Commentary

So the Wall Street wiseguys have a very nice game going. When things are booming, they warn government not to spoil the party. But in a bust, they can count on the Fed to rescue them with emergency infusions of cash and cheaper interest rates.

The point is not that the Fed should let the whole economy collapse in order to teach speculators a lesson. The Fed also needs to remember its other role — as regulator.

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Distinguished Senior Fellow Robert Kuttner addresses the implications of the Fed's upcoming interest rate cut, and discusses the publication of former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's memoirs.

Will Bernanke deliver an interest rate cut? Why is Greenspan criticizing Bush's tax cuts now? And is big business really seeking regulation?

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Desperate prison lifers turn to Charles Carbone when trying to navigate the unfair process of parole denials.

Senior Fellow Sasha Abramsky profiles a San Francisco attorney who represents prisoners with life sentences.

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Investors and ordinary citizens have good reason to worry about a perfect economic storm. Senior Fellow Robert Kuttner writes in The Boston Globe about how the United States is vulnerable to an economic crash.

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Senior Fellow Jonthan Cohn writes about the nation's healthcare crisis in The Boston Globe.

FOR MOST OF THE PAST decade, overhauling America's healthcare system was a lot more popular with liberal policy wonks than it was with the public.

But that seems to be changing. Just this week, a new poll showed that two-thirds of us favor "profound" changes in the way we finance and deliver medical care.

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The Catholic roots of American liberalism

John Kerry's defeat in 2004, assumed by many to be the product of perceived Democratic deficiencies in "moral values," gave this conversation renewed energy. And while some in the "new values" camp pointed to the importance of a specifically religious morality, others urged the Democrats to focus on a secular but morally demanding vision of the common good.

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Distinguished Senior Fellow Robert Kuttner writes that, "Hedge funds and private equity operators are driving the wrong brand of capitalism — and pursuing ever-riskier deals that threaten the financial system."

The difference between hedge funds (unregulated mutual funds for very wealthy individuals) and private equity (privately held firms that buy and sell entire companies) is collapsing, creating an unregulated sector of wild-west financial engineering rife with conflicts of interest.

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