Born and raised in New York City, Italian-American. BA degree from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, French Major, thesis on Symbolist poetry, Junior Year in Paris, France at Sciences Politiques. Law degrees from New York Law School and the University of Rome, Italy, Faculty of Jurisprudence, thesis on the interpretation of industrial patents. Worked as summer associate in Rome at Baker & McKenzie, and as junior associate at a major Italian law firm with American multinational clients for one year.

Career change in 1980 from law to portfolio management and economic forecasting. Perfectly timed the start of the 1982 bull market and the entire 30% stock market collapse in October 1987 caused by Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan’s misguided, illogical, sudden tightening of monetary policy to keep the dollar exchange rate from falling from its overvalued level, the very cause of our record trade deficits. Twenty-five year correspondence with Milton Friedman and Irving Kristol on economic theories and domestic and foreign policy. Extensive correspondence with the country’s top economists, particularly during the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Two articles published by The Wall Street Journal, still very relevant today: No Addiction to Foreign Capital, May 3, 1985, which debunked the conventional economic wisdom that the U.S. depends on foreign capital (at the time Japanese capital, today Chinese capital) to finance its budget deficits; and Fed Tightness Boosts Borrowing, February 21, 1986, which explained why Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s excessively restrictive monetary policy was inappropriate and counterproductive (v. N.B. on pages 58 and 67). Interviewed for position of chief economist at the Commerce Department in January 1989 by Commerce Secretary Mosbacher, but not hired for having criticized prior Fed Chairman Volcker’s excessively tight monetary policy and for having criticized incumbent Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan’s excessively tight monetary policy, warning that it would slow the economy so much that President Bush would not be reelected in 1992. (Both Volcker and Greenspan were considered infallible at the time, consequently my critique was viewed as off-the-wall.)

My April 25, 2003 article, How to Keep Iraq from Becoming a Second Iran, proposed that Iraq’s national oil company be privatized with its shares distributed equally to all Iraqi citizens who would then benefit from dividend payouts and directly own their fair share of their nation’s enormous natural resources. That would have eliminated much sectarian violence which was in great part connected with who would control Iraq’s oil wealth. It would also have removed Iraqi suspicions that the U.S. intended to steal Iraq’s oil. The idea was picked up by Henry Kissinger and his associate Paul Bremer, the U.S. senior administrator in Iraq, but unfortunately not implemented. The best way to end the Libyan civil war would also be for the U.S. to promote/sponsor the privatization of the Libyan national oil company and have its shares equally distributed to each and every Libyan citizen, since the civil war is mainly about competing tribes wishing to gain control of Libya’s oil wealth at the expense of other tribes. The fair distribution of Libya’s oil resources directly to Libyan citizens under U.S. auspices would most probably lead to peace and enhance the U.S.’ reputation in the Arab world.

Fluent in French and Italian, basic German and Spanish. Extensive travel around the world, especially Europe. Closely witnessed the transition from communism to free market economics in Eastern Europe.

As a volunteer: taught economics/investing for one year to five classes of juniors and seniors in various “failing NYC public schools”; taught French for two years to first graders in a non-profit Harlem school; taught economics/investing and constitutional law for one year to inmates at a New York State prison.

First, and so far, the only proponent of QE-financed tax rebates, a revolutionary tool for fiscal stimulus. In October 1992, warned in an article picked up by Italy’s top TV talk show that the failure of the euro’s precursor, the EMS, clearly indicated that a common European currency could not work. 

About Edward Sonnino