Bedrosian Book Club Podcast: “The Myth of Independence”

Congressional historian Sarah Binder joins neighbor and investment manager Mark Spindel in a look at the history of the relationship between the Federal Reserve and its legislative parent, Congress. The result is the Princeton University Press book The Myth of Independence: How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve.

Central to the book is the notion that the two institutions are interdependent rather than independent. The authors advocate that through legislation over the years, Congress has set up the Federal Reserve to bear the brunt of blame during times of financial crisis. This blend of political science, history, and economics was a hit for our panel. Why is it important to realize the relationship between Congress and the Fed is interdependent? What roles do transparency and accountability play in the relationship?

Continue reading “Bedrosian Book Club Podcast: “The Myth of Independence””

Our American Discourse, Ep. 33: How to Take Risks, Make the World a Better Place, and Get Paid

Think of all the public policy problems that the government hasn’t been able to solve. Now imagine that you had a solution for one of them. The government should be interested, right? If your solution really works, they should want to invest in it. They should want to encourage you to make it happen, perhaps monetarily if possible. Well, until recently, they didn’t have many avenues to do so. Enter…“social impact bonds,” and the new system of “payment by results.”

In this episode, Gary Painter walks us through some examples of these new “outcome-based” payment systems to encourage innovative risk-taking to solve wicked problems in public policy.

Continue reading “Our American Discourse, Ep. 33: How to Take Risks, Make the World a Better Place, and Get Paid”

Bedrosian Book Club Podcast: “Radical Markets”

In Radical Markets, Eric A. Posner and E. Glen Weyl envision new rules for markets in order to limit the tyranny of monopolies and majority rule with five revolutionary ideas to cure what they see as the most important issue of our time: inequality.

What are some of these “radical” ideas, and does our panel think they are the revolutionary ideas we need?

Continue reading “Bedrosian Book Club Podcast: “Radical Markets””

Our American Discourse, Ep. 32: Who Has the Ear of Your Legislators and Why They Can’t Seem to Get Anything Done

We’re six months away from one of the most consequential midterm elections in modern history, and Americans are fed up with Congress. Politicians have gotten a bad rap throughout history, but today’s legislators are setting record lows in approval ratings and public trust. What gives? Why do they disappoint us so often? Are they really ignoring our needs and demands, or are we misunderstanding the challenges they face?

In this episode, Sarah Anderson shows that it’s a little of both: politicians don’t listen to all constituents equally, but they also can’t just snap their fingers and fulfill our wishes.

Continue reading “Our American Discourse, Ep. 32: Who Has the Ear of Your Legislators and Why They Can’t Seem to Get Anything Done”