David P. Goldman

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David Paul Goldman is an American economist,[1] music critic, and author, best known for his series of online essays in the Asia Times under the pseudonym Spengler. Goldman says that he writes from a Judeo-Christian perspective and often focuses on demographic and economic factors in his analyses; he says his subject matter proceeds "from the theme formulated by [Franz] Rosenzweig: the mortality of nations and its causes, Western secularism, Asian anomie, and unadaptable Islam."[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Goldman was born in the United States, in a non-religious family. Goldman earned his bachelor's degree at Columbia University in 1973. Goldman acquired a master's degree in music education at the City University of New York. He completed his doctoral studies in economics at London School of Economics in 1976.


From 1976 to 1982, Goldman was responsible for economic publications in the radical left Lyndon LaRouche movement. Goldman has described himself during that period as a radical and an atheist. After having been a leftist and working with LaRouche,[3] he became a conservative and worked for the Reagan administration and later on Wall Street.[4]

Since the early 1980s, Goldman's perceptions began to change as he approaches progressively towards the conservative pole. Since 1984, Goldman has been employed as an economist and CEO of investment funds and investment policies in senior positions in bodies such as Credit Suisse,[5] Cantor Fitzgerald, Asteri Capital,[5] SG Capital, and others. After leaving Wall Street, he became an editor for First Things magazine.[5] Since September 2013, Goldman stands at the head of the Americas division in the Reoreint Group investment bank based in Hong Kong.

As an economist, Goldman published hundreds of articles and studies on various economic subjects, in professional journals as well as journals and dailies such as Wall Street Journal, Commentary, and Bloomberg Businessweek. He was a columnist for Forbes from 1994 to 2001.[5]

Alongside his work as an economist and analyst, he has published articles in musicology journals, and wrote his first book, published in 1989. Since 2002, Goldman has served as a member of the board of directors of Mannes School of Music, where he had been previously a teacher.


According to the Claremont Review of Books, the "Spengler" columns in the Asia Times have attracted readership in the millions.[6]

Goldman regularly appears as a guest on CNBC's Larry Kudlow Program, where he has been an outspoken critic of Federal Reserve efforts to resuscitate the American economy.

In "Dumb and Dumber", a widely commented upon piece for Tablet Magazine in May 2013, Goldman argued how both Republican and Democratic foreign policy elite in the United States have wrongly put their faith in the so-called Arab Spring.[7] In Goldman's view, economic and demographic realities could condemn many Arab states to state failure.[8][7]


As "Spengler", Goldman wrote about a wide range of topics, varying from music theory, to issues of culture and belief (Goldman himself is an observant Jew), but the in focus of his concern were geo-economic and geo-political issues. In his 2011 book How Civilizations Die Goldman revealed his worldview at length, inspired by Franz Rosenzweig and his "The Star of Redemption".

According to Goldman, following in Rosenzweig's footsteps, the decisive power regarding the fate of nations is their belief in their future and their relationship to their past. Goldman thinks that the true strength of a nation is exposed during the encounter with the modern age, with globalization and an open and changing array of perceptions and ideas. The experience of many nations, especially in Europe, to convert the religious belief in nationalism and the belief in the concept of a 'chosen people' and 'destiny' condemns them downfall, alongside the collapse of those ideas.

Similarly, the Muslim religion which draws the majority of its strength from a hierarchical, clan-like social structure, encounters a considerable difficulty in a situation where this structure can no longer exist, because of trends of expansion in education, urbanization and the expiring of traditional structures. According to Goldman, the situation is exacerbated by the all-or-nothing perception characterizing Islam which rejects any compromise between full acceptance of the Muslim faith and absolute atheism.

Personal life[edit]

Goldman is married and has one daughter.

Works by Goldman[edit]


Journal articles[edit]

Online articles[edit]


  1. ^ Keene, Thomas R., ed. (2005), Flying on One Engine: The Bloomberg Book of Master Market Economists (Fourteen Views on the World Economy), Wiley, ISBN 1576601765 
  2. ^ "And Spengler is...", Asia Times Online, 18 April 2009 
  3. ^ Goldman, David Paul (May 7, 2009), "On the square", First things, I have good reason to believe it to be true, having spent some years — from 1976 to 1986 — in a gnostic cult under the leadership of a man named Lyndon LaRouche.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  4. ^ David P. Goldman, RVP, He consulted for National Security Council during the Reagan administration, advised the post-Communist governments of Russia and Nicaragua, and ran major research groups at several Wall Street firms. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Profile: David Goldman". CNBC. 
  6. ^ Rogachevsky, Neil (2 May 2012). "Losing Their Religion". Claremont Review of Books. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Goldman, David P. (20 May 2013). "Dumb and Dumber: When Neocons and Obama Liberals Agree". Tabletmag.com. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  8. ^ Read, Walter Russell; Staff (20 May 2013). "Middle East Mess: When Dems and GOPers Agree, Be Afraid". The Feed. The American Interest. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 

External links[edit]