Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Book Launch: Spread the Wealth

It's rare that you would find in one room William Russell Raiford, a retired West Point Board of Director, a Detroit television news reporter, Paula Tutman, the General Counsel-Washington for AT&T, Bruce Byrd, famed White House correspondent Helen Thomas and me.

But that was part of the group that was in attendance for the launching of David Breuhan's new book, Spread the Wealth.

Raiford came up to D.C. from Georgia to support Breuhan's launch of Spread the Wealth. He knows Breuhan's from his West Point days. Raiford has an autobiography out called Agonies Of Enjoyment. He told me that the book had to be cleared by military intelligence and a lot had to be removed, which is why he has just completed a second book, a book of "fiction," that explains the things he really did for his country, with appropriate names changed. He told me that he currently lives in Thomasville, Georgia and that one of the extra services he provided for the US explains why the Duke and Duchess of Windsor visited Thomasville, three times.

In addition to her role as an Emmy winning NBC reporter, Paula Tutman is an author, who also just completed a book, Deadline. The book, she told me, came about out of a real life experience of a killer who stalked her, during a period when she worked the police beat. In her book, not in real life she assured me, the killer becomes a serial killer because he realizes every time he kills, the reporter will show up at the crime scene and he gets to see her again. Tutman obviously has quite an imagination.

Tutman's mother was there and she told me that her daughter always had a vivid dreams. When Tutman was six years old she went to London with her parents. While there, Mrs. Tutman told her daughter they were going to Buckingham Palace. Paula was all excited. That is until they got to the Palace and Paula learned that they were not going to have tea with the Queen. She cried and cried, Mrs. Tutman told me. Afterall, why go to Buckingham Palace if you are not going to have tea with the Queen?

Bruce Byrd has no book out, and I assume has never cried over not having tea with the Queen of England, but in his favor, he has assured me that if I have any problem with my AT&T cell phone service I can call him direct and he will help get it resolved, which means I am thinking about getting his business card embossed and keeping it in my wallet.

Byrd also introduced Breuhan to the audience. It turns out that David Breuhan is a Bloomfield Hills, Michigan based money manager and his book, Spread the Wealth, is about returning the country back to its free market origins. During remarks at the book launch, Breuhan stated that Adam Smith was a major inspiration to his thinking on how an economy should work.

During Q&A, Helen Thomas got to ask the first question. Somewhere after, I followed and asked Breuhan if there were any other economists besides Smith that influenced his thinking. He rattled off Jean Baptiste Say, David Ricardo, Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman and the Physiocrats.

Breuhan made the observation during his remarks that he did not think most economists, who are concerned about trade deficits, understand accounting. He said it's as if they look at the first two or three lines of a balance sheet and see an imbalance and fail to look at the entire balance sheet, where it becomes clear every trade balances out, i.e, something is bought and it is paid for.
Breuhan gets it, which means we have another book aimed at the general public that will help people understand the economy. And with an audience that includes retired West Point board members, fiction writers and corporate lawyers, his book is spreading knowledge to new groups that will further help advance the understanding of what economics is and the benefits of a free market economy.

Here are some excerpts from Breuhan's book.


  1. Thanks for the heads-up. Great gift as holidays approach. I love the title. It should expand the audience beyond the usual free marketers.

  2. I understand Breuhan's point about trade deficits, but doesn't fiat currency and debt-financed consumption complicate the issue somewhat? We are importing real goods on credit at an alarming rate. Not the same thing as a trade deficit, but related.

    At some point the US will either have to renounce its debt, or the dollars will flood back to the US in exchange for all kinds of real products.

    The solution, of course, is not protectionism, but sound currency.

  3. All three books sound interesting. This just solved a lot of my Christmas gift searching.