Today, the Fed will end its 8-month, $600 billion experiment called QE2. Despite what you may hear, nobody knows what will happen next week . . . nobody! QE2 was a program whereby the Fed would buy most all (85%) of the bonds issued by the U.S. government, in order to finance our mind-numbing deficits. In … Continue reading No More Training Wheels . . . For Now
The Flinchum FileThoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
Years ago, I was proud to serve as a member of U.S. Army Special Forces. Since then, it has always amused me to see others think of us as tough, semi-savage barbarians, when we were just ordinary guys in great physical condition who were not satisfied with being merely good soldiers and wanted to be … Continue reading Special Financial Planners
At daybreak yesterday, I was getting ready for my morning run but couldn’t stop watching CNBC, as the riots in Athens injured as many as 500 people, who were protesting an unemployment level twice as high as the U.S., as well as steeply higher taxes, including a 4% increase in their sales tax or VAT, … Continue reading . . . with a tinge of guilt
Today, I had to fly to Chicago to attend board meetings of the NAPFA (the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors). Waiting to remove my shoes, belt and whatever else the TSA requires, I was reminded of the Securities & Exchange Commission. You will recall the SEC audited Bernie Madoff twice without ever discovering he … Continue reading Looking for Trouble . . . Or Looking for Rules?
Maybe, the wall of worry or the wall of uncertainty that is retarding Wall Street is coming down? First, I’ve found it odd that Europe has suddenly become so agreeable to saving Greece over the past few days. Then, I realized the Chinese Prime Minister was visiting in Europe. What a coincidence? Like any good … Continue reading Paging Pollyanna . . .
The last time our nation enjoyed a budget surplus was under President Bill Clinton, a fact that Democrats find convenient to remind us of frequently. Still, the former President has written an important article in the current (June 27) issue of Newsweek magazine, where he lists fourteen ways to create jobs in America. Some are … Continue reading A Real Inconvenient Truth
Many readers have told me they read this blog primarily because it tries to make economics less boring and more relevant. I hope so, but confess I have now found the ultimate website for that and will henceforth refer those who want to learn economics without falling asleep. It is http://econstories.tv/ . . . enjoy!
Yesterday, the Comptroller of the Currency announced that, for the first time in three years, the banks have eased up on their strict lending criteria. Of course, that was only for large, commercial firms but is still an improvement. Much criticised for their lack of lending, the bankers have said nobody wanted to borrow, as … Continue reading Do I See Some Light??
During seven of the last eight weeks, the stock market has been down. It has been a relatively steady decline, with a few stomach-wrenching days. You might use the weekend to load up on more Rolaids. But, I think we could be approaching the bottom, because uncertainty is getting so high. In addition to the … Continue reading Next Week . . . More Rolaids
Yesterday’s announcement that the U.S. would contribute 30 million barrels from its Strategic Oil Reserve to match the release by the International Energy Agency was a shocker indeed. It made no sense from an energy standpoint. Originally established in response to the Arab oil embargo of 1973-4, there was no threat to our energy independence. It … Continue reading Tapping the Strategic Oil Reserve
Yesterday, the Fed announced they have lowered their estimate of GDP growth this year from their 3.9% estimate in January and 3.5% in April to only 2.9% now. They also lowered their estimate of next year’s growth from 4% to 3.7%. It is not a pretty picture. They blamed “transitory” factors, such as the Japan tragedy and … Continue reading Fed versus FedEx
“The price for the war in Afghanistan was paid on 9-11. Everything else are just budgetary matters.” That was the comment by a young soldier in Afghanistan yesterday, after hearing of the Obama’s decision to begin a modest withdrawal of troops. That comment bothered me. Does that mean Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are also … Continue reading “just budgetary matters” . . . matter!
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