The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

A Sugar High

07/29/2012

On and off for the last three years, the stock market has been increasingly ignoring the fundamentals of earnings, earnings per share, sales growth, market share, etc.  Investors have become far too focused on a possible, catastrophic European collapse. Last year, we viewed the European problem (with the exception of Greece) primarily as a banking … Continue reading A Sugar High

Horse-Trading

07/24/2012

Republicans and Democrats agree the budget deficit is a huge problem that must be resolved.  However, with obedience to the right wing extremists, the Republicans will not agree to any tax increases.  Likewise, with obedience to the left wing extremists, the Democrats will not agree to cut any entitlements, like Medicare and  Social Security. Since … Continue reading Horse-Trading

Resting on THEIR Holiday !

07/22/2012

At one point in my life, I had to fly to Europe for business almost every month.  It was particularly annoying when I had to do business during the months of July and August, because the Europeans were maniacal about “going on Holiday.”  Business would just stop!  Nothing was more important than Holiday! So far … Continue reading Resting on THEIR Holiday !

At Long Last . . .

07/20/2012

The last boom was powered by residential real estate.  The last bust then followed the value of residential real estate as it fell . . . and fell . . . and fell for a long six years.  Last month, the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors announced that residential real estate had … Continue reading At Long Last . . .

Learning From Six-Year-Olds

07/14/2012

Recently, I had dinner with a six-year-old boy and his parents.  Watching his attitude toward desserts, I saw the problem with Supply-Side economics . . . please stay with me on this! Supply-Side economics is a relatively new belief that the economy will grow if the highest marginal tax rates are decreased.  It started with … Continue reading Learning From Six-Year-Olds

The View From The Wells

07/11/2012

I just read the latest outlook from Wells Fargo, and here are the salient points: 1.  During the second half of this year, U.S. growth is expected to remain unchanged, at about 1.7%.2.  Global growth is expected to be 3.0%, if Europe doesn’t “blow up.”3.  While they think Europe will instead “muddle through,” it remains … Continue reading The View From The Wells

What Really Matters . . .

07/11/2012

One day, the bulls will be running down Wall Street.  The next day, the bears will steal money from everybody on The Street.  For those of us who are both fascinated and absorbed by such things, it is often hard to see any other things in life. This weekend, we had to help some relatives, … Continue reading What Really Matters . . .

Jobs, Jobs, and (less) Jobs ?

07/06/2012

On Monday morning, a survey of economists indicated that the June Jobs Reports issued this morning would show 80 thousand jobs were created last month.  However, on Thursday morning, the ADP report said 176 thousand jobs were created, which was better than expected.  As a result of the ADP report, this morning’s survey of economists … Continue reading Jobs, Jobs, and (less) Jobs ?

The European One – Two

07/05/2012

From an economic perspective, the causes of the European financial crisis are twofold.  First, they give more money to their voters than they can afford to give.  Second, they over-protect workers, greatly limiting business flexibility and productivity. Accountants can easily document the first, but how do you document the second?  How about a crystal-clear example? … Continue reading The European One – Two

The Predictable Pendulum

07/04/2012

Nobody ever spit on me, but I do remember one pimply-faced kid saying “Oh, look, a baby-killer” when he so astutely observed a young, fit Jim Flinchum with short hair returning to college in 1970.  Over the next few years, there were several minor snubs, none of which mattered . . . then or now. … Continue reading The Predictable Pendulum

“Culture of Cynical Entitlement”

07/03/2012

That is how the chairman of the British Financial Services Authority described the environment of the big banks setting interest rates.  In particular, he was talking about the current scandal involving the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate or LIBOR.  This is an important scandal because the interest rate on countless home mortgages, credit cards, and virtually … Continue reading “Culture of Cynical Entitlement”

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