Larry’s Blog

Businessmen in Politics

January 19, 2017

An article in today’s business section of the New York Times presents the Trump cabinet as an excellent experiment to determine if the skills that make a successful businessman transfer readily to the challenges faced by political leaders. Never before has a collection of very wealthy leaders of business compiled a presidential cabinet as the […] More

The Dollar in Years When a New President Is Inaugurated

January 17, 2017

In February 1973, the second dollar devaluation in 14 months failed to stem heavy speculative downward pressure on the U.S. currency. Just a couple of weeks later, fixed exchange rates imposed by rigidly automatic central bank intervention were ended against the currencies of other advanced economies. A new system of floating exchange rates was born, […] More

Short Note on Presidential Polls

September 26, 2016

The first debate between Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party nominee, and Donald Trump, the Republican Party standard-bearer, takes place tonight. Presidential opinion polls now show a race that’s too close to call both nationally and in the key states that are likely to determine the outcome. Momentum is clearly behind Trump’s sail, however, since the […] More

Gun Control and the Second Amendment

August 10, 2016

Today’s press is full of editorials about Donald Trump’s allegedly coded suggestion that gun owners take matters into their own hands to prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming president by exercising their second amendment rights, as Giuseppe Zangara tried to do to President-Elect Roosevelt in February 1933. Subsequently, Sirhan Sirhan in June 1968 and Arthur Bremer in […] More

Experiential Qualification to be a U.S. President

April 7, 2016

A headline in today’s U.S. political news caught my eye.  Bernie Sanders called Hillary Clinton unqualified to be president.  In fact, a tradition was established in the early days of the Republic that identified the job of Secretary of State has the most ideally suitable experience for an aspiring president.  Five of the first eight […] More

Assessing Bernie Sanders

February 12, 2016

International financial markets are nervous about the prospects of either a Trump or Cruz presidency on the right, but one can find much about the Sanders phenomenon that is also worrisome.  His much bigger-than-expected victory in New Hampshire demonstrates that at minimum his candidacy presents a serious challenge to Clinton. Here’s what to like about […] More

Three Thoughts

February 8, 2016

On U.S. Politics: Beware the role of the party spoiler.  The 2000 presidential election result hinged on the Florida vote and Supreme Court interpretation of that state’s ballot.  Fewer than 1,000 votes separated Bush from Gore, while Ralph Nader siphoned off 97,488 votes in the Floridian state count, mostly from Gore.  Spoiler candidacies fought on […] More

Reflections on the Surprising Results of the Iowa Caucus

February 2, 2016

Ted Cruz, who recently turned 45, upset the perceived front-runner, Donald Trump, to win the Republican race.  Trained as a lawyer and formerly a Solicitor General of Texas, Cruz won a U.S. senate seat in the November 2012 election as an underdog with Tea Party support.  My misgivings about his candidacy are several: Cruz is […] More

Age of the Next U.S. President: Some Interesting Facts

September 22, 2015

Barack Obama is the 44th U.S. president but only the 43rd different person to hold that office since Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms. The average age of the 43 presidents at the time of their initial inauguration is 55.  25 were in their 50s.  10 were in their 60s but just 2 as old […] More

Some Fundamental Beliefs

September 16, 2015

It’s been 49 years since I first studied economics and 40 years since I worked as an analysts in the Foreign Department of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.  Here’s a list — alas incomplete – of core beliefs acquired as a currency market watcher. Currency movements are often very counter-intuitive, and a single ill-advised […] More

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