So who is Joe Breen? I derive from two enduringly dutiful “Greatest Generation” parents raising a large, spirited family, tumbling to adulthood in the tumultuous environment of the latter 1960’s and early 1970’s. On my own initiative, I read all of the novels of both John Steinbeck and Ayn Rand in high school, but little else memorable, except my Physics text. After earning degrees in Economics and Government from the University of Connecticut (B.A.) and Trinity College (M.A.), my early career involved several years of nonprofit foundation work, focused on philanthropic initiatives in education, healthcare, land conservation and urban reinvestment. Following this, I devoted the long stretch of my career to making and managing structured debt and equity investments in commercial real estate nationally on behalf of insurance companies and pension funds. Liberated, I can now devote my time to reading and writing about my lifelong avocational passions, including history, the workings of “the real economy”, and public policy, all reflecting my long evolution as a reform-minded pragmatist. I am a chronic consumer of history books, some favorites attached, all read thoroughly, with a few read partially, and several always being juggled on my “next” and “wish” lists. I am lucky to have married well, 36 years and running, with two grown children, liberally educated and well traveled, idealists both, the great pride of my life. I love movies, documentaries and music (especially the old stuff, reference above), and enjoy golf, tennis, hiking, and especially on/off road cycling. We have lived in Northeast Connecticut for over 30 years, have a wonderful old home, where I serve as ranch hand and somewhat landscape architect, and where we have raised two children, four dogs, a half-dozen cats, two gerbels and a short-lived parakeet. Wardrobe is by LL Bean. So that’s me in a nutshell!