Year: 2015

The Bear’s Lair: Low oil prices mean few assets will be stranded

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, in an exercise of warmist wishful thinking a few weeks ago, warned banks and by extension energy companies of the problem of “stranded” assets, left without value by environmental regulation. Naturally, this was just part of the threats and bluster designed to change behavior ahead of the Paris global […]

The Bear’s Lair: The gathering gloom of protectionism

Over 200 nations signed a “climate change” regulation deal in Paris last weekend. Conversely Mike Froman, the U.S. trade representative, called this week for the Doha Round of free trade talks to be abandoned, as they were going nowhere – his view presumably reflects the official position of the Obama administration. No contrast more clearly […]

The Bear’s Lair: Slaying or at least winging the regulatory dragon

The COP-21 global climate talks ended this weekend, with a treaty that won’t have much practical effect. Yet regulations to combat “climate change” have already inflicted trillions of dollars of economic damage and there seems no prospect of ending their depredations. In other areas, the regulatory state set up since the 1960s expands steadily, with […]

The Bear’s Lair: Moving into a Chinese-Indian world

The IMF has allowed the Chinese renminbi to become part of its Special Drawing Right from next October, with a weighting of 10.92%, the third largest after the dollar and the euro. China and India are both now growing much faster than the West, and their greater populations mean that their output will overwhelm the […]

The Bear’s Lair: Climbing out of the economic mire

Mauricio Macri’s surprise victory in Argentina last week has brought wild optimism to the Argentine markets, with the Merval index of Argentine stocks up 55% since late September. Yet Argentina’s sorry track record since 1943 and Macri’s lack of a Congressional majority suggest his chances of a long-term turnaround in Argentine economic fortunes are somewhere […]

The Bear’s Lair: Curing the 21st Century malaise

The Cato Institute Annual Monetary Conference last week clarified my thought processes, and has solidified my conviction that the 21st Century economic malaise that has affected the United States and most rich countries has two causes: monetary policy and regulation. Questions that have puzzled me, notably why we have no inflation, have found potential answers, […]

The Bear’s Lair: Oh Canada – for crying out loud!

Justin Trudeau’s election victory in Canada on October 19, after a campaign in which all three major Canadian parties had led briefly in the polls, was not unexpected. However it leads to a future very much resembling the past, in which government and debt grow inexorably, while the economy, ties with Britain and Canadian relative […]

The Bear’s Lair: Lord Liverpool 2016

With the U.S. primary season approaching, and the quality of debate showing the flaws in the existing candidates, I thought it worth pondering how a truly superior statesman, Robert Banks Jenkinson, second Earl of Liverpool (British prime minister, 1812-27) would set about winning a U.S. Presidential election (assuming he had the necessary birth qualification to […]

The Bear’s Lair: Looking forward to the Polish renaissance

The victory of Poland’s Law and Justice Party (PiS) in this week’s election has been decried by the international media as a renaissance of nationalist reaction over the enlightened liberalism of the previous Civic Platform government. In reality the enlightened liberals were liberal mostly in the American sense and altogether too subservient to the bureaucracy […]

The Bear’s Lair: Combining the worst of Japan and Brazil

Brazil and to a lesser extent Japan have been in trouble recently. Brazil is suffering negative growth as a result of its corruption, government meddling and overspending. Japan has seen growth disappear and debt soar as it pursues Keynesian and easy-money remedies for its problems. Both countries, while different from each other, are generally seen […]