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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 March 3, 2010 / 17 Adar 5770

Placing Our Faith in Economic Oracles

By Tony Blankley




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the sadder categories in the history of human misfortunes is the list of those things that are obvious, but wrong. By definition, if something is obvious, most people agree with it, and thus, it is likely to win the day — but lose the verdict of history. The Earth is flat — obviously. The sun rotates around the Earth — obviously. What we need is a financial systemic-risk regulator who can spot an impending systemic financial risk — and stop it. Obviously?


Unfortunately, save for a few Republican senators and outside experts, it is obvious to most of official Washington that, as Sen. Christopher J. Dodd's Banking Committee gets ready to mark up the financial regulation bill, only the form that a financial systemic-risk regulator should take is seriously in dispute.


What could be more obvious than the lamentable fact that the economic crisis occurred because our regulatory mechanisms failed in 2007-08 to spot the impending financial crash? And that the failure occurred because no one was looking at the entire financial system — only individual pieces of it? If some regulatory body had been looking at the entire system, the danger could have been spotted and corrected. So, obviously we need a systemic-risk regulator.


But what do we mean by systemic? All American banks? All American financial transactions? All economic activity in America? No, in a globalized economy, the system in question is the entirety of global financial activity — and all other economic activity that might affect financial decisions. In other words, the system is the entire global economy. My, my, that is a lot even for a building full of Ivy League economists to fully comprehend. If they could, they would be in business making trillions of dollars.

Letter from JWR publisher


For instance, Iceland had a systemic crisis last year because some loan officers in Florida and elsewhere authorized loans to unqualified borrowers, and then thousands of such loans were bundled together by Wall Street investment banks and sold as reliable investments to banks all over the world — thus starting a process that undermined Icelandic banks.


The next systemic financial crisis might happen because the Chinese Communist Party decides — for geopolitical rather than financial reasons — to order the immediate sale of all China's U.S. Treasury notes. Or perhaps it will be caused by Britain getting into — and losing — a war with Argentina over oil in the Falkland Islands that results in the collapse of the British pound, which reverberates around the financial world.


Or, to be more prosaic, the next systemic failure may result from a failure to recognize that what looked like a healthy increase in the value of information technology stocks, or real estate, or green technology stocks was really a bubble — which burst.


Or perhaps the next systemic failure will result from American banks being too cautious in their loan policies, resulting in a slow-motion collapse of small business — which usually creates about two-thirds of all new jobs — thus causing so many bankruptcies and skyrocketing unemployment that most American banks fail also.


Or perhaps hedge funds will be so closely regulated that their investments yield less than 8 percent — resulting in their primary clients — pension funds — not being able to deliver the full, guaranteed value of pensions to 50 million retired people. The resulting national panic might cause a systemic crisis of confidence in our economic system, followed by riots and economic collapse.


How likely is it that the 300 statisticians and economists working for the new systemic-risk regulator would catch any of these — or an infinite number of other — possible systemic risks? Well, you might say, we wouldn't be worse off than we are now — so it's worth the effort.


But the purpose of the proposed systemic-risk regulator is not only to spot the impending systemic risk — but to intervene to prevent it from happening. Consider the power such a regulator would have. Consider that the existence of such a regulator would increase moral hazard — as it would be assumed that if the systemic regulator isn't warning of danger, market players would be more likely to assume risk is low. And consider the consequences of using such power mistakenly.


For example, let's say the regulator spots what he believes is a dangerous national real estate bubble. He acts quickly to snuff it out by raising interest rates or requiring minimum 40 percent down payments or some other intervention. What was a booming economy with 3 percent unemployment turns into a hard recession with 8 percent to 10 percent unemployment.


But later it is determined that it was not a bubble, but rather the beginning of what would have been a steady, healthy increase in value. Imagine if such a regulator had existed in 1955 and snuffed out the great post-World War II expansion that made America a prosperous middle-class nation of homeowners in suburbia rather than poorer renters in the city.


It is not given to the smartest people in the world the capacity to see the future, to discern with sufficient precision the details of the moment that cause the critical consequences in the future.


But it certainly is the lamentable history of man that we have the power to screw things up all the time. Remember the vaunted Japanese industrial policy of the 1970s that was going to permit Japan to shrewdly dominate the economic world over us hapless free-market countries with no governmental power to identify the industries of tomorrow?


In the end, the call for a systemic-risk regulator is yet another futile expression of faith in the power of government to outthink the markets. It is another foolish bet on bureaucrats and politicians in a tightly regulated economy being more likely to bring prosperity than free businessmen, investors and consumers in a free market. It is the biggest sucker bet in history: a bet on tyranny over liberty.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2010, Creators Syndicate

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