2022 Year in Review

Stagflation. Fuel Prices. Shortages. Political Turmoil. War in Europe. Roe V. Wade. Crypto Collapse. Counter-counter culture. Most years have one or two seminal, defining events that set the societal zeitgeist, but in 2022 so many events vied for attention that most people had to take time not only to revaluate what it means for the…

The World for Sale – Commodity Trading in Uncertain Times

The exchange of goods and services has existed since the earliest forms of civilization, from simple barter arrangements at the local town square to Phoenician traders navigating the Mediterranean with goods from Europe and North Africa. Today, however, the scope of exchange is truly massive, with online commerce coming to dominate nearly all segments of…

Suburban Redevelopment – The Growth Ponzi Scheme

Ever since the Great Recession and financial crisis of the late 2000s, the American economic model of building large suburban housing developments with cheap credit and sometimes even cheaper building materials and standards has been called into question. Setting aside all the jobs generated in construction, banking, and other financial intermediation, municipal governments also depend…

Zeihan – After Dark – the Collapse of Globalization

In the world of geopolitics, there are those that decide, and those that recommend. While it is debatable who wields more actual power, it is clear that the number of advisers, consultants, analysts, strategists and self-appointed experts clearly outweighs that of the policy makers. Peter Zeihan, a unique blend of the recommender class, has made…

Unfriendly Fire – a History of False Flags

According to the BBC, “a false flag is a political or military action carried out with the intention of blaming an opponent for it. Nations have often done this by staging a real or simulated attack on their own side and saying the enemy did it, as a pretext for going to war. The term…

Cadillac Desert – The American West and Its Disappearing Water

Prior to 1900, the western United States comprised less than 5% of the country’s total population. By 2000, that number had quadrupled to over 20%, and was on track to continue growing as a percentage of the total until only recently, where the southern states have begun outpacing it in term of number of people…

Assassination – After Dark

With the alleged assassination of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri by US forces and the shooting of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the past few weeks, conspiracy theories abound as to the motives behind potential realignment in global politics and the media news cycle. Also in the news is economist Jeffrey Sachs making…

Exxon Mobil – Peak Oil and its Consequences

Since the industrial revolution and the advent of fossil fuels in place of manual labor powering nearly all aspects of civilization from agriculture to transportation to manufacturing, human productivity and population have exploded, going from under 1 billion in 1750 to a projected population of 10 billion in 2100. In the 20th century, oil became…

Sunset of the Ottomans

From the 14th through the early 20th century, the Middle East consisted of a hybrid civilization composed of various tribes and peoples stretching from the Balkans down through the Arabian Peninsula under the auspices of the Ottoman Empire. To its promoters, Constantinople administered a multicultural society that balanced ethnic and religious differences into a harmonious…

The Rise of Goldman Sachs

As a $60 billion a year investment bank engaged in market making and asset management for equities, fixed income, commodity and derivative securities for large institutional clients, Goldman Sachs, having been founded in 1869, is arguably the world’s most recognizable name on Wall Street. Known for attracting some of the best financial talent, it is…

Food Security, Supply and Shortages – with James LaFond

With a spate of recent news stories about fires and other incidents forcing closures of over 20 food processing and distribution centers in the United States, Canada and Europe this year, people have started wondering if there has been a concerted effort to undermine food security in and around the industrialized world. Comparing to previous…

The End of History and the Last Man

Published in 1992, political scientist Francis Fukuyama’s ‘End of History’ described a world in which he saw the 70+ year struggle between the authoritarian styles of government meeting an unequivocal end with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. What triumphed – principally the American system of ‘liberal democratic…