Summary: As part of our holiday festivities, here's an article by one of the great intellects of the 20th century. John Maynard Keynes made seminal contributions in statistics, risk management, and (above all) macroeconomics. Here he looks at our future, seeing things already happening yet about which we remain unaware -- with even better news … Continue reading One of the 20th century’s top minds sees a great 21st century for humanity
Summary: A sad aspect of our age is the willful blindness we impose on ourselves. It's not just the blindness to our world so often described on this website, but also blindness to our past. To avoid learning from our sages we mutilate their message -- then laugh at the debased result. Perhaps the clearest … Continue reading Keynes looks 80 years into the future and across the Atlantic, to explain our broken values
Summary: Bad decisions often transform a crisis into a disaster. Sometimes bad decisions are unavoidable. Today we'll look at two episodes of the past, mining them for useful lessons for us about leadership. Contents Introduction Learning from the Titanic Learning from the Great Depression Looking at responses to the 2008-2009 crash, and the crises that … Continue reading The Titanic’s lessons for us about the coming economic crisis
Summary: This week Europe's leaders faced a choice somewhat similar and perhaps equally momentous as America's leaders faced in 1787. But this week they chose a path that looks punitive and short-sighted, pursuing European unification but likely to generate discord and eventually fragmentation. Seldom does one act determine the future, but they might find it difficult to … Continue reading Europe has chosen a harsh future. All the paths for Greece lead into darkness.
Summary: Hubris is the great destroyer of Empires. Especially the mad American Empire, which costs much, brings no economic benefits (no treasure ships coming home, no advantage to our exports), and multiplies our enemies. Britain's post-imperial periods was painful, as it will be for us if we fail to learn from the past. Americans take … Continue reading A warning from the past. Might the American Empire drag down America?
Summary: Rising population, finite resources. Don Vandergriff asks if we have the creativity and wisdom to cope with these two colliding trends? “In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if, in tempestous seasons, they can only tell us that when the storm is long past the … Continue reading Leadership in action: when resource constraints meet conspicuous consumption, we just ignore the problem
Summary: We're living in an time of deja vu. Our Af-Pak War repeats the mistakes of Vietnam; Europe's economic policy repeats mistakes of the 1930's. Slow and stupid are the two sins God always punishes. (1) Mark Thoma (Prof economics, U Oregon) coined a term for the advocates of austerity now (i.e., increase savings during a recession; they … Continue reading Keynes comments on our new-found love of austerity