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From the Wall Street Journal is this account of the Cato Institute’s important new Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, headed by my close friend George Selgin (and with the assistance of my colleague Larry White).  A slice:

Criticism of the Fed, Mr. Selgin acknowledged, has come not just from serious economists but also conspiracy theorists with outlandish and often-distasteful ideas.

“One of my goals, as the director of the center, is to be in charge of damage control. That consists of making sure our work isn’t tainted by this kind of amateur stuff,” Mr. Selgin said. “We need to keep ourselves pure in terms of our writing being as scholarly as it can be. If we do that, we can make a strong case against holding the Federal Reserve to be the best of all possible monetary systems.”

The center boasts some heavy hitters in the economics world. Its academic advisers include two Nobel laureates, New York University’s Thomas J. Sargent and Chapman University’s Vernon L. Smith, as well as Stanford University economist John B. Taylor and others.

Two former Fed policy makers are involved: former St. Louis Fed President William Poole will be a senior fellow, and former Cleveland Fed President Jerry Jordan will be an adjunct scholar.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy makes again the important case to kill that great geyser of cronyism, the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

Charles Murray writes about Ayn Rand.  (HT Greg Mankiw and my colleague Alex Tabarrok)  Here’s the concluding paragraph:

Ayn Rand never dwelt on her Russian childhood, preferring to think of herself as wholly American. Rightly so. The huge truths she apprehended and expressed were as American as apple pie. I suppose hardcore Objectivists will consider what I’m about to say heresy, but hardcore Objectivists are not competent to judge. The novels are what make Ayn Rand important. Better than any other American novelist, she captured the magic of what life in America is supposed to be. The utopia of her novels is not a utopia of greed. It is not a utopia of Nietzschean supermen. It is a utopia of human beings living together in Jeffersonian freedom.

I would not bet against my colleague Bryan Caplan on the Ebola issue.

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen joins the chorus of people chanting that middle-class living standards in America have stagnated over the past few decades.  James Pethokoukis helps to set her straight.

Citizens arrest!  (HT Reuvain Borchardt)