COMMERCE

Why Gold Had to Go

by Greg Curtis
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

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

The Great Depression vs. the Great Recession

by Greg Curtis
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…

Focus on Leadership

Five regional leaders address key elements and lessons of what it means to lead.

Central Bankers Then and Now

by Greg Curtis
Not that anyone cares, but in these pages I’ve been highly critical of the “unconventional” policies pursued by every central banker on the planet since the Financial Crisis.

Pittsburgh’s Hardest Working Angel

Enter the warehouse and, if you aren’t bewildered by the seeming randomness of it all, you get a sense of the urgency. Mobile hospital beds. Crutches. Respirators. IV poles guarding bedpans. Hundreds of boxes of pharmaceuticals. Medical equipment bound for Nigeria, Uganda, Guyana. And for some reason, dozens of suitcases,…

A Look Inside Google’s Unconventional Bakery Square Offices

What is really behind the brick walls of that redeveloped Nabisco cookie factory building in Bakery Square, labelled with Google’s colorful logo? Think: hammocks, coffee shops, dining rooms, gaming rooms and pool tables. Created in collaboration with local architecture firm Strada, Google’s office space in Pittsburgh’s East End is playful,…

America in a Trance: An Observation of the Fading American Dream

About two decades ago, my father moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, which was my second experience with the United States. In the late 70s, he journeyed from Greece to New York City to work on his post-​graduate studies, which evidently led him to the Keystone State. Living in Pennsylvania and traveling…

Three Questions on the Markets, Part IV

Each year in our Summer issue, we ask a group of the region’s leading financial experts to help our readers by responding to a series of questions. The final question is, “What effect will higher inflation have on stock prices?”

Three Questions on the Markets, Part III

Each year in our Summer issue, we ask a group of the region’s leading financial experts to help our readers by responding to a series of questions. Below is part three of this four-​part series with their answers to this question: Do you think the Trump Administration’s stimulus efforts — especially the…

Inside a Swiss Bank

by Greg Curtis
I just returned from one of those whirlwind speaking tours in Europe – three speeches in four days in Zurich, Budapest and Vienna. It was an eye-​opener. Back here in the U.S. we are so focused on the shenanigans going on in Washington, D.C. that we forget that very similar…

Three Questions on the Markets, Part II

Each year in our Summer issue, we ask a group of the region’s leading financial experts to help our readers by responding to questions. Below are their answers to this question: Why has market volatility spiked in 2018? Do you expect markets to remain volatile?

Three Questions on the Markets

Each year in our Summer issue, we ask a group of the region’s leading financial experts to help our readers by responding to a question. This year, we’ve asked three. Part I of this four-​part series begins below.

What Do We Need to Make Western Pa. the Best Place to Live?

We asked a cross-​section of regional leaders to respond, in 75 words or less, to this question: What do we need to do to make Western Pennsylvania the best place to live in the world?

Region Gets Average Marks for Senior Livability

by Jeffery Fraser
The Pittsburgh region has filled a trophy case with awards for being judged the “most livable” place in the nation by a variety of publications and organizations. But when the livability of senior citizens is considered, the region is less than a standout, an AARP index suggests.
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