The economy is weak and people don’t have a lot of money.  There are a lot of writers around, but they are finding a hostile market where it is hard to get paid a decent wage.  Some of them have started writing in a more experimental if hard way in part to get noticed.  Eventually, a new technology will create new markets for their work and a “Golden Age” of writing in a new style will be born.

Sound unlikely?  It happened once before, in the Great Depression.  The new technology was the paperback, and the writers that came out of this difficult time include Faulkner, Buck, Fitzgerald, and Steinbeck.

Continue reading

Darkness Rising

As the sun moves past the Equinox into autumn, the days are shorter and colder. Clouds threaten rain all day, but the water of life only falls in dribbles. This is the spooky season, the time of year when we all know what is coming. All we can do is prepare for it.

This year, we’ve had more than the prediction of weather to worry about. The social world of politics and money has also turned dark, if far less predictable.

Continue reading

Spaces Inbetween

There are so many things in the nooze lately that seem terribly important. The election has taken a back seat to financial matters, at least now that the world has caught up to what many of us have seen coming for a year or more. We passed the anniversary of 9/11 without much sign of an end in Iraq or progress in Afghanistan. What is an informed, intelligent person to make of this whirl of current events?

Nothing. Nothing at all.

Continue reading

Real Growth, Real Debt

The upheaval in financial markets has left many Americans stunned.  How could this have happened?  Even worse, how could this have happened with so few people giving us any kind of warning that it was possible?  I certainly did my best to tell everyone, but in the end there’s only so much anyone can do.  Now I’d like to explain why I think this happened and why the Five Crises are so tightly related – and what we can guess this will mean in an election year.

Continue reading


It’s been a long week, and as I write this there’s another day left in it.  The way big surprises come on weekends, you’d think that Friday will be a day when everyone smart wants to be very sure that their portfolio doesn’t contain anything that could get hit while you sleep.  When do we get out of this mess and back to a normal life?  When do we have a Recovery?

Continue reading