MarketsMore

    THE PRESENT has the unique quality of being so imposing–so suddenly familiar–that despite more surreal or otherworldly events that history will deem “tumultuous” or “cataclysmic,” people never quite view themselves as living in a time of great change. Of all the happenings in the US that have broken the rules of logic, sanity,  or even common sense in recent years–and they are legion–one stands out to me. But first, I am going to list things that, twenty years ago, I would have sworn could never happen in the US during my lifetime: The US electoral system elected a “reality” TV show star who had filed for bankruptcy a number of times, had no political experience, and claimed to never read books. He also

Read More
More

  I BEGAN READING THE SPY NOVELS of the late John LeCarre’ thirty years ago (see https://www.moviesmarketsandmore.com/the-author-who-came-in-from-the-cold-on-john-le-carre/). I have reread most of them many times. The experiences–the places of being he draws you into–become a destination each time you open one of his books: an exotic canyon, a rare geological formation, or a hiking trail that weaves into and out of vistas and panoramas and naturescapes. And each time there’s something new you missed the last time. One drawback to reading his more “believable” espionage novels is that having been a spy, he dramatizes the plots of high intrigue that do occur, but are covered up in the interest of national security. Too much spy novel reading can leave you spotting conspiracies in even the

Read More
More

[Below: Soviet Poster, 1931 Public Domain.  In fact, “2+2 = 5.” is also a slogan from “1984”]     THE REPUBLICANS and their messaging partners seem to want to sabotage Biden’s Covid-19 success and don’t much mind that it shortens the life expectancy of their own voters, weakens the economy, kills innocent bystanders, and incubates new, deadlier strains of the virus. As with their Clueless Leader, they don’t seem to think or plan, but rather derive their actions from a collective Oppositional Defiant Disorder–opposing and defying order itself and most of the tenets of a functioning democratic society. But it’s gone too far with the deliberate and deadly lies. This country needs to enact some anti-propaganda legislation. Just as the right to bear arms does

Read More
More

A very long time ago, my brothers and I slept three beds across in the same room downstairs. Several times each week our father made popcorn, drank soda, and read his magazines in the kitchen at the top of the stairs.  It was a ritual of his, and my mother apparently gave him that space; he worked long days and Saturdays, too. Some nights, after we were supposed to have been asleep, we heard the sound as he shook the iron skillet across the stovetop. This while the smell of fresh-popped corn wafted down.  Occasionally one of us would creep upstairs and ask for a bowl–but we would not be asking for a bowl of just any popcorn. The kernels came from the farmers in

Read More
Markets

[Note: This content is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Consult a professional before making or changing investments.] Did the Coal-Mine Canary Just Byte the Dust?  NOTHING EXEMPLIFIES today’s progressive abstraction of reality and value  better than bitcoin–or say better than cryptocurrencies (bitcoin is the largest of many).   Over the last few hundred years, systems for a medium of exchange (and store of value, etc.) went from physical gold and silver coins to paper currency (notes) that did represent some quantity of a valued commodity (e.g. pound sterling or gold standard US dollar) to a completely confidence-based currency (“fiat” currency e.g. most world currencies today) to bitcoin (a unique algorithm among a finite supply of them). As I looked back on the economics class I

Read More
Movies

Trial of the Chicago Seven A riveting film considering the events are part of history. Heavyweight actors abound in the cast of a film worthy of its many awards.  Mark Rylance, a favorite actor (Dunkirk, Bridge of Spies, Ready Player One), plays the attorney for the defense. Michael Keaton shows up in a special role to name only two. This film brought to light the confrontations up to and after the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago when a group of activists planned anti-war and counterculture protests at a nearby park.   Justice itself goes on trial here and it’s only before the credits roll that you learn what happened afterward. A number of people put years of  their own freedom on the line for the

Read More

Movies

Movies are more than entertainment. While film is one of the most powerful mediums for storytelling, movies can inform and inspire. First of all, Movies—the good ones—are part of our culture. Once a movie is established as “good,” it conveys some valid message about the human experience. What people watch is important—just as it is important what they read and listen to.

Movies inspire, too. When I see  an impassioned performance or notice an exceptional display of cinematography, it makes me want to try and create art.  Great stories are there to ask us if we, like the hero and heroine, could rise to become our best selves when a lot was at stake, or when no one else would do the right thing.

So do I watch movies at home?  Yes, but the movie theatre, as Joseph Campbell noted, was like a temple. Moviegoing is a ritual. We go there to receive the potent “myths” of our time, and we hope to walk away slightly charged with purpose or reminded of what it means to be human—which is why we should be seeing movies at the theater, with strangers, humans.

read more button 200w 

Markets

The markets are probably more interesting than the movies. After all, every day billions are pilfered in elaborate schemes, the equivalent of warfare takes place in the currency and equity markets, and heroes and villains make the headlines.

Aside from the drama involved, the spectacle of crowds in action is something to behold. The average person sees little more than the change in the value of their stocks or funds at the end of the day. But imagine watching a few bankers at the Federal Reserve change a couple words in their statement, only to add or erase half a trillion dollars in global values of bonds and stock.

Macroeconomics is essential. And the history of markets is priceless—people repeat the same patterns for centuries.

Does it matter that we use computers or smartphones to buy stocks? No.

read more button 200w

…and More

I have taught for about fifteen years now. But I got lucky. I was offered the chance to teach classes in world religions, diversity, economics, finance and Africa—to name a few.  The value for me was to see how those subjects interrelate.

I do not see political parties, or terrorists, or despots or ideologies any more: I see power structures and patterns. History did not have much value for me in high school or college—oh, it was interesting, but I did not see the usefulness. I see it today.

People have not changed in ten thousand years. They were just as smart then as we are today. And when they get together in groups, they do the same things. Over. And over.  Africa, for example, is a study in power structures. First tribes, then empires, then colonial powers, then religious influences, then Cold-War rivalries.

The world is anarchy. In anarchy, power is king. Watch the power. It’s a little like “follow the money.”

read more button 200w

SHARE

Home