Ode to Spring: The Baseball Subjunctive (April 2019) With the start of the baseball season, Dr. Tiemann reflects on the wonders of the language favored by baseball commentators and others in love with the sport. The Baseball Subjunctive, he writes, “sounds natural, knowledgeable. The Standard construction sounds stilted. Some few great writers and announcers could describe the game in Standard English and excel the rest of us. But those few — Vin Scully, Ring Lardner, Roger Angell — possessed the gift of poetry. . . .”
Why the Debt Ceiling Matters—And what to do about it (February 2019) Dr. Tiemann was the invited speaker at the Business Management Discussion Group meeting held on Monday, February 4th in Santa Monica, California. His talk was entitled “Why the Debt Ceiling Matters – and What to do About It.” This talk provided the historical precedents and background for how it was that the federal government’s debt—and its commitment to always provide payment upon it—became the foundation of America’s financial system.
Contagion 1855: How the Crimean War Felled San Francisco’s Largest Banks (July 2018) When policymakers analyze banking crises, they often search for diagnostic clues in the specific environment in which they occurred. This paper analyzes the 1855 failures of the largest banks in Gold Rush San Francisco, arguing that the antecedents of those failures — excessive leverage, interlocking ownership, inadequate segregation of assets, and concentration of risk in non- banking enterprises — were independent of the monetary and economic regime in place at the time. Those antecedents exposed Gold Rush bankers to external risks originating in events in which they had no involvement, and over which they had no control. The external events that felled the largest banks in San Francisco emerged from the Crimean War.
Globalization 1855: How the Crimean War Upended Banking in Gold Rush San Francisco, July 16, 2018. Dr. Tiemann has continued to spend considerable time researching Gold Rush history as a means for thinking systematically about banking in general. He has become a member of the California Historical Society, based in San Francisco, and reader at the Huntington Library, which is based in Pasadena, California. Dr. Tiemann was invited to give a talk previewing his research to members of the Huntington Library community and he did so at a brown bag lunch at the Huntington on July 16, 2018. The title of his talk was “Globalization 1855: How the Crimean War Upended Banking in Gold Rush San Francisco.” (Click the highlighted link or the image to download the slides that he used in presenting his research.)