Meme Stock Reddit Revolution Edition

More than a few friends and former students have asked me about the Gamestop short squeeze saga and the Reddit retail meme stock revolution. Having taught a behavioral investing course for four years, I viewed this case of usually docile punters using Reddit to take over the casino as potentially profitable, as any example of the market’s bipolar mob psychology should be.

Real economics: the JMK aggregate demand graph (

Debt Zombie Haleynomics: Britain’s Buffett vs the Austrian Austerian

Why channel check firms exist — and how an individual investor can channel check

How the Information You Don’t Have Can Take Your Money

Anyone reading the title must think the writer believes he’s smart money. I confess to having been both, though not simultaneously. My purpose here is to show how dumb money can become smart money, because being at the wrong end of information asymmetry is the very definition of dumb money.

Giulio Andreotti, postwar Italy’s Machiavellian prince of power politics, coined this aphorism: “power exhausts only those who don’t have it.” Similarly, information can exhaust the finances of individual investors because they don’t know about the catalyst that institutional investors may… 1900 United Fruit travel book

The recent spike in unaccompanied minor refugee arrivals at the southern border has America’s xenophobic right hyperventilating again that without Trump’s border wall we’re not going to have a country anymore.

It’s a deja vu all over again invasion by caravans of MS-13 juvenile criminals and rapists. My personal history with the southern border might provide some effective evidence-based therapy for this Fox-amplified freakout. I crossed it about 50 times in the 1980s while living in Los Angeles for six years as a graduate student and owner of an import business with suppliers in Tijuana.

When I took a summer…

“On August 30th, General Douglas MacArthur arrived in Tokyo to claim rulership over his new kingdom. This is the story of the occupation of Japan. A little known period of history sandwiched between the cataclysmic end to World War II and the outbreak of the Korean War and eventually the Cold War as a whole…..This was a man who had fought and won both of the world wars….” — Grant Piper ( MacArthur was Hirohito’s “gift from heaven”, to use the Japanese expression for the transformations occupation brought.

MacArthur Goes to War: Against American Veterans

The story of Emperor MacArthur’s less than competent wartime military record is told quite well in Max Hasting’s “Nemesis: The Battle for Japan, 1944–45”. …

In part one we saw how Islam’s golden age of open inquiry and science personified by Almohad Spain’s Ibn Tufail and Averroes and the Egyptian historian, geographer polymath, Ibn Khaldun, gave way to an Islamic not invented here syndrome. The West’s teacher, by the 18th century, was shocked that it had become an innovation-resistant student. Islam’s 21st century Ibn Khalduns, Averroes and Ibrahim Muteferrikas, such as Medium’s H.S. Burney, who asked when Islam will join the modern world, encounter stubborn resistance when they trespass into advocating social and not just technological innovation,

As with the 18th century Sultan and his…

Photo customized by author from a meme

When people repeatedly announce who they are in their own words, listen. The core of Nazi ideology is racial darwinism, the belief that humanity is divided into a hierarchy of inferior and superior races. For the umpteenth time last September 19 in Minnesota Trump advertised that he subscribes to this core belief of Nazism:

“President Trump’s riff about the “good genes” found among the people of Minnesota — an 80 percent white state — wasn’t a dog whistle. It was a train whistle, folding in Trump’s long-held belief that some people, himself especially, are simply born with superior traits to…

Language, A Tool of Empire

Said Antonio de Nebrija, the author of the first Castilian grammar, to Queen Isabela when asked what purpose it served. In other words, language is the soft power that supplements hard power, and, at times, defeats hard power.

Bismarck understood the soft power of English when he said that the decisive fact of modern life is that North America speaks English, a warning the second Kaiser Wilhelm ignored to his cost in 1914. Germany relearned the lesson in 1940 and 1944 when Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt deployed the English language as a weapon of war to mobilize the global…

Your passport to fluent city

As I wrestle with Latvian, my eighth foreign language, I write here about the tools that shortened my trip to Fluent City in previous languages and some of the surprising places language learning can take you. After more than fifty years of learning languages, I have developed a series of shortcuts for mastering a new language, even those distant from one’s mother tongue. Together, they’re a repeatable process any language student can use on a drive to Fluent City.

1. One-Way Ticket

I got best results by buying one-way plane tickets to the language’s native land. I found inability to return home without…

Lester Golden

From Latvia I write to share learning from life in 7 languages in 5 countries & seeing fascism die in Portugal & Spain in 1974 and 1976.

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