The Bear’s Lair

The Bear’s Lair: How can we de-corporatize?

The 25-year asset bubble has caused a crescendo of corporatism, as large corporations, their values swollen by asset price inflation, have sought to impose themselves on our lives. Their interaction with the left of politics has been especially poisonous, with “corporate-woke” schemes generated by top management threatening to eliminate the interests of the shareholders who […]

The Bear’s Lair: After Globalization

As predicted in these columns a decade ago, globalization did not work, and has now gone the way of the dinosaur. It is not however clear what will replace it. The international institutions are still there, exerting their influence like stegosauri who missed the memo about the end of the Jurassic. Western “woke” governments are […]

The Bear’s Lair: Dogecoin beats the digital dollar

The Fed, the People’s Bank of China and the Bank of England are planning digital currencies linked to their currencies. Their real objective is to stop people using cash so they can create even more distorted interest rate structures. Their new constructions will thus combine the insecurities of digital currencies with the Gosplan approach to […]

The Bear’s Lair: Liquidate, liquidate, liquidate

The above was the supposed advice of Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon to President Herbert Hoover after the Wall Street Crash of 1929. It was good advice, which Hoover did not follow, thus landing the country in a decade of Great Depression. However, if Mellon’s advice was good after the crash, how much more intelligent would […]

The Bear’s Lair: A re-focus on dividends

U.S. corporate earnings and the stock market in general have become divorced from reality, with corporations increasingly ignoring stockholders in favor of a politically correct “woke” agenda. This is dangerous for society and it is not capitalism. The solution is for stockholders, investment analysts and designers of tax codes to focus laser-like on dividends. Actual […]

The Bear’s Lair: Brexit may re-kindle global innovation

Peter Thiel is not alone in wondering where all the major technological innovations went. From the other end of the political spectrum Chicago professor Robert Gordon wrote a best-seller “The Rise and Fall of American Growth” speculating that U.S. productivity growth is slowing to zero. Yet if you look back, from the Industrial Revolution until […]

The Bear’s Lair: Economic ineptitude reaching 1690s levels

There is no question the quality of economic policymaking peaked under Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool (1812-27) and has gone into sad decline ever since. But hills have two sides. So, the question is: how far back must you go to find economic policy as bad as that in today’s United States, to […]

The Bear’s Lair: Is Cold War optimal on a crowded planet?

Back in the days of sailing ships, when it took months to get to India, there was no question of a global government – communications were not good enough. Thus, countries preserved their freedom independently, worrying little about the ideology and governance of any but their near neighbors. The world is now much smaller, and […]

The Bear’s Lair: Return of the Whig Economy

The Industrial Revolution was a Tory Story! It began with the scientific exuberance of the Tory-dominated Restoration period, then slowed as the Whigs diverted the country into war and financial excess from 1689 to 1720. Even though the key inventions of the steam engine and coke-fired ironworks came during that period, they were not developed […]

The Bear’s Lair: Kleptocracy beats Communism

Recent reports suggest that the Venezuelan economy has enjoyed a modest uptick after its collapse due to its following Presidents Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro’s Communist economic policies from 1998-2018. Russia and China also have benefited, not from a move to democracy, but from a move from Communism to Kleptocracy. The lesson is clear: a […]