Dive into the archives.

  • Lack of demand and the destruction of self-esteem

      Just having finished my earlier post, “Psycho-Economic Depression“, I came upon this by Fritz Schumacher, from “Small is Beautiful” (pages 203-204). It seemed to fit: If the nature of change is such that nothing is left for the fathers to teach their sons, or for the sons to accept from their fathers, family life [...]

  • Psycho-Economic Depression

    The industrial revolution wrought by Frederick Taylor is complete. Production is divided among a mass workforce which, as if by Smith’s “invisible hand”, creates what we need. And so, in Hayek lockstep, we move forward. Its simple, elegant banner is Leonard Read’s classic, “I, a Pencil”. It is true, there is not one of us [...]

  • Pairing: Bernanke as an Answer Among Uncertainties

    Recent behavior in financial markets really does resemble the dynamics of large groups. Markets, like groups, struggle through long periods of anxiety, attempting to reach some momentary closure that brings sense— at least temporarily— to interactive flux. A perfect example has been the elevation of the Fed’s Ben Bernanke: from Rick Perry’s recent derogation of [...]

  • The Markets’ Increasing Dread

    It has been a few weeks since the “resolution” of the US debt crisis. And there has been a cascading erosion of public confidence as unemployment, diminished growth and “Japanization” in Europe and the US, increasing dangers of Eurodebt sans Eurobonds have correlated with a 16% drop in the S&P ( a measure of convenience). [...]

  • Continuous Iterations of Anxiety

    How has the world changed since 9/11? That was the question put to me by a colleague, anticipating an appearance on a radio talk show. He asked the question just as I had read online, that the Washington negotiations about the US debt ceiling were about to reach consensus, a day or two before the [...]

  • On Knowing More Than You Know: the Bricoleur

    Here is  a Leatherman for your intellectual tool-kit,  a terrific notion which could very well be serve as foundation for   a talk I’ll be giving to equity investors in Sydney on June 21. It is from Levi-Strauss’ “The Savage Mind” (pages 17-18 in the University of Chicago edition, 1966): “The bricoleur is adept at performing [...]

  • A New Silk Road

    Gradually it has dawned on me that the new Silk Road is rather like dream-time: with tracks everywhere and separate tribal dreamings singing songs with different lyrics but overlapping and similar tunes. OK: so I have Australia on the mind; and the upcoming trip with talks about investor psychology in light of all we know [...]

  • June 2011: Depleted in America

    It is lonely in America. Sometimes, of course, our loneliness is stuffed full of self-satisfaction; but it often plummets in depletion to despair and confusion. These too are lonely states. From Reisman’s “The Lonely Crowd” to Lasch’s “Culture of Narcissism”, a trajectory of social development was begun with two recent contributions weighing in from the [...]

  • Waiting on Investments

    Retail investment requires two kinds of trust:  one monetary and the other, a trust in expectations. Together, their demand for fulfillment is that the investor must wait. Necessarily, the investor spends a lot of time waiting: waiting for a good market entry point; waiting for a target exit point; waiting for market trends to turn; [...]

  • Duncan Donuts’ Linguistic Step Too Far

    It had happened before, but this morning I decided to discuss it with management: how my request for a “medium” coffee is met with the counter-person’s translation into “large”. It turns out that the 3 model cups on display are NOT small, medium, and large; but rather: medium, large, and extra-large. What happened to small? [...]


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