Category: Digressions & Musings

A Pekingese or a Beijingese?

The verdict is in. A Pekingese won the Westminster Dog Show. Not exactly an image of twisted steel and sex appeal, the  11-pounder fits inside  his trophy. He looks like the proverbial dog that chased a car and caught it. I think it was his strut that won it, or, more accurately, his wobble. Of […]

Have You Ever Wondered?

Have you ever wondered what life would have been like without Andy Rooney? Not as good, I’m sure. I used to watch 60 Minutes faithfully, mainly to catch Andy Rooney’s end pieces, as he called them. When I became less faithful to 60 Minutes, I would still try to catch the end pieces. As Andy […]

The Death of Common Sense

I borrowed my title from a great book by Phillip Howard. In it, he gives many telling examples of outcomes that don’t make sense because the powers that be keep trying to make rules and laws impervious to human interpretation and implementation. They don’t trust people to apply common sense so that try to make […]

“Banker Arrested”

Yesterday, I was watching the news on a TV with no sound in a hotel fitness center in Las Vegas when a picture of IMF Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn appeared over the caption, “Banker Arrested.” Now, I understand the difficulty of characterizing the IMF since it’s an institution still with us long after its raison d’etre disappeared. […]

Teaser for Springfield Newspaper

I’m scheduled to make a talk at Missouri State University on Wednesday, April 14. This is a teaser piece I wrote for the local newspaper in Springfield, Missouri, the News   Goal for Public Affairs Speech Seems Lofty as Deadline Approaches April 12, 2010 On Wednesday, I’m supposed to talk to economics students and […]

Higher Wages through Government Contracts?

“In the end, businesses had to choose between lowering wages and shutting down. Often, they shut down.” Let’s see now. Government spending is out of control. So are budget deficits and debt generation. The taxpayers are in revolt. Tea parties are dominating the political scene. Yet, despite all this, we get an announcement that government […]


A Tragedy of the Commons in a Motel Parking Lot My ain’t-no-private-property-around-here blues I used to advise high school and junior college teachers on what to teach their economics students, with an emphasis on free-enterprise. Sometimes I forgot to include private property rights on my list. Never again. I’ve been stranded for two days, with […]

Naked Year-end Shorts

Regarding the title above, I know it won’t attract many Google searches, but what the hell? This is the last day of the year. So, on a weighted average basis, how much could it hurt? Worrying about hits and visits takes the fun out of “posting.” So does that word. Why can’t we call it […]

Dollar-Yuan Diplomacy

My 15 Seconds I attended a conference in Beijing in 2003 sponsored by the Chinese government. While in China, I also met with several Chinese officials, including the new Premier, Wen Jiabao, officials of the central bank, and the agency in charge of maintaining the exchange rate of the Yuan, or Renminbi. In several television […]

Bob McTeer’s Rules for Success

(Old Bones for the Week-end) When I was president of the Dallas Fed (1991-2004), I frequently spoke to the graduates of our rank-and-file training programs. I just ran across the following summary outline someone made of my remarks on such an occasion in February 2002. Maybe you can use my suggestions on your kiddos. Commenters […]