Year: 2016

The Bear’s Lair: Pondering a Burkean Electoral College

The Electoral College on December 19 elected Donald Trump President with only modest “faithless” votes for candidates who did not run on November 8. Before the vote, there were claims that the electoral college in voting for the candidates selected by the public, was not fulfilling Alexander Hamilton’s vision set out in Federalist #68. This […]

The Bear’s Lair: How Trump can escape from Yellen’s trap

After the Federal Open Market Committee raised the Federal Funds rate by 0.25% last week it became clear that Janet Yellen and her predecessor Ben Bernanke have laid a trap for President-elect Donald Trump. Each time the FOMC raises rates, increasing the rates the Fed pays on $2.1 trillion of bank deposits with it, it […]

The Bear’s Lair: Has Trump discovered new trade truths?

President-elect Donald Trump’s deal with Carrier rescued some 800 jobs at a cost of some $7 million in additional subsidies. It was immediately attacked, often by commentators whose devotion to the free market had never previously been detected. In reality, the Ricardian free trade doctrine is an abstraction that does not work well in the […]

The Bear’s Lair: Will Trump’s years be good for gold?

The price of gold shot up on Election Night, as it became clear that Donald Trump would be the next President, but has since sunk by more than $100 per ounce. President Trump may raise interest rates, cause a global depression through tariffs or govern as a Reaganite, boosting the stock market – all bad […]

The Bear’s Lair: The death of long-term investment

Last year, the British government redeemed the Consolidated Annuities perpetual bonds (Consols), which had been in existence for 263 years, albeit with two reductions in rates in 1757 and 1888. This was only an extreme example of the effect funny money policies worldwide have had on investment, reducing “time horizons” to no more than a […]

The Bear’s Lair: Peering ahead in Trump’s America

Four weeks ago, I wrote of the likely future in Hillary Clinton’s America; it was not a pretty sight. Since we have now been spared that future, it’s now worth looking forward to what Donald Trump’s America may look like in eight years. Unfortunately, there are still a few hiccups.

The Bear’s Lair: Is there a better way?

The U.S. Presidential election has once again wound its way to the usual end of utter exhaustion and despair, with little elation even for the winning candidate’s followers and utter despair at four years of futility for the losers. With both major party candidates disliked by the majority of voters and the low quality of […]

The Bear’s Lair: Central bank independence is a dangerous myth

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has announced he is staying on until June 2019, to implement the funny-money policies that British voters increasingly doubt. Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump was criticized for “politicizing” the Fed when he called on Fed Chair Janet Yellen to raise interest rates. Similarly Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda […]

The Bear’s Lair: The pitfalls of Hobbesean politics

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) believed that a huge state “Leviathan” was necessary to prevent the otherwise inevitable conflicts between mankind. The temporary rejection by Belgium’s Wallonia region of the Canadian trade deal agreed by the entire remainder of the EU suggests that even when we have a truly spectacularly sized “Leviathan,” absorbing 48.2% of Europe’s GDP […]

The Bear’s Lair: Bailing out Hillary’s America

Hillary Clinton is leading in the polls, but her election over Donald Trump is not yet certain. However, she is overwhelmingly favored by the pundit class, even the right-leaning of whom have developed an irrational distaste for Trump. It’s therefore worth looking at what the world will look like in 2024, after eight more years […]