Hunter Lewis

About Hunter Lewis

Hunter Lewis is co-founder of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. He is co-founder and former CEO of global investment firm Cambridge Associates, LLC and author of 9 books on moral philosophy, psychology, and economics, including the widely acclaimed Are the Rich Necessary? (“Highly provocative and highly pleasurable.”—New York Times) He has contributed to the New York Times, the Times of London, the Washing­ton Post, and the Atlantic Monthly, as well as numerous websites such as Breitbart.com, Forbes.com, Fox.com, RealClearMarkets.com, and Townhall.com. His most recent books are Crony Capitalism in America: 2008–2012, Free Prices Now! Fixing the Economy by Abolishing the Fed, and Where Keynes Went Wrong: And Why Governments Keep Creating Inflation, Bubbles, and Busts. He has served on boards and committees of fifteen leading not-for-profit organizations, including environmental, teaching, research, and cultural and global development organizations, as well as the World Bank.

Rubio’s Failure: How Our Broken Economy Fuels Voter Rage

Rubio post-mortems miss the point. In the end, it is just more fall-out from crony capitalism.

None of the post-mortems of Rubio’s campaign I have seen mention the real reason why the young senator, so articulate, so successful, recently touted as the future of his party, never got launch speed in his campaign for the presidency. It is actually Senator Charles Schumer’s (D-NY) handiwork, aided and abetted by Rubio’s misjudgment.

Shortly after the 2012 election, the GOP was worrying about Romney’s poor showing among Hispanics.

Read More

Republican Debate: What Makes a Candidate Strong?

And how does this relate to crony capitalism?

Commentators have called the last Republican debate “thermonuclear” and similar adjectives, but not ill-mannered, which it was. Is this because good manners no longer matter? Or do good manners actually count against you?

Is this the message we are now sending our young: that manners mark you as weak, and bad manners mark you as strong,

Read More

Does Senator Cruz Want to Tax Small Business?

Does he realize what this would do to jobs?

Most of Senator Cruz’s policy proposals are admirably clear. This is in sharp contrast to the evasions of other people running for president, most notably Donald Trump, whose health policy proposals in particular are incoherent, and may in fact most closely resemble Bernie Sanders’s.

On one rather crucial point,

Read More

What Populism Is And Isn’t

Here we go again.

Franklin Roosevelt infamously redefined the meaning of the word liberalism in the 1930s to mean more and more government control of the economy. This was in complete contradiction to what the word had meant for centuries, as defined by people like Jefferson: less government control of the economy.

Now advocates of more government control over the economy want to redefine populism as Trumpism. I hope they don’t get away with it this time.

Read More

The Big Short: What Does Michael Burry Say About Today’s Economy and Investment Scene?

Image: BusinessInsider.com

Michael Burry was the hero of Michael Lewis’s book the Big Short, about the Crash of 2008, and also the hero of the popular film of the same name.

Burry is a hedge fund investor (Scion Asset Management) who normally keeps a low profile. Lewis is perhaps the most readable writer on Wall Street today. His articles and books are always hard to put down, partly because he finds either very colorful figures or thoughtful,

Read More

“There, There, Work With Us, And We’ll Cut You In”

Michael Lind has written a long article in Politico (where he is a contributing editor) on the future of the Republican party. I’ll save you the trouble of reading all of it. At the end, it suggests that the rational thing for the party to do is to accept today’s “progressive” welfare state, but just try to tilt the government payments to white middle class workers and businesses, in other words the core voters and the core financiers of the party.

Read More

Sanders, Trump, and Keynes

The rise of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump clearly reflects the increasing desperation of large numbers of American voters. They know something is terribly wrong with the economy. They just can’t figure out what it is.

In supporting Sanders they confuse capitalism with the increasingly out-of-control crony capitalism that world governments have foisted on us. In supporting Trump, they seem to hope that the best way to guard the henhouse against the foxes is to put a fox in charge.

Read More

Is Walker’s Withdrawal From The Presidential Race About Him or About Us?

More about us.

We have had some bones to pick with Governor Walker in the past. He seemed to us to be too close to some corporate interests (see our 8/11/15 story), which made us worry that he was too comfortable with crony capitalism.  But we also admired the way he fought some other special interests, most notably public sector unions. He was determined, courageous, and effective. We also admired the way he made his way in life without a college degree.

Read More

What a 16th Century Frenchman Has to Teach Us Today About Crony Capitalism

Do we want sustainability? Yes, real, not fake sustainability.

Many economists today do not have kind words for Michel de Montaigne, one of the most famous authors of all time, but not much of an economist.

Economist Ludwig von Mises coined the term “Montaigne Fallacy” to describe the famous 16th century French essayist’s blunder in describing market transactions as inherently exploitative. Mises’s student Murray Rothbard similarly took Montaigne to the woodshed in his History of Economic Thought.

Read More

James Grant Sets Stick of Dynamite to Bush/Obamanomics

In his new book, The Forgotten Depression, economic writer James Grant, editor of the prestigious Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, gives us the history of the depression of 1920-21.

It was a very deep depression, as deep as the one that succeeded in 1929. But in this case, the government did not intervene, and it was over in less than two years.

Read More

Bernanke Gets American History Wrong Too

The principal author of our current economic ills doesn’t seem to know history any better than monetary policy.

When the Obama administration announced that it was planning to replace Alexander Hamilton on the ten dollar bill with an unspecified woman, former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke leapt into the fray. He said he was “appalled” by the decision since Hamilton “was without doubt the best and most foresighted economic policy maker in US history.” He proposed that Andrew Jackson be removed from the twenty dollar bill instead.

Read More

Bill Gates Is Concerned About Robots Taking Jobs

Has he considered that the Obama Administration, which he supports, has greatly fostered this trend? How? First by making workers so much more expensive by encouraging state minimum wage increases, by increasing the healthcare costs of a worker by about $3-5 dollars an hour, and by making overtime and related rules tighter and tighter. All this makes employees too expensive to hire. Second by encouraging the Federal Reserve to keep interest costs artificially low. Those giveaway interest rates encourage investment in robots to replace people.

Read More

Is Keynes Misunderstood, Maligned By Critics?

In a September 11 Bloomberg article, economist Noah Smith claims that John Maynard Keynes, the architect of today’s government economic policies around the world, wasn’t a “‘socialist’” or even a “‘progressive.’” He did not favor “a command economy.”

Yes he “was in favor of some amount of wealth redistribution and government intervention into the economy.” But “Keynesian policies are fundamentally … about economic stability,… about smoothing out the fluctuations in the economy, reducing risk for everyone concerned.”

Read More