A Bang Or A Whimper?

Will the current bull market die spectacularly, à la 1929, or—as in 1974—strangle in weird silence?

J.P. Morgan did not have much use for either the stock market or reporters. So when one reporter importunately asked him what the market was going to do one day, he replied, with about equal parts contempt and truth, “It will fluctuate.” Read more »

The Bank War

With his usual furious vigor, Andrew Jackson posed a question that continues to trouble us to this day

The alarm bells are ringing for Social Security again. That’s not exactly news— predictions of the exhaustion of its trust fund have been made before. Earlier this year some members of yet another panel of experts proposed a new remedy: to wit, the investment of a part of those reserved billions in private securities instead of lesser-yielding but safer government bonds. That, of course, would make the United States of America a direct player in the market.Read more »

Are We Really Going The Way Of The British Empire?

Those who believe America’s power is on the wane look to the example of Britain’s shockingly quick collapse. But the similarities may be less alarming than they seem.

In 1987 Paul Kennedy published his eighth book, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. The first seven had established his reputation as an admirably capable professional historian, and he was pleasantly surprised when this one became celebrated far outside academic precincts. He also must have been astonished when he found himself the object of political invective. Read more »

The Other Great Depression

In 1937 the American economy, which had been slowly rising from the depths it had reached in 1933, suddenly reversed course and sank once more. While this new economic trend enlarged the misery of the American people, it also gave the economists a new problem: what to call it. Read more »