A year ago, Greece narrowly avoided bankruptcy with a $156 billion bailout from the EU and IMF. The funds would be paid in various tranches as certain improvements were made in the Greek financial position. Since then, they have successfully cut their annual deficit by a third, to only 10.5% of budget. During this process, … Continue reading Another Old-Fashioned Greek Tragedy
The Flinchum FileThoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
A client sent me an article by Allan Sloan from Fortune dated May 2, 2011 entitled “The Hocus-Pocus Behind Paul Ryan’s Medicare Reform.” He is certainly no fan of Obama-care, calling it “long on regulations and short on common sense,” because it doesn’t penalize those who eat, drink or smoke too much nor deal with the malpractice lawyers. … Continue reading Above My Paygrade
As sure as God made those sour little things, the Chinese are manipulating their currency, which makes it all the more puzzling when the Justice Department announced yesterday that China was not, in fact, guilty. Only lawyers could get so side-tracked by trees that they cannot see the forest. Economists can simply see the trade gap … Continue reading Little Green Apples . . .
Today’s report on first quarter GDP growth was disappointing, coming in at 1.8% compared to an expected growth of 2.2%. Of course, 2.2% shows expectations were already low. This is not news. The real question is what will GDP growth be during the current quarter. My reading of it is that the economy is continuing to … Continue reading A Slowdown, Yes . . . A Double-Dip Recession, No!
Austerity is a safe, clinical-sounding word that doesn’t describe what is really being asked of the Greek citizens. Imagine yourself being told such things as: I know you’ve been planning to retire next year, but you’ll have to work another five years!I know you’ve been retired for several years, but we must cut your monthly check … Continue reading What Do We Expect Greece To Do?
There is an avalanche of bad news/uncertainty (which is the same thing to the stock market). What will happen when QE2 ends? What will happen if the Congressional children allow the U.S. to default? Why do Greece, Portugal and now Italy keep getting downgraded? Will the Euro survive? Will the over-built real estate market in … Continue reading When It Rains, It Spews?
Every weekday evening, you probably watch some earnest newscaster telling you the stock market was up or down, quoting the Dow, the S&P, and the NASDAQ closing prices. But, he seldom mentions the much larger bond market. Jim Cramer of CNBC describes the world of investments as an ice cream sundae, with the cherry on … Continue reading Bonding with Bonds . . .
As I expect the stock markets to be volatile for the summer and fall, my interest was piqued when I learned there was a lecture on the latest techniques in volatility management at the NAPFA Conference in Salt Lake City. I was hoping to hear the latest research on cash allocation per asset class of risk or … Continue reading Slimed by Association . . .
Yesterday, I met with a person who was extremely critical of Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve. He felt the balance sheet expansion of the Fed was un-American and was simply an effort to save a Democratic President. (Pointing out that Benanke was appointed by a Republican President seemed insignificant to him.) Thinking about it afterwards, … Continue reading The Frying Pan . . . not the fire
As a NAPFA-Registered Personal Financial Advisor, I am required to have at least 60 hours of Continuing Education (CE) credits for re-certification. This is the most demanding of any financial planning organization, and that’s why I’m attending their annual conference in Salt Lake City. So, why did I come so far and spend so much money, … Continue reading What! No CE?
Long-time readers know I’ve been a long-time member of the National Association of Business Economics and have great respect for their research. Last week, they released their latest survey of members. Overall, they have decreased their estimate of GDP growth for this year from 3.3 percent to only 2.8 percent. I have to agree that economic … Continue reading Far From the Maddening Crowd . . . of Economists
Then, my computer owes everybody an apology. For some reason, I’ve not been able to sign into my own blog. My last entry has even disappeared?? But, as I just got into Salt Lake City and started using my netbook, instead of my laptop, I’m delighted that I can get back to work. So, stay … Continue reading If Machines Could Apologize . . .
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