The Bear’s Lair

The Bear’s Lair: With Coolidge principles, we can all keep cool

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Physical Science report AR6, released August 9, raised the usual calls for panic and draconian action from that majority of the media and the left for whom this is a religion. Yet on examination, its statistics were decidedly unalarming, and suggest we can easily address the modest long-term problem […]

The Bear’s Lair: Live like Whigs, think like Tories!

Several times this column has wished for a sharp decline in global population, which with the advent of superior robotics could lead all of us to live like 18th Century Whig lords, in lavish parklands manned by robot servitors. Yet I have now learned that the original Whig Supremacy of 1714-60 led to a half […]

The Bear’s Lair: Cold Wars can be good for business

The chilling in relations with China since 2017 and the discovery that China may well have been responsible for the release of the COVID-19 virus is forcing the world to accept that the globalization and free trade world of 1991-2015 is no more. Instead, with China an authoritarian Communist society that seeks domination and does […]

The Bear’s Lair: Atlas Has Developed Spinal Injuries

Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” was published in 1957, yet its atmosphere is that of the late 1930s (when much of it may have been in first draft). Trains are the overwhelmingly dominant means of transportation and coal the main source of energy; everywhere outside the United States is run by dictatorships and the overall impression […]

The Bear’s Lair: Banknotes should be issued only by banks

The world’s central banks are working on issuing digital currencies, where through the “blockchain” they will have knowledge of all transactions. This idea is clearly a gross affront to civil liberties, but it raises the question: why do governments and central banks have the sole right to issue bank notes? Over the last 30 years, […]

The Bear’s Lair: The Oxfordshire School of economic thought

Oxfordshire, beautiful rolling land of small villages before 1900, may seem (outside the eponymous University itself) an unlikely seedbed for an economic theory. Yet in its idyllic villages and modest country houses, a theory of political economy developed, quite distinct from the Whiggish view of Adam Smith and William Gladstone that became known as “classical” […]

The Bear’s Lair: Financiers have learned nothing in 250 years

We are coming up next year on the quarter-millenary of the Ayr Bank crash of 1772 and last year we had the 300th anniversary of the 1720 South Sea Bubble. When looking at these 18th Century disasters I am reminded again and again that the financiers’ failures were very similar to those of 2007-08, or […]

The Bear’s Lair: Davos and China offer the same grim destiny

The World Economic Forum, sponsor of the annual Davos meeting, proposes a “Great Reset” of the capitalist system. The People’s Republic of China nominally adheres to the Communism of its founder, Chairman Mao Ze-dong. Yet in practice, the societies each advocates bear a remarkable similarity to each other and share two overriding characteristics: they are […]

The Bear’s Lair: They did plague recovery better in 1350

We are now slowly emerging from the scourge of Covid-19 and the main change in our economic management has been a massive surge in state spending, together with a call for a “Great Reset” to erode our freedoms further. It is therefore worth examining the emergence from two previous celebrated English outbreaks of plague, in […]

The Bear’s Lair: Land of a thousand banks

Around 1760, the English banking system, which had been concentrated in London, sprouted a plethora of country banks in provincial towns, over 800 by 1813, That produced a unique financial environment, in which both expertise and money were readily available locally for new projects throughout provincial England and Wales. This greatly facilitated the Industrial Revolution, […]