image from ThriftBooks I found Peter Zeihan's The Accidental Superpower to be a very interesting, informative, and entertaining book. It seems to be a great introduction to geopolitics, especially with its awesome maps. The first half of the book is brilliant, describing the geographical advantages that led to America's rise. As he describes in the book,… Continue reading Review of The Accidental Superpower
(image via goodreads) Odd Arne Westad's The Cold War is simply a must-read for anyone who wants a better understanding of the world today. Despite having lived through the Cold War -- and as someone who probably pays closer attention to current events, world politics, and history than your average American -- there was a… Continue reading Review of The Cold War: A World History
In my experience as an investment professional who relies heavily upon the accuracy of my news sources, they are two of the least biased sources. I have a bit more experience with Reuters since my employer bundles it into our market data application, but I have never run into had any bias or accuracy issues with either source… Continue reading How biased is Reuters or Associated Press?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we-L7w1K5Zo "Boo! Different political party!" Ever noticed how political debates in the U.S. these days tend to be two sides shouting and hurling insults at each other? Do you want to do something about it? Well, the first step is to be able to understand what you believe and why. If your only reason is… Continue reading How I define Conservativism and Liberalism
As I see it, the main cause was systemic, namely the securitization of mortgages (e.g., CDOs). This means mortgages being repackaged by lenders and resold to other investors who wanted the income from the monthly payments. This was first done in 1970 by the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA or Ginnie Mae), but securitization didn’t really start taking… Continue reading The Causes of the Financial Crisis
Image from goodreads.com I consider All the Devils Are Here to be the best book on the financial crisis I have read so far, edging out Nouriel Roubini's Crisis Economics and significantly better than Michael Lewis's excellent Big Short. Roubini excels more at explaining more of the economics in systemic big-picture terms and also laying… Continue reading Review of All the Devils Are Here
In regards to the big Supreme Court decision on Romneycare Obamacare, there's been much hand-wringing on how this is a tax on doing nothing. This does seem odd, until you realize that a penalty or tax on one group but not on a second group is economically identical to having no penalty or tax on the first group but a tax credit… Continue reading The Economics Behind the Individual Mandate
Now that the economy appears to be on the right track again, I'd like to revisit what I think was the cause of the 2001 recession. I run across too many people who take a partisan stance and blame it on Dubya or blame it on Clinton. Really, the President doesn't have as much power… Continue reading Whom to Blame for the Recession?