The Final Battle

“Few general elections,” writes Robert Tombs in The Telegraph, “can properly be described as historic. Fewer still mark a watershed in the way we are governed - perhaps one a century. In 1831, the victory of the Whigs under Earl Grey ensured that the old constitution would be reformed and a slow movement towards popular government began. The…

On liberty

Despite the psychic political torture of the last three-and-a-half years, the coming UK General Election promises to be a doozy of epic proportions. For the hard of recall, here is a summary of what the three major British parties promised in their 2017 manifestos regarding the most pressing issue of the day (at least to  this correspondent), namely…

Know what you know

So one inauspicious date – that of the UK’s official departure from the EU on Halloween – has been replaced by another. Absent some highly unusual activity in the House of Lords, the country will learn the identity of its new Prime Minister on Friday 13th of December. Of all the various options available, a Boris Johnson premiership and a majority…

One good scare

The film Halloween is not just a cracking atmospheric piece from the early career of its director John Carpenter, but at the time of its release was the most successful independent film ever made. Made on a shoestring budget of $320,000 it managed to gross over $40 million. This correspondent has always been a fan of John Carpenter, from an early enough…

FT: Fatuous Trots

Hell hath no fury like an elite ignored. Readers wishing to tear their faces off may be interested in reading the latest effort by the FT’s pompous-sounding ‘Editorial Board’. The FT seems to be taking a leaf out of The Economist’s book by imposing anonymity on a growing number of its articles. Not wanting to be held accountable for the piece…

Balls

“People who insist on telling their dreams are among the terrors of the breakfast table.” - Max Beerbohm.   *Readers may enjoy our recent State of the Markets podcast with Professor of Economics at the Université d’Angers, Guido Hülsmann, recorded at the end of September 2019*   Well, since you ask, it was a dream last week about a casino,…

Spooky

Autumn naturally lends itself to a mixture of retrospection and introspection. The bright and sunny certainties of summer are replaced by the cloudier anticipations of the winter to come. As the crops are gathered in, the days darken, and chill. And as animal spirits start to wane with the weakening sun, problems that swelled up during the heat of summer…

Dover Beach

“If socialists understood economics, they would not be socialists.” - Friedrich August von Hayek.  

Lucky numbers

“On November 3, for example, Morgenthau suggested to Roosevelt a 19 to 22 cent rise in price and Roosevelt responded that he wanted 21 cents. Why ? “It is a lucky number, Roosevelt said laughing, “because it’s three times seven.” Morgenthau later wrote in his diary, “If anybody ever knew how we really set the gold price through a combination…

Hope, need and greed

In the history of fund management, the name of Fidelity Magellan’s Peter Lynch still carries a lot of weight. Lynch is considered by many to be the greatest mutual fund manager of all time. (Warren Buffett, for example, just to get technical about it, is a businessman managing a diversified holding company.) But is Lynch’s reputation all it’s…