Month: March 2016

The Bear’s Lair: Book Value works best

Nineteenth century accounting worked differently from accounting when I was going through business school, and very differently from today’s accounting. Investors were told not to buy “watered” stocks and bonds, advice that would be laughed at by a modern professional investor. Yet with modern mark to market accounting we have far less certainty, much more […]

The Bear’s Lair: Smoot-Hawley and no EPA — it’s a Deal!

The Republican establishment, and National Review in particular, has been emitting a “Hymn of Hate” about Donald Trump, their likely nominee for President. One of their charges is that Trump is protectionist, making Hillary Clinton economically preferable. I too dislike protectionism, but that may be going too far, because protectionism is by no means the […]

The Bear’s Lair: Why are clerks treasonous?

Julien Benda’s “La Trahison des clercs” was an immensely influential book when it was published in 1927, and its central idea has passed into our language – that intellectuals are irrational about the society around them, and tend to follow destructive political ideas. In Benda’s book, the destructive ideas were those of interwar fascism, now […]

The Bear’s Lair: President Trump must tax debt

The subtle effects of global over-expansionary policies can be argued, and will only become clear in the next downturn, but on one thing we can all agree: they have caused an explosion of debt. At mid-2014, global debt totaled $199 trillion, or 286% of GDP compared with 269% of GDP in 2007 and 246% of […]