Creative Capital

On Children’s Literature

“Why do we give children the illusion of a world that doesn’t exist and which all their lives they will compare with a harsh reality?” –Georges Simenon

Why We Don’t Take Our Meds: The Conclusion

“If you torture data long enough, it will confess anything.” –Nobel Laureate Ronald Coase

No More “Bad Cholesterol”? Not So Fast…

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as though nothing had happened – Winston Churchill

The Heart Cholesterol Complex

It is difficult for a man to understand something when his income depends on his not understanding it. H.L. Mencken

The Really Horrible Versus the Ordinarily Horrible

By “PVCs” I don’t mean the stuff they make pipes out of. I mean “premature ventricular contractions.” When people have heart attacks, especially serious ones, heart muscle dies and turns into useless, deadweight scar tissue. To make matters worse, hearts that are pocked by scar tissue conduct electrical waves very…

How Many Heart Beats Do You Want?

So there I was, at the end of April 2015, off all my prescription meds. (I still took a baby aspirin and a multivitamin, don’t ask me why.) I was feeling great and knew I needed to exercise, but knowing and doing are two very different things.

Who Says There’s Really “Prediabetes”?

I want to launch this post with a disclaimer — don’t do what I did. On the other hand, the usual advice — consult with your physician — might be even worse, for the reasons I’ll get to.

My Eureka Moment

So there I was in early 2015, six months after my heart attack and open heart surgery, taking 12 meds and being urged to add another two to the regime. Instead of rebelling, I was Mr. Goodpatient, passively doing whatever I was told, however insane it seemed.

Why We Don’t Take Our Meds (Again)

Recently, two journalists (Tim Harford and Simon Kuper) working for the Financial Times of London attended the FT Weekend Festival. The topic of their onstage conversation was “the nightmare of writing a weekly column.” Tell me about it.

Fed Folly and its Practical Effects

“The… task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” –Friedrich von Hayek

The Fed’s Act of Cowardice

We are talking about America’s Monetary Keystone Kops, who have, since 1987 (when Greenspan became chair of the Federal Reserve), been masquerading as central bankers. (Or maybe it’s the other way ‘round, it’s hard to tell.)

Bernanke’s Blunders

We’ve assessed the successes and failures of central bankers in the 1930s. Now let’s turn our attention to their modern counterparts.

Why Gold Had to Go

The “gold standard,” which prevailed in the developed world for many decades, simply means that some fraction of a country’s paper currency has to be backed by — that is, convertible into — gold. In the U.S. that fraction was 40 percent. Since a government on the gold standard can’t print money without increasing…

Central Bankers Then and Now, Part III

Scholars of the Great Depression typically blame policymakers of the 1930s for failing to do four things:

The Great Depression vs. the Great Recession

Subsequent to the Global Financial Crisis, U.S. GDP has grown, in the aggregate, 37%. During the period of the Great Depression, U.S. GDP grew, in the aggregate, 40%. In the 1930s, the U.S. economy declined 26% between 1930 and 1933 and unemployment rose to 25%. During the Great Recession the…
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