Month: April 2023

The Bear’s Lair: How to Produce Trillionaires

Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton is currently the world’s richest man, worth around $239 billion; he is notable in coming neither from the United States nor from the tech sector. His wealth is a product of globalization, which has produced demand for Western fashion brands among a substantial fraction of 8 billion […]

The Bear’s Lair: Towards an un-Dollarized World

Saudi Arabia recently signed a contract with China to sell oil with payment in yuan (China’s currency, sometimes known as renminbi, for inscrutable Chinese reasons). Argentina and Brazil are proposing to use a common currency, the sur, for trade between them. India and Russia are undertaking trade in rupees and rubles. This is a gathering […]

The Bear’s Lair: Nasty, Brutish and Long

Thomas Hobbes in his 1651 “Leviathan” described life in a state of nature as “nasty, brutish and short.” Fortunately, shortly after Leviathan was published, the Tory architects of the English Restoration Settlement brought several protections into the British and later American Constitutions that revolutionized our fates: they were property rights, Habeas Corpus and the First […]

The Bear’s Lair: Feds sold SVB assets to the Clampetts

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) this week announced the winner of its auction for the loans and deposits of the failed Silicon Valley Bank: First Citizens BancShares (Nasdaq:FCNCA), a North Carolina outfit with no obvious synergy with SVB’s customer base or tech know-how. Given First Citizens’ capital base of only $14.1 billion ($9.7 billion […]