Tag Archives: history

A Flawed Framework for the AP U.S. History Curriculum

In a previous incarnation I was a professional historian, so I was intrigued by conservatives’ charge that the new AP History Framework for high school students has a leftist bias, depicting “a nation founded on oppression, privilege, racism, and heedless … Continue reading

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Victorian London and Baltimore’s Post-Capitalist Proletariat

Meet John Walker, alias “Black Jack,” a licensed hawker in Victorian London. He makes a living distributing coal to Londoners in winter and selling sand to stables in summer. Like larger entrepreneurs, he plays the spread between wholesale and retail. … Continue reading

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European Sojourn

First stop: Bruges, Belgium, which at the end of the 14th century was the commercial capital of northern Europe. Then its population was about 40,000, including hundreds of merchants from all over Europe—Italy, Germany, England, and of course Flanders. Spices … Continue reading

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Outbreak! – Lessons from London (1665) & Philadelphia (1793)

We are not hearing much about the horrific tribulations of the folks in West Africa, but we can start to appreciate their suffering by considering Philadelphia’s yellow fever epidemic of 1793. With a population of about 45,000, it was America’s … Continue reading

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The Meaning of Martha Ann

In 1791 in the state of New York was born Martha Ann Rogers, severely deformed.  In the place of arms she had “two diminutive stumps projecting but a few inches from the shoulders.”  She had “but one leg, which was … Continue reading

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“Not Doing Too Much” – Smart Cash Deployment Enhances Total Return

Twelve years ago stock market investing was all about earnings growth while dividends were BORING.  Now the reverse is true, with investors “reaching for yield” while growth is, arguably, under-priced.  Investors need a framework for evaluating the trade-off between growth … Continue reading

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Another Stock Market Buy Signal from Bill Gross?

Recently Bill Gross, the brilliant “bond king” who  founded Pimco, published a market commentary which The Wall Street Journal summarized with the headline: Bill Gross:  Stocks Are Dead and Operate Like a ‘Ponzi Scheme’ It sounds ominous, but it could … Continue reading

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Mrs. Biggs’ Secret Stock Market Formula

Wall Street superstar Barton Biggs, who died last week, was  one of Morgan Stanley’s high-profile equity strategist, appearing regularly on CNBC and in Barron’s annual  investment roundtable.  Unlike many sell-side big shots, he actually invested in the stock market.   Biggs eventually … Continue reading

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