The Bear’s Lair: The battle between Moore and Eroom

Gordon Moore propounded in 1965 his Law, that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles every two years. That Law has been gradually ceasing to apply over the last few years. Meanwhile, Eroom’s Law, that the cost of discovering a new drug doubles every nine years, appears to continue in full strength. Our future thus hangs in the balance; in the Manichean struggle between Moore and Eroom for dominance of our economy. Regrettably, my money is on Eroom. Continue reading

The Bear’s Lair: Reform the Fed before de-regulating banks!

President Trump has promised financial de-regulation, and has hired the former Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs, Gary Cohn, to design it. Given Goldman’s sorry record over the last decade, that should worry us. It should worry us even more when we consider that there is no sign of a change in Fed policies, so that the “funny money” that caused the 2008 financial crash and subsequent malfeasances is till in full effect. Without reforming the Fed, de-regulating banks will be largely counterproductive. Continue reading

The Bear’s Lair: How far will de-globalization go?

The last couple of weeks have been full of events justifying predictions made in this column over the years, which is very gratifying. A 2010 prediction in this column and in a presentation to the American College of Cardiology talked about the possibility of de-globalization. Remarkably, that prediction appears to be coming to pass. I thus thought it worthwhile to look at how far the de-globalization trend might go, and whether it, unlike globalization, will be permanent. Continue reading

The Bear’s Lair: Trump looks like a McKinley Republican

In the first week of Donald Trump’s Presidency, it is becoming clearer what kind of President he will be. There are elements of Andrew Jackson – Democrats now know how John Quincy Adams’ acolytes felt when a drunken mob of Jackson’s supporters ransacked the White House. While Trump is no racist economic illiterate, as Jackson was, his election does indeed mark a sharp break from the recent past, as did Jackson’s. The era of Ronald Reagan and the two Bush Presidents now looks like the anomaly, and we are returning to the traditional Republicanism of William McKinley. Continue reading

The Bear’s Lair: End state monopolies in education!

Donald Trump’s Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos is getting flak from both sides – from the left because she is not fully committed to unionized public education, from the right because she appears at least neutral on the “Common Core” national standards mandated by the Obama administration. Education is important – it is how we pass on our civilization. Accordingly, we should fight monopolies, whether structural from the public sector or intellectual from the “treasonous clerks” of academia. It is to be hoped that Ms. DeVos both understands this and does something substantial about it. Continue reading

The Bear’s Lair: Nail that word’s feet to the floor!

Establishment journals such as the Economist and the Financial Times, and the participants in this week’s Davos rock festival have recently been decrying defeats for “liberalism” in the votes for Brexit and Donald Trump. Naturally, we are expected to sympathize: after all, what right-thinking person could object to liberalism? There is just one problem: the liberalism they defend bears almost no relationship to the mid-19th Century philosophy of free markets. The word has been allowed to migrate too far; let’s nail it down. Continue reading

The Bear’s Lair: Ron Paul for Fed Governor!

Former Congressman Ron Paul, (R-TX) America’s foremost Gold Standard advocate, has indicated his interest in filling one of the two vacant Federal Reserve Governor posts. Even assuming President-elect Trump does not intend to move towards a Gold Standard, he should still appoint Paul to the Fed, ideally announcing the appointment immediately. An immediate Paul appointment would provide the maximum possible jolt to current Fed policy – and a jolt is what it badly needs. Trump will regret it if he delays or compromises. Continue reading