Money

The Brits Blew It in Hong Kong

“[China] looks increasingly like it has reached a dead end.” —Frank Dikötter, Professor, University of Hong Kong As we learned last week, from 1898 until 1997 Britain owned two of the three regions of Greater Hong Kong—in perpetuity—while China owned the third region, subject to a 99-year lease to Britain. Yet, in 1997, all of …

The Brits Blew It in Hong Kong Read More »

In China, the Unraveling Begins

“It is time for the United States to stand up to China in Hong Kong.” —Elizabeth Warren Just for fun, let’s go back to 1842, which is when China “lost” Hong Kong. Most Westerners seem to think that the Brits had a 99-year lease on Hong Kong, that that lease terminated in 1997, and that …

In China, the Unraveling Begins Read More »

A Liberal Approach to Business

Because you study anything and everything at a liberal arts college, you might say that it resembles an episode of Seinfeld, the observational comedy show about nothing. And because nothing really prepares you for a business career, the liberal arts might make the best choice. Late one night in 1992, my father phoned, asking me …

A Liberal Approach to Business Read More »

The Worst of All Possible Worlds, Conclusion

“How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways. I loathe thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach… I loathe thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but loathe thee better after death.” —What Browning would say about Fedecbboj (central …

The Worst of All Possible Worlds, Conclusion Read More »

Stop the Insanity!

“We recall not too long ago when extraordinary monetary policies were reserved for recessions or financial panics.” —Lead editorial, The Wall Street Journal Whenever I pull out the long knives for our friends at Fedecbboj (central bankers at the Fed, the ECB, and Bank of Japan), some of my gentle readers inevitably send me notes reading more or …

Stop the Insanity! Read More »

The Worst of All Possible Worlds

“Tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes possibles. [All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.]” —Voltaire, “Candide” In the novella “Candide,” the cockeyed optimist Dr. Pangloss attempts to imbue his young mentee with Pangloss’s own incurable optimism. Candide does his best to remain hopeful, but as he travels …

The Worst of All Possible Worlds Read More »

A Few Disastrous Examples of Government Overspending

“History is the most humbling of subjects.” —Wilfred M. McClay, Woodrow Wilson International Center As I’ve noted, the central thesis of Modern Monetary Theory is that a government that borrows in its own currency can never default because it can simply keep printing money to pay its debts. Hyperinflation, says MMT, can’t happen because as …

A Few Disastrous Examples of Government Overspending Read More »

A Closer Look at the “Panacea”

People whose political opinions put them well to the left of the center of American opinion will naturally find themselves sympathetic to many of the policy proposals put forth by the Democrat Presidential candidates. People well to the right of center will naturally be hostile to those policies. But almost everyone, including those in the …

A Closer Look at the “Panacea” Read More »

Modern Monetary Madness

When I think about MMT—Modern Monetary Theory—I visualize an odious miscreation squatting in its squalid swamp for decades, waiting only for an opportunity to erupt from the scum and devour the world’s economies. Okay, maybe I should be taking my meds… MMT’s main postulate, and it’s only raison d’être, is that a government that borrows …

Modern Monetary Madness Read More »

Pittsburgh: Buy, Sell or Hold?

We’ve asked a group of the region’s leading financial experts to give their opinion on the following question: “If the Pittsburgh region were an investable security, what changes, if any, would you want to see before you advised your clients to invest?” Their answers follow. Linda Duessel, Federated Investors: Pittsburgh already is a “buy.” It’s …

Pittsburgh: Buy, Sell or Hold? Read More »

Future Breakthroughs for Heart Disease

“The coronary bypass operation stands as a monument to an almost total lack of understanding of causes, prevention, and effective management of [heart] disease.” —Charles T. McGee, MD. “It’s humbling to see medical dogma overturned.” —Bernadine Healy, MD, former Director, NIH, discussing the heart’s ability to heal itself Once it became clear that human heart …

Future Breakthroughs for Heart Disease Read More »

Is Coronary Bypass Surgery Obsolete?

