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Freedom is a beautiful thing when you’re young, allowing kids who know they should be focused on the perils of global warming to instead be fascinated by the troubles of Britney Spears, but for an old guy it means a loss of direction as the people whose approval you worked for die off and you’re left with no direction. My teachers have left the planet, my uncles who looked at me and shook their heads, my dad, and my editors who would look at this paragraph and say, “Nobody wants to know what... Read More >

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Bruce Springsteen selling his music to Sony for a half-billion dollars has gotten me thinking about my music and what I might get for the songs I wrote when my radio show was touring the country, such as my song for Milwaukee (“Where men still Read More >

Free enterprise is fascinating, especially for us socialist communists who want to make the world into a dormitory with a cafeteria where on Mondays everyone has mac and cheese and on Tuesdays franks and beans, and so forth, but with free Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for The Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

How uninvited guests can bring unexpected delights Farmers are apt to rail against uninvited people on their land. I am no exception, yet the farm would be a poorer place without them. ‘The 1066’ runs out from Pevensey Castle’s Read More >

Musings from one of America’s foremost commentators. I turned 79 a week ago and I’m quite satisfied with the promotion. I celebrated with lunch with five friends at an outdoor restaurant under a canopy on a perfect summer afternoon and in Read More >

Words embody more than just letters. I have, until recently, been committing a thoroughly modern crime: putting full stops at the end of texts. My children alerted me to the transgression. A full stop is, apparently, ‘aggressive’, Read More >

I love October and I hate to see it pass so quickly. My love and I ate dinner outdoors last Friday and it felt like the Last Time and as an old man, I find Lasts rather painful. I rode the Amtrak into New York from Boston, with that delicious Read More >

Those of you who have followed my LinkedIn posts or been on Zoom calls with me during the pandemic will know that I am an avid book reader. My Napoleonic War military drum bookcase, full of a mix of Waterloo, cricket and college history books, Read More >

When David Hume learned in 1762 that Jean-Jacques Rousseau was interested in relocating to Britain, he got busy to make that happen. The two men first met in Paris in 1765. They travelled together from Paris to England in Read More >

I am an orphan, which is not so unusual for a man of 79, and like everyone else I know, I work out of my own home. At the moment I’m sitting at the kitchen table with a bowl of Cheerios beside the laptop and a cup of coffee (black). I have no Read More >

Imagining the ultimate scorecard. Kipling, R. Galsworthy, J. Eliot, T. Russell, B. Churchill, W. [Capt] Golding, W. Pinter, H. Lessing, D.  Naipaul, V. Ishiguro, K. Dylan, R. In this summer sun’s season Read More >

Saturday morning, walking around south Minneapolis, a neighborhood where – back in my youth – when your elders start neglecting their lawn, you might move them out of the bungalow and plant them here in a one-BR apt until they can no longer Read More >

Maybe it’s just me, but I have a nagging feeling that my gender, which once was fairly successful – Jonas Salk, Saul Bellow, Lowell Thomas, Tom Jones, the list goes on – is sagging and sinking, uncertain about changing norms of behaviour, Read More >

I was having a hard time falling asleep the other night because I’d thought of something that I was afraid of forgetting if I fell asleep, which was keeping me awake. Not that it was the sort of timeless thing you see printed on coffee cups Read More >

...and why you should think twice before playing them. The gaming industry is big business in the US, contributing an estimated $240b to the economy each year, while generating $38b in tax revenues and supporting 17 million Read More >

The fastest man in the world is now Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy, who ran the 100-metre dash in Tokyo in 9.80 seconds, and bravo for him, but when you peak at 26 you face a long descent into normality. You run that fast and you miss a lot, Read More >

How the star-making formula show lost its shine. The UK channel ITV has announced that it has no plans to continue The X Factor. In its 17 years on the air, the show produced some enormous pop stars, including boy band One Direction and girl Read More >

The astonishing Collin Morikawa was in the news this week, kissing the British Open trophy, something a man would rather not do with the Delta variant around, not knowing how many hundred folks had touched the thing, but he was excited, having Read More >

In this fifth chapter of his professional memoirs, to be published in six parts, Oliver Ash recalls how one of the greats of Paris real estate helped shape his career in the boom of the late 80s. To read or re-read the first four chapters of Read More >

The Church of England has confirmed plans to apologise to UK Jews for medieval antisemitic laws, put in place centuries before the church itself existed. The anticipated apology is a curious one, especially as the modern British Jewish Read More >

The vintage watch market saw extraordinary growth over the past decade, with more and more collectors becoming drawn into the field. It’s easy to understand why, as this period has also seen many historically important watches appearing on the Read More >

Originally published October 2019. So, I have recently indulged in a return to the vodka bottle. Now there's a line I never thought I'd write in my advancing middle-age.Now, whenever it comes to a choice of a pre-prandial (if I'm not aiming Read More >

