Lessons from Global Conflicts

By | 2018-05-16T05:40:54+00:00 May 16th, 2018|Global Market Update|

What is the “Thucydides Trap”? Map of Ancient Greece. Source: Wikipedia Thucydides was an ancient Athenian general who wrote about the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens. Sparta had been the dominant power in Greece. They had a harsh military culture built around their seemingly invincible army. Athens was a rising power, commercially and at sea. They had built the most powerful navy in the Mediterranean Sea. War between the two city-states was inevitable, according to Thucydides, because Athens’ growth challenged Sparta’s dominance. An [...]

War, Peace, Inflation, and Software

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:17+00:00 June 8th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Is inflation dead? Source: Morguefile Growing up in the ‘70s, inflation was a fact of life. Sometimes we would see prices rise four or five percent in a single month. Persistent, high inflation was a problem, economically. The purchasing power of our savings was depleting at a rapid rate. Federal regulations kept interest rates low; banks couldn’t pay more than 4.25%, even while inflation was running at 10% per year. Gerald Ford declared a war on inflation. Annual change in CPI. Source: St. Louis [...]

Rumors of War

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:18+00:00 May 31st, 2017|Global Market Update|

What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Map: US Army. Source: Wikipedia That’s an old philosophical question. The answer, of course, is that no force is really irresistible and no object is truly immovable. But when they seem that way, spectacular conflict can be the result. That was the case during the 5th century BC in Greece. Sparta had been the dominant power in Greece. They had a militant, military culture built around their army. Athens was a rising power. It [...]

Crimean Crimes?

By | 2014-03-05T11:36:07+00:00 March 5th, 2014|Global Market Update|

Why do we care about the Crimea? Like many people, I grew up with a vague sense that the Crimea was an obscure piece of land somewhere in eastern Europe, and that is was most famous for being the occasion for the “Charge of the Light Brigade” that Tennyson immortalized in his poem. The point of the poem, as I recall, was that hundreds of lives were wasted in a dramatic military action because “someone had blundered.” Now it looks like a repeat is [...]