A short update on the super-weapons

Without having the time to craft another major essay just at the moment, I thought it might be fun to post a couple of links following up on the “super-weapons” article I wrote back in August. First, an update on the Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s largest aircraft carrier, which has reportedly been steaming around the world […]

Russia’s super-weapons unveiled

Was I the only one, a few days ago, to notice the announcement that Russia is currently searching the Arctic Ocean for whatever happened to its newest Wunderwaffe? The report seems to have fallen singularly flat; yet this was one of those game-changing new super-weapons that Vladimir Putin unveiled to the world a mere six months ago, […]

A decentralized market for predictions!

Blockchain is so trendy right now that it’s become almost more trendy to discuss its limitations. I’m conservative by temperament anyway, so I’ve been reluctant to get on any cryptocurrency bandwagons; but today I’d like to make an exception. Namely, I’m really pretty excited about the possibilities that a few new companies may be opening […]

How to create a hedge fund track record

So often life presents us with closed loops, or seems to. For instance, a common question in the hedge fund world is how to go about building an investment track record, in order to justify someone giving you an allocation of money to manage, if you don’t first have any money to manage. Well the […]

The Foreign Policy Principles of Russia

There’s endless talk about Russia in the US media lately, mostly wrong. I’d like to take the time here to lay out what I see as the true foreign policy objectives of the Putin regime. This starts with the proposition that, TV punditry to the contrary, the Russian leadership today has no serious agenda of […]

A few spies I have known

Back in the late Cold War years, I worked in Vienna, Austria, at a sleepy little think-tank that was devoted to Eastern Europe. In those days everybody suffered from a bit of spy-mania. Thus everyone I knew was quite sure that my office, which had something to do with communist countries, must be a CIA front. […]

Is this what economic decline feels like?

A good friend of ours from the old Soviet Union broke down in tears the first time she traveled to the West and saw the consumer plenty all around. That was in 1989, and the borders had recently opened up. I remember another friend later, saying that she’d suddenly realized her whole life believing in […]


After working in finance for a while, you forget that you ever had to learn the basics. Which is ironic, because your own first year was devoted so earnestly to pretending that you understood what everyone around you was talking about. Along those lines, here are a few introductory notes on a particularly fundamental trading/investment […]

What motivates Vladimir Putin?

I believe that there’s no big mystery about what motivates Vladimir Putin: survival. He knows, as the ancient saying has it, that you can ride a tiger but you can’t dismount. Up until now he has been very successful at taking total power in Russia, grinding down or sweeping aside virtually all potential competition among […]