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Doug French



Articles by Doug French

Stocks Always Go up. Until They Don’t.

6 days ago

Economist Irving Fisher famously said just before the 1929 stock market crash, “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” Whoops. Fisher wasn’t just any old economist. Joseph Schumpeter called him “the greatest economist the United States has ever produced.” Milton Friedman and James Tobin agreed. After the sharp March COVID crash, …

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1918: A Study in How Disease Can Shape Public Policy

13 days ago

Did the hardliners win at Versailles because the Americans were too weak with the flu to object? If so, it would be just one way that disease profoundly affected public policy in the wake of the 1918 flu. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “1918: …

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As the Fed Pumps, the Stock Market Is Increasingly the Only Game in Town

14 days ago

In the midst of a stock market bubble like this one, everyone from Warren Buffet down to the shoeshine boy has some great tips for you.. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “As the Fed Pumps, the Stock Market Is Increasingly the Only Game in …

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As the Fed Pumps, the Stock Market Is Increasingly the Only Game in Town

17 days ago

While the economic storm caused by COVID-19 has seemed to wane (temporarily?), the stock market can’t seem to go but one direction—up. Graham and Dodd’s meaty 700-page Security Analysis has soared to number 7695 on the Amazon best-seller list. According to Warren Buffett, the book is “A road map for investing that I have now been following …

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1918: A Study in How Disease Can Shape Public Policy

25 days ago

I suppose the first I read of the Great Influenza was in the first few pages of the Charles Portis masterpiece True Grit. The book’s heroine, Mattie Ross, tells readers about Yarnell Poindexter, whom Mattie’s papa left at the farm to look after her mama and the family while he went to Fort Smith. Mattie …

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The Flexner Report and Our Modern Medical Cartel

26 days ago

The medical profession has long employed the state to pad doctor salaries and influence. Before the Flexner Report, mechanics made more than doctors and the brightest students avoided the profession to enter the clergy. Narrated by Daniella Bassi. Original Article: “The Flexner Report and Our Modern Medical Cartel​”.

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The Flexner Report and Our Modern Medical Cartel

June 10, 2020

Although we’ve been given a brief respite from COVID-19 pandemic news, it’s likely that the killer of over one hundred thousand so far in America will leap back to the front page and that continuous calls to flatten the curve will return to top of the mind. As a friend and fellow ex–University of Nevada …

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Pandemic Wagering: Tesla or Table Tennis?

June 2, 2020

One clue as to why the stock market has rebounded while daily economic news grows worse could be the flood of new punters betting on stocks, from high-flying tech shares to dead-in-the-water leisure stocks. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “Pandemic Wagering: Tesla or Table …

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Some Insightful Entrepreneurs Planned for a Pandemic

May 7, 2020

Although many claim “nobody saw this coming,” some entrepreneurs planned ahead and also have found ways to cater to customers under new conditions. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “Some Insightful Entrepreneurs Planned for a Pandemic”

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Some Insightful Entrepreneurs Planned for a Pandemic

May 7, 2020

Listen to the Audio ​Mises Wire version of this article. Does a pandemic trump entrepreneurial foresight? Many in business will say yes, “nobody saw this coming.” Lack of customer demand and government lockdowns are “no fault of their own.” But Penny Chutima, co-owner of the Lotus of Siam restaurant, did see it coming. Chutima and her …

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The Convention Center Bubble Will Soon Pop

April 21, 2020

The COVID-19 depression will expose the Las Vegas convention center bubble for what it is: a massive malinvestment. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “The Convention Center Bubble Will Soon Pop”

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The Convention Center Bubble Will Soon Pop

April 21, 2020

Listen to the Audio Mises Wire version of this article. The Las Vegas Strip continues to be a ghost town. The entertainment capital of the world is now a shadow of itself, boarded up by order of the state’s governor. Also sitting vacant is all of the city’s convention and meeting space, totaling 11.5 million …

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Builders in Denial

April 13, 2020

The year 2006 seems like a lifetime ago. The housing boom seemed to be going full throttle, but danger lurked. I wrote on LewRockwell.com in March of that year, concerning a Las Vegas real estate seminar, that “nary a discouraging word was spoken.” But despite the happy talk coming from the podium that day, pleasing the …

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The Oakland Raiders Spike the Ball on Nevada Taxpayers

March 7, 2020

The departed Al Davis, who owned the AFL’s and then NFL’s Oakland Raiders, was famous for saying “Just win, baby.” The Raiders are now operated by Al’s progeny, Mark, whose motto must be “Just raid the taxpayers, baby.” After the City of Oakland wouldn’t kowtow to Davis the younger’s stadium demands, Mr. Davis went east from …

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Private Sector Truck Drivers Are Nepal’s Lifeline to Clean Water

February 8, 2020

Increasing numbers of Americans are losing sleep about the climate and agitating that healthcare is a human right. Residents of Flint, Michigan, and Newark, New Jersey, want government to provide clean water, and again the rallying cry is that water is a human right. But the water disasters in Flint and Newark are miniscule compared …

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Shhhh: Repo Operation in Process

February 5, 2020

In a bit of holiday news no one will care about, the Treasury announced it would return to selling twenty-year treasury bonds to aid in funding the nation’s trillion-dollar deficit. It was 1986 when the Treasury last issued twenty-year paper. Of course the question is: who or what will be the buyers? Daniel R. Amerman, CFA, is …

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Are Housing Markets Still Clearing out the Trash of the Last Bust?

