Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Participation Ribbon

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When the jobs report came out, I was intrigued by the fact that, in spite of the many millions of jobs added in recent months, the labor force participation rate was still fairly dead. This is a fascinating chart to me, since it goes back to the end of World War II and has a really impressive topping pattern. The level of participation peaked in the late 1990s and has been grinding down ever since.

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Rich Man’s Panic (1 of 3)

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During these three-day weekends, I’ll sometimes lean on my Panic Prosperity and Progress book for an interesting morsel of content for my readers. Enjoy:


On a chart of the financial history of the United States, the downturn which took place in stocks in 1907 is a barely-recognizable blip. What took place during that year, however, would completely alter the financial structure of the world on a permanent basis. It is an astonishing story of what the financial universe of the United States was like before the nation had its own central bank.

In the early 20th century, it was not as if the U.S. had never had a central bank to call its own. Indeed, there was one in place long before, but President Andrew Jackson let the charter of the Second Bank of the United States expire in 1836, and the banks of the U.S. relied upon one another to navigate the roiling waves of the 19th century. Unfortunately, this system produced periodic panics and bank closures on a surprisingly frequent basis, and a depositor could not be assured of the safety of his money once it was deposited within an institution.

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