The infusion of ample liquidity since the start of the decade to bring us out of the 2001 recession, cushion the economy and markets after the September 11th attack, and the continuation of the Yen Carry trade have put a bid under financial markets and have reduced volatility to an extreme.
Human beings are creatures of habit. We are comforted by the stability of routines. We prefer sameness to change, which is why we prefer the status quo. Markets are no different. Because markets abhor uncertainty...
In his book, The Fall of Rome, Bryan Ward-Perkins sets the record straight. Whatever else contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire, it was the barbarians who destroyed it after all. Recent historians prefer to downplay the barbarian invasions as a "slow and quiet" process...
It is impossible that the human race should ever live in permanent peace. It is impossible that we should eliminate poverty, inequality, drug abuse, crime or stupidity. And yet, one side of the political spectrum talks and acts as though it is a scandal that we have not established permanent peace.
In a new film titled The Good Shepherd, billed by its producers as "the untold birth of the CIA," fictional names are used to mask historical characters - from the infamous mole, Kim Philby, to the controversial KGB defector, Anatoliy Golitsyn.
In her book, The Force of Reason, Oriana Fallaci describes the West's spiritual decline. In the West, she says, our corrupt culture does not punish the body.
The US economy is based largely on the consumer. Consumer confidence is strongly tied to asset valuations, so today’s news releases for the Mortgage Bankers’ Association’s purchase applications index and New Home Sales were fairly important to gauging the possible strength of the US economy.
A reader of this column recently asked what policies I'd recommend for the U.S. government. It is one thing to criticize policymakers. It is another thing to come up with constructive solutions.
The US is insolvent. There is simply no way for our national bills to be paid under current levels of taxation and promised benefits. Our federal deficits alone now total more than 400% of GDP.
What are the greatest potential rogue waves on the horizon? Rampant debt and speculation, derivatives, and an unsustainable expansion of credit. Jim describes the implications of such events on the financial...