January 20, 2020

The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF closed the other day at 45.65, poking higher than February 2006’s 44.70. The conventional wisdom is: “Teamed with a resilient job market, low mortgage rates have helped boost home buyer demand,” Matthew Speakman, an economist at real estate data provider Zillow, told CNBC. “An extreme shortage of for-sale listings, particularly …

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A Flawed History of Doom

September 30, 2019

One of my borrower customers told me a long time ago, “builders build, when lenders lend.” That could have been the title of Richard Vague’s new book. Instead, his book is entitled “A Brief History of Doom: Two Hundred Years of Financial Crisis.” If you’re looking for academic theory to explain boom and bust episodes, …

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White Collar Welfare: What It’s Like to Work for the Federal Government

August 15, 2019

Shannon O’Toole, according to the author’s biography on Amazon, “worked extensively to identify fraud in multiple government programs. She received countless accolades and honors for her achievements and finally the prestigious HUD Secretary’s Award for her work.” The talented Ms. O’Toole was a single mother needing a job when she showed up at the FDIC, …

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“Regulating” Boom and Bust

August 1, 2019

It was announced earlier this month that Piper Jaffray is buying boutique investment banker Sandler O’Neill & Partners L.P. for $485 million. The Wall Street Journal reported, Sandler O’Neill is a leader in advising small and midsize banks on deals, having been involved in 355 bank mergers since 2010, according to Dealogic. It is an …

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A Bookmaker With the Mind of Mencken

July 19, 2019

The Supreme Court has opened the door for legalized sports betting around the country. In May more money was wagered in New Jersey on sports than Nevada. In its first full year, New Jersey books have taken in $3 billion in wagers. Other revenue-starved states are sure to jump on the sports betting bandwagon, after …

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Boombustology: Can Mises and Minsky Help Investors Spot Bubbles?

June 19, 2019

The everything bubble continues with a Monet landscape going for a record $110.7 million. Katya Kazakina wrote on Bloomberg, “Painted in 1890, ‘Les Meules,’ from the artist’s series featuring haystacks, had been estimated [to sell] at $55 million. The final price includes fees.” Six bidders took the price from $45 million to $97 million in …

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Bitcoin, Gold, and the Battle for Sound Money

May 24, 2019

Listen to the Audio Mises Wire version of this article. Here in the U.S. the financial markets are focusing on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s herky-jerky monetary messages while politically the news is Trump’s two picks for the central bank board have taken themselves out of the running.   Herman ‘9-9-9’ Cain and Stephen Moore couldn’t …

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Bitcoin, Gold, and the Battle for Sound Money

May 24, 2019

Bitcoin is a shot across the bow at government’s monopoly control of money. While no one in the US appreciates the direction money is going, others are waking up. Original Article: “Bitcoin, Gold, and the Battle for Sound Money”.

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Inflation: The Rumors of its Death are Greatly Exaggerated

May 7, 2019

Speaking at the Grant’s spring conference, Steve Hanke, master monetary economist, described the money creating business in the US as “Pretty much everything is well-behaved.” While the Fed does its best (or worst) to inflate, Hanke is one of the few in academics to understand that the real money-creating machines are commercial banks. Loan dollars …

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The NFL’s Latest Headache

January 29, 2019

The Raiders are coming to Las Vegas and the excitement is palpable. Three-quarters of a billion dollars of taxpayer money used as Raider bait seemingly hasn’t upset anyone. The arrival of the NFL after the Golden Knights’ first NHL season has local real estate salespeople, developers, casino owners and business folk dreaming of cashing in …

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Ignoring the Bureaucracy Isn’t the Same as Dismantling It

December 16, 2018

The tweeter & tariffer-in-chief Donald Trump had a bad week post election with presidential historian Douglas Brinkley telling the Washington Post , “Trump needs adulation, so heading into the midterms, holding these rallies, he was cheered and it became narcissistic fuel to his engine,” Brinkley said. “After the midterm, it’s the sober dawn of the …

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Did Baby Boomers Ruin America?

December 14, 2018

Referring to someone as a sociopath is strong language. After all, just between 3 and 5 percent of Americans are really sociopaths , people who initially seem charming, but, due to bad neurological wiring, lack a conscience and are unable to feel remorse. They are exceptional liars and cheats, and have no capacity to feel …

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When Currency Crashes There’s No #metoo — You Do What You Have to Do

November 17, 2018

The New York Times reminded us that two things which go together are a currency crisis and prostitution. The featured story on October 28 was the red light district in uber-depressed Athens where “Dimitra, a middle-aged woman who lost her [flower] shop in the crisis and now works as a madam on Filis Street. ‘I …

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