Month: April 2018

The Bear’s Lair: Shadows deepen on EU economy

Most EU countries are rich and highly productive, with specialized industries other countries would die for. Yet the bloc’s economic track record has been mediocre in the past decade and looks likely to become considerably worse. In its 2021-27 Budget, the European Commission plans to tweak its “cohesion funds” away from Eastern Europe and towards […]

The Bear’s Lair: Tumbril time for King Dollar

Larry Kudlow, the President’s new chairman of the National Economic Council, is a well known proponent of the idea of “King Dollar.” That concept states, basically, that the U.S. should aim for a strong dollar, even though it produces large trade deficits, because it allows the country to buy more foreign goods and services and […]

The Bear’s Lair: Balance the budget the McKinley way

Opponents of President Trump’s proposed tariffs obscure one important feature of them: they provide revenue for the Federal budget. President William McKinley financed the naval squadron that Admiral George Dewey sailed into Manila Bay to capture the Philippines entirely without an income tax. Looking at our budget today, he would be horrified by the trillion-dollar […]

The Bear’s Lair: Toothless FAANGs.

For several years, the stocks of the FAANGs (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) have been the way to make money. Over the five years to December 31, 2017, the FAANG stocks returned 41.6% annualized, compared with 18.6% for the S&P 500 Index, to trade at almost 70 times historic earnings by that point. Yet all […]

The Bear’s Lair: The Qing Dynasty approach to monetary management

Richard Clarida, heavily tipped to be the new Fed Vice-Chairman, has propounded an interest rate theory of the “new neutral.” This states that the Federal Funds rate at full employment, when policy is neither loose nor tight, should revolve around an interest rate of 2% instead of the previous 4% — in other words zero […]