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.

On Consciousness

“God does not play dice with the universe.” Albert Einstein “If you are not profoundly shocked by quantum physics you have not understood it.” Neils Bohr Across the long intellectual history of the human race, reaching back at least to the pre-Socratic philosophers (beginning, apparently with Thales of Miletus), there have been a handful of occasions …

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The Long War Had Definite Pluses

We are speculating about how the Taliban will govern Afghanistan the second time around. Last week I concluded that one prevalent fear – that the Taliban would protect terrorist groups that are a major threat to the West – is unlikely to happen. Previously in this series: “The Taliban and Future Terrorism: A Positive Take (You …

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The Taliban and Future Terrorism

“If Americans are worried about the return of violent Islamist extremists … Afghanistan is not the most important place they should watch.” — Philip Zelikow, former Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission. Previously in this series: “Afghan History and the Taliban: A Positive Take (You Heard That Right) on Afghanistan, Part II” To begin – and end …

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Afghan History and the Taliban

It’s difficult to remain an atoll of sanity in a typhoon of madness. Previously in this series: “A Positive Take (You Heard That Right) on Afghanistan, Part I” For two decades – from the 1970s to the 1990s – Afghanistan was constantly at war, either with outside states (the USSR) or with itself via civil wars …

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A Positive Take (You Heard that Right) on Afghanistan

“We learn from the mistakes of the past how to make new ones. — Historian A.J.P. Taylor I was part of the 70 percent of Americans who thought it was time to bring most of our soldiers home from Afghanistan. I was also part of the 75 percent of Americans who were angered and embarrassed …

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The Best-laid Plans…

I’d collapsed into a chair beside the desk of the woman named Eth. Eth had her elbow on her desk and was resting her head on her hand. She was drinking coffee sideways so as not to have to move her head too much. Previously in this series: “My Big Moment” “If you don’t mind,” I …

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My Big Moment

As I mentioned earlier, the Republican convention was being held that year in Miami Beach and it was being run by Gerald Ford, then Speaker of the House. Previously in this series: “Lugar for Veep” Ford had the nifty idea of having a woman give the keynote address. It turned out that in the history of …

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Lugar for Veep?

I’ll close out my series on Richard Lugar with a three-part episode I’ll call  “Veep.” Previously in this series: “The Hug that Rocked Indianapolis: Richard Lugar, Part VII” Richard Lugar wasn’t just the Mayor of Indianapolis and he wasn’t just running for the U.S. Senate – he was also being mooted as President Nixon’s running mate. …

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The Hug that Rocked Indianapolis

Fortunately, most of my experiences in Dick Lugar’s office weren’t as creepy as the episode of “Drinking the Kool-Aid” or as alarming as “See No Evil.” There was, for example, the one I’ll call — Hello, Dolly! Previously in this series: “Lie Down with Dogs…: Richard Lugard Part VI” When Lugar was first elected Mayor of …

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Lie Down with Dogs…

“On my honor, I will never betray my integrity, my character, or the public trust.” –Indianapolis Police Dept. Oath Previously in this series: “You Meet the Strangest People…: Richard Lugar, Part V” Only a day or two after the episode of Drinking the Kool-Aid, there was the episode I’ll call:  See No Evil  Late in the afternoon a guy …

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You Meet the Strangest People…

I arrived at the Mayor’s office a bit early, announced myself and took a seat in the waiting room. I had only been there a minute or two when a lady came out, told me the Mayor would be with me soon, and asked me to fill out a form while I was waiting. Previously …

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Surprising the Mayor

In those days, the mayor of Indianapolis was a guy named Richard Lugar. Lugar was an unusual mayor, to say the least. He’d been first in his class in high school and college, had been a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and was an Eagle Scout. He was as straight-laced and honest as a country parson. …

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Joining the Force

One day I arrived at the MP station and saw a new announcement tacked up on the bulletin board. It was notifying everyone that, with the War in Vietnam winding down, nonessential personnel with only a few months left in the Army would be mustered out early. The Army needed to save money. Previously in …

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MPs on the Job!

Just one more exciting episode from the 226th Military Police Company, and then I can move on to the main part of my story. Previously in this series: “Policing Perils: Richard Lugar, Part I” Hot pursuit Legally speaking, the phrase “hot pursuit” stands as an exception to the usual rules that regulate police conduct, allowing …

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Policing Perils

Towards the end of my checkered career in the Army, I found myself stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison, a large Army base located outside Indianapolis. I was the Traffic Sergeant for the 226th Military Police Company and we served more like a civilian police force than like a traditional MP company. The reason was that …

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The Last Word

“In the last few weeks, the [FTC] has repeatedly changed policy direction without giving the public any real notice or right to be heard.” —Noah Phillips, FTC Commissioner Previously in this series: “Academics and Europeans: Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part XIV” I intended to end this series of posts with part 14, …

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Academics and Europeans…

I ended last week’s post by mentioning that Francis Fukuyama has proposed a novel way to control Big Tech, using so-called “middleware” companies to break the FAANGs’ control over Internet content. Previously in this series: “A Different Take on Big Tech: Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part XIII” As I understand what Fukuyama …

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A Different Take on Big Tech

We are evaluating a variety of complaints about Big Tech to see whether our ramshackle antitrust laws represent an appropriate remedy. So far, we’ve learned that antitrust action is a clumsy approach at best. But let’s look at one more major complaint against Big Tech. Previously in this series: “The Ridiculous Instagram Case: Antitrust Is …

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The Ridiculous Instagram Case

As I noted last week, virtually everywhere we go and everything we do is subject to surveillance by government and private citizens. And the person they are looking at is actually us, not some random number linked to our computers. Previously in this series: “The Coming Missteps on Big Tech: Antitrust Is More Interesting Than …

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The Coming Missteps on Big Tech

If we thought that too many antitrust laws and enforcements were ineffectual at best and counterproductive at worst, matters are about to become even more dreadful: Most of the proposed enforcements will harm consumers without much denting the power of Big Tech. Previously in this series: “How to Handle the FAANGs: Antitrust Is More Interesting …

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How to Handle the FAANGs

“Consumers won’t thank antitrust enforcers for repeating the mistakes of the past.” —Jessica Melugin, Competitive Enterprise Institute Previously in this series: “Laissez-Faire vs. the Progressives: Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part IX” The so-called Chicago School approach to antitrust enforcement has many fathers and they rarely agree on much. In addition, the school …

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Laissez-Faire vs. the Progressives

From the date of enactment of the first antitrust laws during the Roman Republic right up to the present moment, there have really been only three theories that have addressed the proper role of a government in controlling anticompetitive behavior. Previously in this series: “Government Missteps: Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part VIII” …

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