The Bear’s Lair

The Bear’s Lair: Bernanke brought us Bankman-Fried

The collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto-currency exchange FTX, resulting in the loss of at least $1 billion of customer money, will be used to demand more regulation of the crypto-currency business. Yet its growth, collapse and the murky web of corrupt connections surrounding it were a product of the decade of “funny money” that has […]

The Bear’s Lair: The 2010s were worse than the 1970s

As we move through the 2020s, the 2010s, the decade between the financial crisis and the COVID outbreak, come into perspective. In terms of monetary, fiscal and regulatory policy in the United States and throughout the rich world, it was extreme, worse than the 1970s in its disregard for free-market first principles. The main difference […]

The Bear’s Lair: Greta reveals her true colors

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage climate change activist, was not invited to attend the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference, and therefore denounced it, explaining that her true objective was not to battle climate change but to undermine the rotten racist Western capitalist system. Thereby she showed herself in her true colors, which are the […]

The Bear’s Lair: Teach Finance Through its Origins

The British pension funds’ sudden vulnerability to an interest rate blip two weeks ago due to their misguided derivatives games showed that financiers make the same mistakes, decade after decade. While a few financial techniques are new, the errors are not; indeed they can be traced back to the era when modern finance was being […]

The Bear’s Lair: Chairman Xi’s Austrian Economics

China’s President Xi Jinping is a devotee of Austrian economics. Unfortunately, he does not follow the enlightened and intelligent economics of the “Austrian School” — Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. Instead, China’s attempts to dominate the economies of its neighbors through “Belt and Road” investments, its use of slave labor, its […]

The Bear’s Lair: Nobel prize for GOSPLAN

The Nobel prize in economics this year went to Ben Bernanke, Douglas Diamond and Philip Dybvig for “work adding to understanding of the relationship between banking crises and the broader economy.” Like other Nobels, the prize has a mixed reputation, having been given to outright Marxists like Gunnar Myrdal in the past. Looked at that […]

The Bear’s Lair: Institutional stupidity threatens us all again

The Bank of England re-instituted “quantitative easing” last week because British pension funds were threatened with insolvency, having hedged their bond portfolios with unstable derivatives. We have seen this movie before, in 2007-08. Dopey behavior by financial institutions, central banks and regulators causes a massive unnecessary financial crash that blights the lives of billions of […]

The Bear’s Lair: How steam engines entered the economy

Conventional wisdom has it that James Watt invented the steam engine, which became economically important in the 1780s, setting off the Industrial Revolution. All three of those beliefs are wrong. This column will lay out the true process, which was a 3-stage one over a century in duration, intensifying the Industrial Revolution but not directly […]

The Bear’s Lair: The Soaring Senility Market

Since the middle 1990s, investors and entrepreneurs have focused almost solely on the youth market, generating endless devices and amusements for youth. Many of these (smartphones, for example) older people can use only with difficulty, because of limited eyesight or coordination. This has been demographically foolish and has increasingly stymied economic growth. The real opportunity, […]