“You will die with exactly the same heart muscle cells you came out of the womb with.” —Consulting cardiologist, speaking to Your Humble Blogger Having recently experienced the gruesome-car-crash known as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, I was naturally wondering why, instead of doing its best to kill an already very fragile patient, medical …

Is Coronary Bypass Surgery Obsolete? Read More »

The Amazing Human Heart

“Do-it-yourself cardiac bypass surgery: All you need is walking shoes.” —Harvard Medical School Doctors have believed forever that the human heart is so fragile and helpless that it can’t heal itself. The heart can only be improved after a heart attack, they believe, by putting the hapless patient through a car crash—excuse me, coronary artery …

The Amazing Human Heart Read More »

The Heart Can’t Heal—or Can It?

Having a heart attack was like having an elephant jump on my chest and sit there for six hours, then wander off into the night as though nothing had happened. Having sextuple CABG surgery was like being in a really bad car crash. As between the two, if you ask me, there isn’t much to …

The Heart Can’t Heal—or Can It? Read More »

Opening the Medical Mind

“Health care’s political economy exists only for the disease. To the system, the person with the disease remains in obscurity.” —Justin Mutter, Center for Biomedical Ethics, UVA Every profession has its sacred cows. These are ideas, policies, practices, procedures and so on that have been anointed as the Gold Standard and thereafter can’t be questioned. Most of …

Opening the Medical Mind Read More »

The Attractiveness of the Peaceful Hopi Culture

What Robert Redford did—how does he think this stuff up?—was invite the CEOs of Peabody and the four utility companies, along with the two tribal chairmen (Peter McDonald from the Navajo and Abbott Sekaquaptewa from the Hopi) to come to Sundance for a “pow-wow.” And I mean an actual pow-wow. The big-shot CEOs and the …

The Attractiveness of the Peaceful Hopi Culture Read More »

Earth Mother vs. Money

Abbott Sekaquaptewa and I were sitting precariously on the edge of a mesa, the dark desert spread out below us, the night sky overcast and black. Abbott told me that way back when the Hopi were protected by the Apache, the Hopi tribe was united—everyone hated the Apache and would have nothing to do with …

Earth Mother vs. Money Read More »

An Evening with the Hopi Tribal Council

The Hopi tribe is governed by an American-style system of representative democracy more or less imposed on them by the Bureau of Indian Affairs back in 1936. In the days when I was dealing with Abbott, the Hopi Tribal Council consisted of about twenty representatives, each serving two-year terms. The representatives were elected from the …

An Evening with the Hopi Tribal Council Read More »

The Hopi’s Last Hope

My new friend, Abbott Sekaquaptewa, had walked me through the history of the Hopi tribe, beginning with their birth as children of the Earth Mother up to about AD 500, when the Hopi had hired a fierce Apache tribe to protect them. As I noted last week, although the Hopi owed their entire continued existence …

The Hopi’s Last Hope Read More »

Abbott Sekaquaptewa: The Man Who Asked for Help

One day, innocently sitting at my desk and annoying no one, I opened a long letter from a guy named Abbott Sekaquaptewa, who seemed to be the Chairman of the Hopi Indian Tribe (as they were known in those days). As I read through Abbott’s letter I became more and more befuddled. He seemed to …

Abbott Sekaquaptewa: The Man Who Asked for Help Read More »

Responsible Investing Without the Hype: The Conclusion

We’ll finish up our examination of some of the challenges associated with responsible investing by looking at a few random issues. Good intentions don’t count in RI There are lots of areas of human endeavor where good intentions matter a lot, but RI isn’t one of them. In RI, good intentions, if not married to …

Responsible Investing Without the Hype: The Conclusion Read More »

Philosophical Issues Bedeviling Responsible Investing

We’ve reviewed many potential pitfalls that bedevil responsible investing, but now let’s turn to some of the more philosophical issues in the space. Try to ignore self-interested research in the RI sector. Almost every day, a financial or consulting firm publishes “research” purporting to show that this or that type of RI produces terrific outcomes. …

Philosophical Issues Bedeviling Responsible Investing Read More »

Top