WASHINGTON; April 9, 2020: We’re in the midst of an unprecedented global economic shutdown, the kind of black swan event or exogenous economic shock we’ve been warned about. It happened with frightening speed. In just six-weeks the US economy went from 50-year low unemployment to 17 million people out of work. Share prices, at a peak in mid-February, plunged over 20% into a bear market. We’re experiencing a global … Continue reading What Will a Recovery Look Like?
Oakhurst, CA: In 1903 famed naturalist John Muir brought President Theodore Roosevelt to Yosemite National Park in California’s High Sierras. They spent three days hiking, riding and camping in the wild. Roosevelt was smitten with the beauty of the place and he and Muir declared “wilderness saves the human spirit.” These two pioneer conservationists began their Yosemite journey at Mariposa Grove, home to the world’s oldest tall trees, … Continue reading Hiking to Yosemite’s Tall Trees
In 1891 Mark Twain brought his wife and three young daughters to live in Berlin for six months. He wrote of the German capital, “it’s a new city, the newest I have ever seen, the main mass of the city looks as if it had been built last week.” The same might be said today 75 years after World War II’s fire and fury reduced … Continue reading Letter From Berlin: Wealth and Worry
When a moving train decouples, there’s danger ahead. Which is why decoupling is the wrong word to describe the trade conflict between the United States and China. What’s actually happening is that bi-lateral trade is being rebalanced, correcting inequities that have long favored China. The Phase One agreement that was signed January 15th is a big step in the right direction. It promises a … Continue reading Rebalancing China US Economic Relations
GALLIPOLIS, OH: In the summer of 1849 several hundred people along the Ohio River between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati perished from an outbreak of cholera. Red dot, rural southern Gallia County in Appalachian Ohio Among those who died was Catherine Williams, aged 48. Living in rural Gallia County in southern Ohio, she lasted two months while her 21-year-old son succumbed quickly, dying the horrid cholera death of uncontrolled … Continue reading Hardship and Patriotism in 19th Century Southern Ohio
BRADENTON, FLORIDA: Bob Blanchard, who will soon be 79, is about to ride his heavily laden Trek to Key West. He expects the 475-mile trip to take ten days, averaging about 50 miles per day. The most direct route would be 100 miles shorter but, as always, Bob will be doing things his way. Bob Blanchard, Peach’s Restaurant, Bradenton, FL, … Continue reading Ten Days to Key West
In March 1990, when there was still a communist East Germany, I spent ten days traveling from East Berlin to Leipzig, Dresden and places in between. One dreary evening I arrived late in historic Weimar only to find the hotels fully booked. But in a makeshift office near the station an enterprising easterner had set up an agency that paired travelers with locals seeking hard … Continue reading East Germany After the Wall