Academic journal article The Cato Journal

Editor's Note

Academic journal article The Cato Journal

Editor's Note

Article excerpt

This issue of the Cato Journal features the papers from Cato's 30th Annual Monetary Conference--Money, Markets, and Government: The Next 30 Years which was held in Washington on November 15, 2012. After 30 years, it is well to recall F. A. Hayek's advice: "All those who wish to stop the drift toward increasing government control should concentrate their effort on monetary policy."

The articles in this volume address the links between money, markets, and government, and how those links might evolve in the future. One path is to continue the present course and use discretionary central banks to monetize government debt, allocate credit, and distort interest rates. An 'alternative path is to limit the size and scope of government, adopt a rules-based monetary regime, and let free capital markets allocate credit. The choice of monetary and fiscal policy regimes will determine whether economic and social harmony spontaneously emerge or government power will continue to grow.

By studying the past, one can learn how to avoid future crises. The financial crises in the United States and Europe, and the problems that face China as it internationalizes the renminbi, deserve close attention. Lessons can be learned that can help policymakers improve monetary institutions--if political barriers to real reform can be circumvented. …

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