SEC Commissioner: We Shouldn’t Be Promoting Investor Confidence

A leading Republican regulator, SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar, said in a speech to Cato recently that the goal of the Securities and Exchange Commission should not be to “promote investor confidence,” but instead to “promote investor skepticism.” This is pretty remarkable, and it’s a scary example of a radically libertarian philosophy that could cause our financial system to melt down in a big way. It is always fascinating (not the only word that comes to mind) when people who don’t believe in government are charged with running it, especially when it comes to our country’s financial stability. The three biggest financial meltdowns of the last 100 years — the stock market crash of 1929,

Modern Conservatives Hate It’s a Wonderful Life

I wrote on Friday about the way the modern conservative movement, and the Republican party which is owned by it, have devolved into a kind of meanness unrecognizable from the classic Bob-Dole kind of conservatism I grew up knowing in the Midwest. Modern conservatism has slipped from its moral base of protecting traditional small-town and community values, and has gotten so enamored of big-business capitalism, even at its most ruthless, that it no longer cares about those community-minded folks it claims to represent. You could not get any stronger evidence of that than this new video by my colleague Lauren Windsor, where Cato director George Selgin, whom we saw last week saying bank runs are

Two Kinds of Meanness: The Modern Conservative Movement

I grew up and did my early work in politics in Nebraska, and my wife is a farmer’s daughter from rural Missouri. I spent about 10 years organizing and door-knocking for campaigns in rural Iowa. So I know a lot about the kind of Bob Dole conservatism that used to be the dominant political culture of those places. Since I became a progressive Democrat, I didn’t agree with those conservatives on many things, but I mostly liked and respected them. Wary of the unintended consequences of change, suspicious of big government, fiscally conservative, traditionalist in many ways, they were generally decent folks with much to admire in them, and very worthy political opponents. To my great sadness, tho

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