The late Allan Bloom, professor of philosophy at Cornell, Yale, and the University of Chicago, wrote some twenty years ago in The Closing of the American Mind, “There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.” If all truth is relative, all morality becomes relative as well, for the elimination of absolute truth claims absolute morality as its first victim.
Relations amongst the countries of the Middle East revolve around religion and historic allegiances. The region's Muslim countries are divided into Sunni and Shiite camps while Jews and Christians are in a constant battle for representation.
It was, to say the least, another interesting week. JP Morgan restated its first quarter earnings, as the company’s “London Whale” synthetic derivative loss jumped to $5.8bn. Another city in California can’t pay its bills and readies for bankruptcy.
According to the conventional account, the Great American Middle Class has been eroded by rising energy costs, globalization, and the declining purchasing power of the U.S. dollar in the four decades since 1973.
For most of Wall Street’s history, trading in equities was fairly straightforward: buyers and sellers gathered on exchange floors and haggled until they struck a deal. Computerized trading of stocks didn’t arrive onto the Wall Street scene until the 1980’s. Computer guided “Program trading”—defined by the NYSE as an order to buy or sell 15-stocks or more—valued at over $1-million total, was blamed for the “Black Monday” Crash of October 1987.
“Crowding out” is an obscure term if you're not an economist – but this replacement of the private sector economy with government spending may end up being one of the largest determinants of your standard of living during retirement.
On page two of today’s Wall Street Journal Europe you will find the result of a readers’ poll from last Friday: Question: Will the ECB’s rate cut help restore confidence in the bloc’s economy? Answer: 81 percent of readers say no, 19 percent yes.
In the aftermath of the financial crisis—first in the U.S. and now in Europe—there has been a steady chorus of influential and prominent thinkers testifying that the field of economics is in none other than a full-blown existential crisis.