If "Getting Ahead" Depends on Asset Bubbles, It’s Not "Getting Ahead," It’s Gambling

Given that the economy is now totally and completely dependent on inflating asset bubbles, it makes no sense to invest for the long-term. Beneath the endlessly hyped expansion in gross domestic product (GDP) of the past two decades, the economy has changed dramatically. The American Dream boils down to social and economic mobility, a.k.a. getting ahead through hard … Read moreIf "Getting Ahead" Depends on Asset Bubbles, It’s Not "Getting Ahead," It’s Gambling

America’s Forced Financial Flight: Fleeing Unaffordable and Dysfunctional Cities

The forced flight from unaffordable and dysfunctional urban regions is as yet a trickle, but watch what happens when a recession causes widespread layoffs in high-wage sectors. For hundreds of years, rural poverty has driven people to urban areas: cities offer paying work and abundant opportunities to get ahead, and these financial incentives have transformed the … Read moreAmerica’s Forced Financial Flight: Fleeing Unaffordable and Dysfunctional Cities

How Empires Fall: Moral Decay

There is a name for this institutionalized, commoditized fraud: moral decay. Moral decay is an interesting phenomenon: we spot it easily in our partisan-politics opponents and BAU (business as usual) government/private-sector dealings (are those $3,000 Pentagon hammers now $5,000 each or $10,000 each? It’s hard to keep current…), and we’re suitably indignant when non-partisan corruption is discovered in … Read moreHow Empires Fall: Moral Decay

The Next Financial Crisis Won’t Be Caused by Fraud: This Time Will Be Different

Extreme levels of debt and overvaluation characterize the entire global economy, and are not limited to any one nation or sector. Financial crises come in two flavors: fraud and credit-valuation over-reach.Fraud-based financial crises may differ in particulars, but they share many traits: perverse incentives are institutionalized; the perverse incentives reward figuring out how to evade … Read moreThe Next Financial Crisis Won’t Be Caused by Fraud: This Time Will Be Different

The World’s Hypocritical Silence as China Imprisons its Ethnic Muslims En Masse

The entire world’s ruling elites are silent because they’re terrified that even mild murmurings might limit the blood-soaked billions they want to reap from trade with China. Imagine the reaction in the global Muslim community if a western nation imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Muslims solely for being Muslim and subjected them to torture, “re-education” that … Read moreThe World’s Hypocritical Silence as China Imprisons its Ethnic Muslims En Masse

No Fix for Recession: Without a Financial Crisis, There’s No Central Bank Policy Fix

There are no extreme “fixes” to secular declines in sales, profits, employment, tax revenues and asset prices. The saying “never let a crisis go to waste” embodies several truths worth pondering as the stock market nears new highs. One truth is that extreme policies that would raise objections in typical times can be swept into law … Read moreNo Fix for Recession: Without a Financial Crisis, There’s No Central Bank Policy Fix

Fitness without the Long, Grueling Workout

Pondering what Nature selected as advantageous in our long existence as hunter-gatherers helps us understand why walking and occasional short bursts of intensive exercise together yield the vast majority of the benefits of exercise/fitness. What if there was a way to get rich by merely investing a modest amount of money weekly? Who wouldn’t want … Read moreFitness without the Long, Grueling Workout