Month: August 2016

The Bear’s Lair: The Sovietization of the global economy

It was revealed this week that Citigroup’s proprietary trading team is being wound down after the Volcker Rule had excessively restricted it; its head Anna Raytcheva had spent her early years in communist Bulgaria. Moreover, her boss Mark Tsesarsky was brought up in communist Ukraine. That’s not a coincidence; it is highly significant that an […]

The Bear’s Lair: A multipolar world may be safest and best

For a decade now, American foreign policy types have been bemoaning the loss of the “hegemony” that the country appeared to enjoy in the 1990s. They even regret the allegedly stable “bipolar world” of Manichean if “cold” struggle that preceded it. Instead we are now heading into a multi-polar planet. Foreign policy pessimists liken this […]

The Bear’s Lair: 1943 — a road not taken

As I am away this week, I am reprinting a “Classic” Bear’s Lair column, from August 9, 2002 This is an essay in alternate history, to suggest how, had random factors fallen differently, Britain’s history in the gloomy 1945-79 period could have been very different, and perhaps happier. It looks in particular at what might […]

The Bear’s Lair: Glass-Steagall solves a problem caused by regulation

In the 1980s and 1990s I favored repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act that separated commercial banking from investment banking. Coming from a merchant banking background, where the distinction was ignored, it seemed a piece of FDR-era nastiness, that had decapitalized the investment banks and greatly worsened the Great Depression. However, the 2008 crash and subsequent […]

The Bear’s Lair: Are bad new ideas better than no new ideas?

Donald Trump is now talking about the U.S. pulling out of the World Trade Organization. Hillary Clinton is talking about instituting a $15 per hour minimum wage. These are clearly both lousy ideas (I’ll explain why.) But given the counterproductive stasis of the world economy currently, are we not better off moving the stasis, and […]