Staying with family friends in Chicago back in the 70s, I had an early introduction to a couple of the world’s great architects. My host was an architect and a lecturer at Northwestern University and the Windy City was for him a giant Read More >

One of the unexpected pleasures of lockdown has been the ability to view London unhindered by people and traffic. Recently, I was almost run over by a delivery moped when staring up at one of the new high-end residential buildings in Read More >

What is the duration of the present moment? How is it that this present moment is replaced by ‘the next moment’? Within every organism, sentient or not, there are thousands of chemical processes that occur with their own characteristic Read More >

What do you mean, which boat race? There is only one: the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race on the Thames. The Boat Race experience is binary. Seven months of training alongside academic work, six days a week, several hours a day and in the end Read More >

Tax increases are bad fiscal policy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are politically unpopular. Indeed, many voices in the establishment press are citing favourable polling data in hopes of creating an Read More >

An economist once relayed to me a conversation that he had with his teenage niece regarding the content of her high school global history class. When he asked her about the Industrial Revolution, she replied that there were good and bad things Read More >

In their desperation to find a reason for why bitcoin is terrible-bad-destructive-awful and morally reprehensible, the crypto-obsessed authors of the Financial Times blog Alphaville – Jemima Kelly, Jamie Powell, Izabella Kaminska – are Read More >

The island nation of Taiwan may be in the spotlight today for handling covid-19 without a lockdown but it’s about to become one of the most contentious geopolitical flashpoints of the decade. On 17 April 2021, The South China Morning Post Read More >

The railways made a rapid impact on Britain. It was only in 1830 that inter-city rail travel started with the link between Liverpool and Manchester, but by 1840, they, and the other four largest English cities (Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds and Read More >

When Marco Polo returned to Europe from his journey around Asia he brought back many things. One that attracted much attention at the time and went on to have a profound influence on European civilisation was an example of a kind of ceramic Read More >

A senior official in the Indian government recently revealed to Reuters that the government would soon propose a law banning the trade and possession of cryptocurrencies. India has quickly become a global cryptocurrency hub, with 8 million Read More >

The constraints of newspaper reporting helped hone the style of many great novelists, including Hemingway Before they were literary celebrities, many authors spent time as jobbing journalists. Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, H.G. Wells, Read More >

The state of Massachusetts has now entered Phase III Step 2 of a reopening, which means all sorts of amazing nonsense cobbled together by people with power who imagine that their high-end credentials grant them the intelligence to outsmart a Read More >

In the wake of the interview of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with Oprah Winfrey, numerous pundits questioned the relevance of having monarchs serve in a ceremonial function of head of state. And to be sure, that does not apply merely to Great Read More >

During the early 20th century, ‘natural’ ice was in decline. ‘Artificial’ or ‘manufactured’ ice was taking its place. Men continued to carve ice out of ponds and lakes during the winter, for storage in great ice warehouses to meet Read More >

David Baddiel’s polemic Jews Don’t Count has proved surprisingly controversial. He seems to have gone out of his way to rile political opponents – mostly antisemites, and their enablers and apologists. Rightly so. There will never Read More >

David Attenborough, a well-known BBC film presenter and climate activist, has a fantastic quote about growth and economists. It’s so captivating that I suspect it lies at the foundation for ridiculing every sensible environmental comment by Read More >

In a year of ‘special advisers’ falling on swords, the tale of Thomas Becket, martyred on 29 December 1170, can read like an overdramatized telling of Dominic Cummings’ resignation – sacrificing himself for his colleague, though Read More >

A novelist in our post-God world where ideology has so often replaced faith, and where the very value of truth and what constitutes betrayal (that most Christian of themes) becomes a moral battlefield. My favourite novel of le Carré’s is A Read More >

Messing about in boats, you come across all kinds of creatures – but it’s not the wild ones that chew your ear off. Beavers do extraordinary things. While paddling canoes down the River Tay this summer, a local naturalist in our small Read More >

Everywhere we look, the world looks bubbly.  Politically, we may point to the anger bubbling among people who feel like they were robbed of power ‒ or their opponents who want to wield that power for their own, not exactly goodhearted Read More >

Should economic freedom take a back seat to civil rights? Jack Ma found out the hard way that both are equally important. The Alibaba founder and Chinese billionaire has been missing for over two months now following his recent criticism of Read More >

The paper of record in 2020 shifted dramatically to the most illiberal stance possible on the virus, pushing for full lockdowns, and ignoring or burying any information that might contradict the case for this unprecedented experiment in social Read More >

Most people today regard America’s experiment with alcohol prohibition as a national embarrassment, rightly repealed in 1933. So it will be with the closures and lockdowns of 2020, some day.  In 1920, however, to be for the repeal of Read More >

