Between the Issues

Loose Change, Part II

In my last post we observed how overwhelming the desire for “change” is in America, and we also paused to notice the penalty the Democratic Party has paid for ignoring voters’ wishes. In this post and the ones that follow, I will touch on some of the more important policies…

Loose Change

Since the Presidential election there has been a lot of loose talk about “change.” In this series of posts we’ll try to tighten up that conversation by identifying some specific changes Americans have on their minds. Specifically, I’ll touch on some of the more controversial changes the new Administration will…

Is Everything That Didn’t Work Worthless? Part IV

We began this series of posts by examining the sorry state of value investing. We then moved on to making unfashionable arguments on behalf of hedge fund fees and performance. We’ll close the series by looking at the important role hedge funds — and, for that matter, value investing — play in the long-​term…

Is Everything That Didn’t Work Worthless? Part III

We’re talking about nobody’s favorite subject, hedge funds. Last week we dispensed with the ugly topic of hedge fund fees, and this week we’ll take a deep breath and tackle the even more noxious topic of hedge fund performance.

I Am Homeless

Back in 1988, I wrote a series about Pittsburgh’s homeless, based on my living on the streets for 14 days and nights, undercover, with long hair and a beard. I was 26, and the Pittsburgh Press series changed my journalistic trajectory, won national writing awards, and later became part of…

Setting the Steelers Standards

Growing up in a local mill town in the late 1970’s, Steelers’ Super Bowl victories seemed like a birthright. For my generation, it takes little to rattle-​off the roster from the ‘79 season, the last of that era’s championship teams. And while the exploits of future Hall-​of-​Famers Lynn Swann and…

Painting? Have Some Fun!

by Tim Menees
I spent three decades at a job that wasn’t a job, one at which few have actually earned a living. But cartoons disappear when the newspapers are bundled up for recycling. Heck, newspapers disappear.

Is Everything That Didn’t Work Worthless? Part II

In my last post, we discussed the sorry state of value investing following seven years of rigged markets courtesy of our central bankers. In this post we’ll turn to another category of investing that sits right near the top of so many investors’ Sh*t Lists: hedge funds.

Is Everything That Didn’t Work Worthless?

For reasons best known to themselves and their (not very robust) consciences, America’s central bankers concluded that the best way to drag the US economy out of the Financial Crisis was to make rich people richer and poor people poorer. They therefore adopted policies — QE1, QE2, QE3 — that drove up the prices…

Pittsburgh’s Top Stories of 2016

Number five: Pittsburgh’s 200th Anniversary. Pittsburgh is getting younger. You read about it, hear about it and see it anytime you’re out on the “tahn.” Even the demographic data backs it up. If you still don’t believe it, consider this: This year, just eight years after the Pittsburgh 250 celebration,…

Blending Image and Word

Ekphrasis first began as a rhetorical form used by the ancient Greeks. Defined by Webster’s as “a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art,” it remains one of the oldest forms of artistic analysis, dating back to Homer’s description of Achilles’ blacksmith god-​created shield in The…

Flipped Out

Our adventure began with a two-​sentence conversation with Eric as we watched our new favorite HGTV show, “Flip or Flop.” The show stars Tarek and Christina El Moussa — a young, attractive (and a bit annoying) married couple who buy property, flip it, and sell it, usually making an outrageous profit.

Hath Not a Jew

by Sarina Gruver Moore
Of Shakespeare’s major comedies, The Merchant of Venice is my least favorite because it’s the least funny. In a post-​Holocaust world it’s difficult to stage the play’s anti-​semitic jokes, and directors often make the understandable choice to shift the tone contour of the play toward the political and tragic.

The Art of Lazar Ran

by Jennifer Faines
From origins at the Vitebsk Fine Arts School in Belarus (founded by Mark Chagall in 1918), to safe-​keeping in an Ohio home for decades, the art of Lazar Ran and his contemporaries has taken a circuitous path to appear on the walls of the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh. The collection…

On Karoshi, Part III

As noted in my last several posts, Japanese salarymen worked long hours without overtime pay for a selfless reason: to pull their defeated country up by its bootstraps. And they succeeded wildly. By 1978 Japan had surpassed Germany to become the world’s second-​largest economy, a position it held until it…
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