Aug 12, 2019

Voltaire on detachment from reality

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

~ Voltaire

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Michael Malice on the Left vs. the Right

Conservatism is progressivism driving the speed limit.

~ Michael Malice

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Aug 8, 2019

Max Gulker on how antitrust actions stifle startups

The internet boom two decades ago demonstrated the special importance of startups in high-tech industries. Because the vast majority of startups fail, motivating their creation in the first place requires an especially large pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

The only statistic you need to know is that among successful startups, 16 times more are bought by larger firms than issue their own IPO. Getting bought is the realistic light at the end of the tunnel for the quintessential computer geek toiling away in their garage. Major antitrust decisions with a chilling effect on big firms buying smaller ones in the tech space calls that path into question.

The FTC’s current course would effectively erect new barriers to entry in countless markets for technology. Such barriers are harmful in any industry; in high tech, they risk destroying the evolutionary process of startups that is a crucial source of growth in 21st-century advanced economies.

~ Max Gulker, "The FTC's Strategy Against Facebook is Bad Economics," American Institute for Economic Research, August 2, 2019

Hugh Hendry on the value of idleness

I've been very good at being idle.  Sitting in front of unnamed terminals for 10, 12 hours a day may be good as you kind of justify what you are doing, but I don't think it's been very good for ideas and radical ideas.  I think some of the best ideas we have is when the mind relaxes, when we do other activities.  So I think if I've succeeded at anything, I've succeeded at being idle.

~ Hugh Hendry, "Hugh Hendry on Fund Closing, Bonds, Fed Policy," interview on Bloomberg TV, 14:20 mark, September 15, 2017

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Hugh Hendry defends the Fed's handling of the 2008 financial crisis

I cannot foresee a crisis.  But the cathartic event was saying, "you know, these central bankers - we came so close to staring down the barrel of this awful deflationary crisis."  They don't get enough credit.  We came close to an environment where the American economy could've endured the horrors of that we've seen, the travails of the Greek economy.  And only to courageous intellectual decisions, I think we've been spared that.  People say, "but at what cost?"  I would say, "I don't care about the cost."  There's no cost greater than preventing what could've been an immense human tragedy in the aftermath of 2008.

~ Hugh Hendry, "Hugh Hendry on Fund Closing, Bonds, Fed Policy," interview on Bloomberg TV, 3:22 mark, September 15, 2017

Aug 4, 2019

Murray Rothbard on our own uniqueness and the case for a free society

If men were like ants, there would be no interest in human freedom.  If individual men, like ants, were uniform, interchangeable, devoid of specific personality traits of their own, then who would care whether they were free or not?  Who, indeed, would care if they lived or died?  The glory of the human race is the uniqueness of each individual, the fact that every person, though similar in many ways to others, possesses a completely individuated personality of his own.  It is the fact of each person's uniqueness — the fact that no two people can be wholly interchangeable — that makes each and every man irreplaceable and that makes us care whether he lives or dies, whether he is happy or oppressed.  And, finally, it is the fact that these unique personalities need freedom for their full development that constitutes one of the major arguments for a free society.

~ Murray Rothbard, "Freedom, Inequality, Primitivism, and the Division of Labor," August 1970

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Aug 3, 2019

BlackRock strategist: bonds act as a shock absorber (2019)

Even with low yields, bonds play a really important role in providing a cushion against shocks in other parts of the market.

~ Mike Pyle, global chief investment strategist, BlackRock Investment Instiute, as quoted in Barron's, "The Trend Isn't a Friend: Bond funds are hot, but the yield-hungry should be wary," August 3, 2019

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