Biographers of John Maynard Keynes have a peculiar habit of treading very lightly around their subject matter’s involvement in the eugenics movement. The oversight is not for want of evidence. In one of his last public appearances before Read More >

During the last four years, the prospects for freer world trade have been in retreat. Now, with a new broom about to sweep into the White House, there is renewed hope for progress both in bilateral and multilateral trade Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

Like many of us, I had an iconic and charismatic high school teacher who left a lasting impression. He used to say something memorable about asking for forgiveness: “Apologise if you’re in the wrong,” he said, “but double down if Read More >

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman Read More >

My first visit to Istanbul was part of an architectural tour while studying at the Architectural Association. We were ably led by my tutor, Mark Prizeman, who was a founding member of the avant-garde architectural group NATO (which stood for Read More >

When we examine the major donors to worthwhile causes, especially schools of business within universities, why are some of the largest donors so often real estate professionals? This fact alone should wake up those universities who do not pay Read More >

Still finding it very hard to wean myself off the lockdown beverage…which was the half-bottle of wine. No enormous shock/horror/probe: I live on my own, so the 375ml is the perfect fit for a middle-aged wine merchant, one who’s reasonably Read More >

Everyone loves an underdog. Most certainly so when it’s wrapped up with extraordinary financial returns, scary new technologies like Bitcoin, and an establishment villain that everyone despises.  In Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story Read More >

December 1939 marked an unusual moment in American politics. Although a raging world war consumed the European continent and the distant perimeter of the Pacific, the United States remained two years away from entry into the conflict. Instead, Read More >

Have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or No? This is the classic question that condemns you as a wife beater, regardless of your answer. Now, welcome to the new world of “systemic racism.” Are you still benefiting from your “white Read More >

In 1533-4, Henry VIII rejected the Pope’s authority and broke away from the Church of Rome, declaring himself Supreme Head of the Church in England. This country thus detached itself from a large supra-national institution that had Read More >

If food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases (8% of annual global greenhouse gases come from food waste).1  One-third of all food produced globally is wasted, representing a total value of about Read More >

The highest recorded age to which a Lapwing has lived is 24 years and 6 months, in Denmark, with the runner up, also a Dane, and “killed by man”, greater than 23 years and 7 months. More often they live for five or six years, breeding for Read More >

Outside Westminster Hall stands a prominent statue of Oliver Cromwell, which was designed by the Victorian sculptor Hamo Thornycroft and erected in 1899 to mark the three hundredth anniversary of the Lord Protector’s birth.  In Read More >

In an earlier article, I discussed Cromwell’s speeches during his years as Lord Protector (1653-58).  His private letters during this period show many similar characteristics, and especially the same religiosity and Read More >

It is my experience that, when travelling, the best way to understand a country is to follow in the footsteps of an artist or architect of that country’s culture.   This leads to some unexpected results.  On my last Read More >

Echoes of the past The suspension of the Premier League and English Football League seasons and debates on the sport’s responsibilities around Covid-19 have escalated in recent weeks. Initially, football authorities and government faced Read More >

You would have thought that more than 130 years after Conan Doyle’s gentleman sleuth Sherlock Holmes first appeared in the Strand Magazine and was followed by Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade as well as Poirot, Maigret, Morse and all the rest, Read More >

There aren’t many things capable of uniting hardline climate sceptics and the sort of far-left environmental activists you might find at an Extinction Rebellion rally. However, Planet of the Humans, a new documentary by Jeff Gibbs which Read More >

There is no such thing as an Independent Central Bank. They are all the creatures of the states that own them. To those who thought otherwise the virus is changing the reality and rhetoric. Central Banks and treasuries are working together to Read More >

Extensive records survive of Cromwell’s speeches during his years as Lord Protector (1653-58), and they tell us much about both the man and the age in which he lived.  They reflect his intense religious faith and his grappling with Read More >

The Covid-19 crisis is a tough time for everybody: family, friends, business, we’re all suffering in different ways. In England people are only just having to get used to living in lockdown and it is likely to last a few more weeks yet. The Read More >


Investor's Notebook

Smart people from around the world share their thoughts

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The Macro View

Recent financial news and how it connects across all asset classes

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Fintech, proptech and what it all means

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A sideways look at the world of wine

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The Architect

Some of the profession's best minds

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Residential Investor

Making money from residential property investment

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The Professor

Analysis and opinion from the academic sphere

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Face to Face

In-depth interviews with leading figures in the real estate/investment world.

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The Headhunter

Recruitment and career moves

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The Analyst

Investment themes and trends

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The Historian

A look back at previous cycles, events, characters

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The Economist

Money, rates and prices

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Political Insider

The inside scoop on Washington, Westminster and Whitehall

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The Agent

Reflections on estate agency, today and in past times

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Alternative assets

Investing in tangible assets

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