview.com | She who is about to become the most consequential woman in the history of American government will find it easier to be confirmed than it was to be nominated as the next chair of the Federal Reserve Board. Janet Yellen probably was the president’s second choice, but Senate Democrats demonstrated their intention and ability to reject Larry Summers.

Yellen, whose confirmation hearings are expected to begin Thursday, is suited to be the most important nomination of Barack Obama’s second term (unless there is another Supreme Court vacancy). She is experienced and accomplished, and she represents a broad swath of academic thinking about the power of monetary policy and the Fed’s proper role in wielding that power.



Yellen’s confirmation will warm the chilly heart of Wall Street, which fears “tapering” — slowing the $85 billion per month pace of buying bonds, a.k.a. printing money — even more than it seemed to fear the possibility of a default. She probably will continue, perhaps even longer than the departing Ben Bernanke would, the “quantitative easing” that is “trickle-down economics” as practiced by progressives:

Very low interest rates drive investors into equities in search of higher yields. This supposedly produces a “wealth effect” whereby the 10 percent of Americans who own about 80 percent of stocks will feel flush enough to spend and invest, causing prosperity to trickle down to the other 90 percent. The fact that the recovery, now in its fifth year, is still limping in spite of quantitative easing is, of course, considered proof of the need for more such medicine.

Easing serves two Obama goals. It enables the growth of government by deferring its costs with cheap borrowing. And it redistributes wealth: By punishing savers, it effectively transfers wealth from them to borrowers.

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Although Yellen’s convictions are honestly convenient for the current administration, members of the Senate Banking Committee should question her about what she considers appropriate — and inappropriate — relations between a Fed chair and government’s political officers. The senators should read “Inside the Nixon Administration: The Secret Diary of Arthur Burns, 1969-1974,” and “How Richard Nixon Pressured Arthur Burns: Evidence from the Nixon Tapes,” by Burton A. Abrams in the Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 2006).

Various of Burns’s diary entries begin “President called and asked me to come over,” “The meeting at Camp David,” “President telephoned.” Although the Fed chairman insisted “there was never the slightest conflict between my doing what was right for the economy and my doing what served the political interests of RN,” RN took no chances. His speechwriter William Safire, in his memoir “Before the Fall,” recounts that Nixon planted negative media stories about Burns — e.g., saying Burns was requesting a large pay increase, whereas he actually suggested a pay cut — and threatened to weaken him by expanding the Fed’s Board of Governors.

In his memoir “Six Crises,” Nixon wrote that in March 1960 Burns, then a campaign adviser, called to warn about an economic slowdown before the November election and to advocate increased defense spending to counter this. Nixon never stopped treating Burns as a political asset. Nixon aide John Ehrlichman, in his memoir “Witness to Power,” described an Oct. 23, 1969, meeting between Nixon and Burns shortly after the latter’s nomination as chairman. Nixon said:

“ ‘Arthur, I want you to come over and see me privately anytime. . . . I know there’s the myth of the autonomous Fed . . .’ Nixon barked a quick laugh. ‘. . . [A]nd when you go up for confirmation some senator may ask you about your friendship with the president. Appearances are going to be important, so you can call Ehrlichman to get messages to me, and he’ll call you.’ ”

According to Abrams, a University of Delaware economics professor, Oval Office tapes and monetary data suggest that Nixon “demanded and Arthur Burns supplied an expansionary monetary policy and a growing economy in the run-up to the 1972 election.” Nixon carried 49 states.

There is no reason to doubt Yellen’s intellectual integrity; there is reason to wonder where she thinks the autonomous Fed now fits in the government. The Fed seems to be evolving into a central economic planner with a roving commission to right social wrongs such as unemployment. About this Yellen talks with a humane passion that speaks well of her but is more suited to a political official.

There is considerable congruence between Yellen’s economic theories and the policy preferences of the Democratic liberals who secured her nomination. They probably favor quantitative easing forever and consider themselves her constituents. Is she prepared to disappoint them?

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