Year: 2023

The Bear’s Lair: Lawfare ruins everybody’s lives

Georgia Power’s Vogtle 3 nuclear power station went into full operation this month, the first new U.S. nuclear station in 30 years. However, its cost, together with its twin Vogtle 4 has ballooned from $14 billion to $30 billion, with a six-year delay in completion due to innumerable harassing lawsuits from environmentalists and others. It […]

The Bear’s Lair: What does a true innovation look like?

 The subject of Artificial Intelligence has filled the media for the last six months, with both optimistic and dire predictions of its gigantic effect on the world. Yet not all innovations are world-changing, however profitable they may be to their inventors, while some innovations – social media, for example — have changed social mores […]

The Bear’s Lair: The United States is no longer a role model

For decades after 1945, and especially after 1991, the United States was a role model for the world. Not only was its economy the world’s strongest and most prosperous, but its economic management, while falling short of true capitalism, represented an attainable model both for sluggish European nations and for fast-growing emerging markets. Its diplomats […]

The Bear’s Lair: The unwinding of capitalism

Passively invested funds now account for 45% of all assets of U.S. stock-based funds, up from 25% a decade ago, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Indexed funds also account for 25% of bond funds. Between them, three large investment managers, BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street, manage over $20 trillion of assets and they […]

The Bear’s Lair: Over the cliff with student debts

Monthly Payments will resume on $1.8 trillion of U.S. student debt beginning in October, after a 3-year payment holiday for the Covid-19 pandemic. Since President Biden had been talking of more widespread debt relief (last week nixed by the Supreme Court) this will come as a nasty shock to 27 million ex-students, some of whom […]

The Bear’s Lair: Europe needs a populist revival

It is hard to find a defense of populism in conventional media. The steady slide away from solid property rights in Europe (including the United Kingdom) and the United States since 1990 has been generally applauded, and its opponents demonized. Yet an economy without property rights is being shown year by year to make citizens […]

The Bear’s Lair: Back to the 50s – when military equipment ruled!

Even as a participant in the derivatives market, I found new derivatives wrinkles pretty boring, however lucrative they might be. Equally in software, the latest “social media” app, however irresistible to billions of dozy consumers, leaves me cold. Fortunately, help is at hand. With international tensions ever-increasing, research money is pouring again into the military-industrial […]

The Bear’s Lair: Foreign Policy in a Non-Hegemonic World

Communication and mutual understanding with both allies and opponents are key to a successful foreign policy. The skillful alliance formation and peacemaking of Klemens, Prince von Metternich and Robert, Viscount Castlereagh after the Napoleonic Wars led to a century of peace and rapidly increasing prosperity; the lack of it in 1914 and the late 1930s […]

The Bear’s Lair: Big is Very Ugly

Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) is bringing out yet another virtual reality headset, the “Vision Pro” to appear early next year, priced at $3,400. This follows the total failure of Meta’s (Nasdaq:META) Metaverse and similar virtual and augmented reality products launched by Alphabet (Nasdaq:GOOG), Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) and others – I bought my son a $30 virtual reality headset […]

The Bear’s Lair: The coming collapse in luxury goods

The past two decades have been wonderful for the luxury goods business as demonstrated by the position at the top of the world’s billionaire Rich List of Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton. Cheap money has boosted asset prices ad infinitum and the top 1-2% of the world’s population with significant inflated-value […]