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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 April 1, 2008 / 25 Adar II 5768

Irony on Wall Street

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There was a real irony in the recent intervention by the Federal Reserve System to provide the money that enabled the firm of JPMorgan Chase to buy Bear Stearns before it went bankrupt. The point was to try to prevent a domino effect of panic in the financial markets that could lead to a downturn in the economy.


The irony is that it was almost exactly a hundred years ago — 1907, to be exact — that the original J.P. Morgan arranged a bailout of a troubled financial institution for the same purpose of preventing a panic that could end up with the whole economy declining.


The difference is that J.P. Morgan and his fellow bankers used their own money, while the Federal Reserve System used their power to create money.


What that means is that the value of your money and my money — all Federal Reserve Notes — goes down when more Federal Reserve Notes are issued to subsidize the purchase of Bear Stearns by JPMorgan Chase.


It wasn't really a bailout because the stockholders of Bear Stearns lost their shirts. But the firm of JPMorgan Chase got money from the government to seal the deal.


In other words, we all paid to keep Bear Stearns out of bankruptcy, whether we all realize it or not. Whether that was better than the alternative is a separate question — and one whose answer may never be known.


But the big difference between this year's rescue to stabilize the financial markets and that 101 years ago is that this year's government rescue leads to demands that still more rescues — including real bailouts — should be extended to homeowners and others.


Back in 1907, nobody could demand that the original J.P. Morgan bail out more people with his own money. But whatever the government does sets a precedent and causes more special interests to demand that they get the same treatment.


There is another irony in this situation. There was no Federal Reserve System in 1907. That is why Wall Street bankers like J.P. Morgan had to do their own heavy lifting with their own money.


Somehow that did not sit right with the Progressives of that era who, like today's liberals, seemed to think that things should not be left to the market when the government can step in and make everything right.


Such thinking led in 1914 to the creation of the Federal Reserve System.


Unlike other countries, the United States had gotten along for generations without a central government bank. But President Woodrow Wilson thought that the monetary system of the country was too important to let private bankers play such a large role as J.P. Morgan had played in 1907.


Describing the Federal Reserve System created during his administration, Woodrow Wilson said: "It provides a currency which expands as it is needed and contracts when it is not needed."


The power to expand and contract the currency was "put into the hands of a public board of disinterested officers of the Government itself."


Their task was to prevent financial panics, bank failures and a catastrophic contraction of demand. It sounded wonderful — and such sounds count for a lot in politics.


In reality, however, the biggest financial panic in American history occurred under the Federal Reserve System in 1929, followed by thousands of bank failures and an unprecedented contraction of the money supply by one-third during the Great Depression of the 1930s.


There is no question that the people who run the Federal Reserve System today are a lot more knowledgeable about economics than those who ran it back in the days of the Great Depression. Indeed, the average student who has passed Economics 1 today is probably more knowledgeable than those who ran the Federal Reserve System back during the Great Depression.


Being a disinterested government official does not mean that you know what you are doing. That fact gets left out of the equation in a lot of proposals for new government programs.

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