Month: June 2015

The Bear’s Lair: We are all Greek now

The terms offered by Greece to the EU on June 22 have one important feature: they offer almost no reductions in state spending, but instead plan to make the modest savings needed for EU respectability by tax increases on corporations and the middle class. But why should we scoff: nearly all our governments today operate […]

The Bear’s Lair: The economics of self-delusion

Moody’s Analytics Survey of Business Confidence is currently hovering near record highs and “expectations have never been stronger in this history of the survey.” What’s more, while the survey is a worldwide one, optimism is greatest among U.S. businesses. Indeed the National Association of Homebuilders Housing Market Index at 59 is the highest since November […]

The Bear’s Lair: G7 leaders’ absurd 2100 commitment

The G7 group of world leaders last weekend committed to eliminating fossil fuels’ usage by 2100, as well as to cutting their use by 40-70% by 2050. That commitment is absurd; neither the world leaders nor anyone else knows anything about what the world economy or its technical capabilities will look like by 2100, yet […]

The Bear’s Lair: Don’t blame the traders for everything

The trader Tom Hayes spent last week at Southwark Crown Court, accused of manipulating the LIBOR market. He appears distinctly unlucky; his manipulation was only profitable because of the grotesque bloating of the interest rate swaps market, which rendered inadequate a LIBOR mechanism that was solid when devised in 1985. Traders do what they do, […]

The Bear’s Lair: Religion is becoming an economic scourge

The primary purpose of religion is not economic, but over the centuries religion has had a huge effect on society, and hence on economics. In the Dark Ages religion preserved learning (very economically positive!) then in early modern Europe the pendulum swung so that religious wars and Catholic obscurantism retarded the development of the Catholic […]