The Bear’s Lair

The Bear’s Lair: The Death of Productivity Growth

June’s unemployment figures showing growth of 372,000 jobs were hailed as unambiguously good news by the media and the markets. However, there is a problem: advance estimates of second quarter GDP, to be announced at the end of this month, suggest a decline of 1.5% at an annual rate, similar to that in first quarter […]

The Bear’s Lair: The deflationary decades ahead

The last six months have shown that the absurdly loose Fed policy and benign monetary conditions have gone – the 39-year bull market in bonds (1982-2021) is over. Inflation will not disappear soon, and the Fed will not raise rates far enough to control it, but the next decade or more will inevitably see a […]

The Bear’s Lair: How the Supreme Court can make itself useful

The Supreme Court’s decisions in “Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health” and “New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen” demonstrate that, for the first time since its emasculation in 1937, the U.S. Supreme Court is capable of holding firm in protection of basic Constitutional rights. The media have obsessed over the possibility of further […]

The Bear’s Lair: Bigger than the Founding Fathers

There were two world-changing events stirring in the confused British politics of the 1760s and 1770s. One of them, led by Edmund Burke and the Founding Fathers and endlessly studied, ended in the American Revolution and a new and eventually powerful country. The other, simultaneous and much less studied, led to the Industrial Revolution, a […]

The Bear’s Lair: 24 Years of Malpolitics!

Government quality is not randomly distributed, but leptokurtic – good and bad trends tend to perpetuate themselves. In so doing, they resemble stock market and real estate malinvestment, as Austrian economists put it. It can probably be agreed by both political sides that since January 2001, the United States has endured more than two decades […]

The Bear’s Lair: Metropolis Doomed

We are constantly subjected to propaganda from media journalists living in tiny apartments in crime-ridden major cities about how wonderful those cities are. That is partly a matter of taste, of course. However, the technological and organizational changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic may finally end city life for those for whom that pathological taste […]

The Bear’s Lair: Regulatory blight can last three centuries!

This column has written fairly frequently about the blight of regulation, but it is always difficult to find concrete examples, while proving economic damage requires considering the counterfactual where the regulation did not exist. However, in my researches for “Forging Modernity,” a study of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, I have come across a modest-sized regulation whose […]

The Bear’s Lair: The globalization tyranny

“We have the means to impose the state of the world” said World Economic Forum chairman Klaus Schwab, sounding ever more like Ernst Stavro Blofeld, at the Davos forum this week. In that remark, he summed up precisely what is wrong with globalization – it leads inexorably to an unending global monopoly. Even the totalitarian […]

The Bear’s Lair: 1930s, here we come!

Pundits all over the media are proclaiming gloomily that we are in for a re-run of the 1970s. They are far too optimistic. If you look at the world with an unprejudiced eye, we currently have aggressive power blocs, rapidly escalating protectionism, overpriced stock and real estate markets and a huge mass of malinvestment from […]

The Bear’s Lair: The Age of Pointless Excess

The Financial Times last week gave an account of the new “pencil” tower at 111 West 57th Street that made me glad I am not a billionaire. For one thing, if by inordinate wealth I were compelled to purchase an apartment on the upper floors of that building, the weight of my book collection – […]