Gregory Curtis is the founder and Chairman of Greycourt & Co., Inc., a wealth management firm. He is the author of three investment books, including his most recent, Family Capital. He can be reached at gcurtis@greycourt.com. Please note that this post is intended to provide interested persons with an insight on the capital markets and is not intended to promote any manager or firm, nor does it intend to advertise their performance. All opinions expressed are those of Gregory Curtis and do not necessarily represent the views of Greycourt & Co., Inc., the wealth management firm with which he is associated. The information in this report is not intended to address the needs of any particular investor.

Looking at Vaccine-hesitant People

I want to bring this series to an end with a couple of essays on a delicate subject.  Vaccine hesitancy, or what some prefer to call the “anti-vaxxers,” has been a seriously divisive issue during the pandemic. I can’t tell you how many times people said to me (Blue people, that is), “It’s those stupid …

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Listing the CDC’s Failures

Last week we discussed the bad science at the WHO and CDC, which ignored asymptomatic spread of COVID – the primary transmission mechanism. The CDC should have recommended that all Americans get tested regularly, whether we had symptoms or not, but they didn’t. So we didn’t – we were following the science. Previously in this series: Panic …

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Asymptomatic Spread

We’re going over examples that demonstrate how difficult it is to “follow the science,” especially in the early months and years of something as novel and complex as COVID. Let’s take a look at the phenomenon of: Asymptomatic spread Previously in this series: Panic is a Virus Part V: Bad COVID Science When we say …

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Bad COVID Science

Last week I reported on the World Health Organization’s pigheaded approach to how COVID is transmitted – by droplets, they said, so we all needed to wash our hands constantly and sanitize all surfaces. Handwashing and sanitizing didn’t kill us – it was hygiene theater – but the panic engendered by WHO’s bad science did kill us. Previously in …

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Follow the Science?

I said, ‘Mr. Purple people eater what’s your line?’/He said, ‘Eating Purple people and it sure is fine!’ Sheb Wooley, 1958 Thanks to Sheb Wooley, we know why there are no Purple people in America. Unfortunately, that leaves only Blue people and Red people, and among the (many) things we all got wrong during the pandemic …

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The Mask Fiasco

The mask controversy got off to a bad start when, early in the pandemic, the nation’s highest-ranking health officials flip-flopped on the issue. Here is Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams in February 2020: “Seriously people – STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing the general public from catching #Coronavirus!” Previously in this series:The …

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The Lesson of Japan

“Call it the Zen art of lockdowns.” — Alistair Gale and Miho Inada While we’re on the subject of lockdowns, let’s briefly take a look at the experience of the “Zen art of lockdowns” in: Japan Previously in this series: Panic is a Virus: Part I When the pandemic hit Japan, the country had fewer …

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Panic Is a Virus

“We are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase.” Dr. Anthony Fauci, April 26, 2022 Whether or not the pandemic is really over, the acute phase of the disease is, I hope, largely behind us, and we can now, at last, enjoy a brief bit of perspective on COVID and our …

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Stefan Lorant, The Conclusion

Although disaster had been briefly averted, the key word was “briefly,” as we’ll see in the final episode of this series, which I’ll call: More Trouble in Lenox Previously in this series: Stefan Lorant Part VI, Of Charm and Disaster Lorant and I were passing through the kitchen on our way out the back door …

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Charm and Disaster

Following the fiasco of the “crystal palace,” I decided to take sterner measures with Lorant. I called him up and told him that unless we could resolve the problem of the purloined photographs, it was unlikely the fifth edition of the Pittsburgh book would ever see the light of day. I also told him I …

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Of Crypts and Art Thieves

My next story about Lorant is a short one, but memorable, at least to my wife and me. We’ll call it:   Tale from the Crypt Previously in this series: Stefan Lorant Part IV, Read All Over the World My wife, Simin, is half-Czech, and Stefan seemed to be deeply infatuated with her. Or maybe he …

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Read All Over the World

Pittsburgh: The Story of an American City was ubiquitous in Pittsburgh. It seemed as though everybody who was anybody had a copy, and some people had copies of every edition. Previously in this series: Stefan Lorant Part III, Charming and Impossible But what was remarkable was how well the book was known outside Pittsburgh. The first edition …

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Charming and Impossible

Stefan Lorant was a dashing, debonaire fellow when he was young, and even in his late old age he remained attractive to women. One 40-year-old divorcée recalls having an affair with Lorant when the latter was in his eighties. “He was impossibly romantic,” she told me. Previously in this series: Stefan Lorant Part II, The …

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The Book on Pittsburgh

Wherever Stefan Lorant went in his life – whatever job he held, whatever town he lived in, whatever nation – he had a remarkable knack for being in the right place and for sniffing out who the most important people were and meeting and befriending them. Previously in this series: Stefan Lorant, Part I In …

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Stefan Lorant

Stefan Lorant, the pioneering photojournalist, was born at the turn of the twentieth century and died 96 years later, at the century’s end. In between, everywhere Lorant went and everything he did ended up having momentous consequences. Some of those consequences were micro and personal – but memorable – while others were macro and geopolitical. …

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China’s Xi Is Having a Really Bad War

“Putin’s War Is Xi’s Worst Nightmare” — Headline above Craig Singleton’s article in Foreign Policy The term idée fixe refers to a monomania of the brain, a pathology of the mind, an erroneous notion that nonetheless powerfully resists almost any attempt to modify it. When an idée fixe establishes itself in the mind of an all-powerful autocrat, the consequences are always …

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U.S. Policy Blunders Helped Provoke Ukraine War

Whose Fault is the Ukraine War? “[Post-Cold War], many American elites embraced a vision of a U.S.-led ‘liberal international order’ which could theoretically integrate the entire world… into a single, globalized whole.” –  Stephen Kotkin, Princeton University Previously in this series: A Coat of Varnish Part V, ESG Investors Need to Wake Up to Reality …

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ESG Investors Need to Wake Up to Reality

Will ESG Finally Grow Up? “ESG is a huge, gross gravy train for fund managers, consultants, and marzipan layer technocrats of various flavors. The whole thing is rotten.  If you work in the space, your choices are to be a useless idiot trolling in the trenches for what you think is a good cause, be …

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The Fed’s Failure – and There Goes Climate Change

The Fed Is Having a Bad War “The Fed’s odds [of achieving a soft landing] are now substantially below 50-50.” — Alan Blinder  “The Fed that Failed.” Title of an article in “The Economist” “I have been humbled.”  Fed Chair Jay Powell Previously in this series: A Coat of Varnish Part IV, History’s Lessons and Historic …

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History’s Lessons and Historic Mistakes

Angela Merkel’s Reputation Is Trashed – But Is America at Fault? Merkel’s reign at the top of Germany’s political apparatus was remarkable, and she stepped down as something of a secular saint with a 77% approval rating. But it’s amazing what six months can do. Previously in this series: A Coat of Varnish Part III, …

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Not Everyone Agrees with Us

Let’s Talk Nukes “If a third world war is such a crippling worry, how can the premise of NATO be credible? Its effectiveness has always depended on the belief that NATO is indeed prepared to run the risk of nuclear war.” — Martin Wolf in the Financial Times Previously in this series: A Coat of Varnish Part …

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Posture of U.S. Weakness Encouraged Ukraine Invasion

What do Caesar’s Wife, Justice, and Military Deterrence Have in Common? “The lure of appeasement – in essence, a return to the policies pursued in many Western capitals for the past two decades – will be strong.” — Thomas de Maizière, former German defense minister Previously in this series: A Coat of Varnish “It is better …

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