The Bear’s Lair

The Bear’s Lair: Delenda Est Facebook

The Twitter and Facebook bans on President Trump and the Apple, Google and Amazon bans of Parler certainly intensify one’s dislike of those tech sector giants. Yet beyond dislike, there is a question to be answered: is it possible that, despite their astronomical stock market valuations, they may reduce the overall economic value of global […]

The Bear’s Lair: The costs of consensus

I have just been researching the politics, ideas and economics of the Restoration period. While political differences were enormous and at times lethal – between outright “Leveller” republicans and followers of Sir Robert Filmer’s “Patriarcha” who believed in absolute monarchy — it was scientifically and economically as creative and entrepreneurial a period as Britain has […]

The Bear’s Lair: The collapse of California

My address book of friends living in California, some of them rich, has in 2020 gone from double digits to zero. Even within the economically doom-ridden United States, California’s outlook is especially grim, with “Bearmageddon” due in five years rather than ten. Yet there is an avenue of escape: the state must be split into […]

The Bear’s Lair: Will the Bear’s Lair see Bearmageddon?

The twentieth anniversary of this “Bear’s Lair” column passed in late October. During that period, the stock market has risen, but pretty much every other indicator of U.S. economic health has declined. Actuarially at age 70, I can expect to be writing this column for another 14 years and 3 months (though the column’s coherence […]

The Bear’s Lair: Escape from the zombie economy

According to statistics collected by the Financial Times, the number of zombie companies, those that do not earn enough to service their debts, has increased steadily since 2010. What is more, the probability of those companies remaining “zombie” has also increased steadily. This is not surprising; 25 years of artificially low interest rates and easy […]

The Bear’s Lair: The Wokenomics approach to monetary policy

In a thousand years’ time, when the economic history of our era is examined by forensic historians, Senator Lamar Alexander (R.-TN) will receive special notice as the tiny catalyst for economic collapse. His rejection of Judy Shelton for the Fed Board of Governors, on the grounds that she is too close to an administration that […]

The Bear’s Lair: Are we watching the end of Julian the Apostate?

You don’t need to read all six volumes of Edward Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” – Gore Vidal’s “Julian” will do. From AD 361 to 363 (AUC 1114 to 1116, to use the calendar Julian would undoubtedly have preferred) he was a popular and successful Roman Emperor, attempting to reverse novel elite […]

The Bear’s Lair: Better abolish colleges, not just college debts

President-probably-elect Joe Biden has confirmed that he intends to introduce a forgiveness program on student debts, perhaps up to $50,000 as Senator Elizabeth Warren (D.MA) has proposed. This is a direct subsidy to the relatively rich, to be paid for by suffering middle-class taxpayers. Rather than forgiving the debts of the relatively rich, let us […]

The Bear’s Lair: Boris would have banned steam engines

British prime minister Boris Johnson announced this week that he would make it illegal to sell petrol or diesel-driven automobiles from 2030, pushing the British into a fleet of electric cars. He proclaimed this would lead to a “green industrial revolution.” Fat chance! If Boris had been around in the 1780s, he would have had […]

The Bear’s Lair: The Trump Presidential Library should be HUGE!

As President Trump seems likely to leave office in January, the historically minded of us should reflect on his legacy. In the short-term, maybe until 2200, his reputation will doubtless be smeared. It took 250 years for King Charles II to get his due from historians, and Lord Liverpool, almost 200 years later, still has […]