The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Generational Baggage


It’s hard not to think of particular individuals when reading a book about people.  I’ve been reading The New Retirementality by Mitch Anthony, and it is a “must-read” for Baby-Boomers.  It reminds me of the many, many Baby-Boomers I have talked with, who are bitter and disappointed that they will not enjoy the retirement their parents … Continue reading Generational Baggage

Hitting the Snooze Button


During the past month or so, the previously-scary stock market has been pleasantly tranquil.  I expect it will remain that way another week or so. In the meantime, the Fed holds its annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  This is an important meeting of central bankers worldwide (except ECB’s Draghi).  It is very informal, with … Continue reading Hitting the Snooze Button

Romney’s Real Religion ?


Ever since Ronald Reagan accepted the teachings of Arthur Laffer and became a born-again Supply-sider, Republicans have been required to genuflect on the altar of Supply-side economics, which believes that leaving money with the rich allows them to create jobs. Since Romney is a member of the wealthy 1% and only paid 14% of his … Continue reading Romney’s Real Religion ?

The Joy of Intelligent Voters


Readers know I divide the world of economics into three schools.  There is the Austrian or “Tough Love” school that argues a balanced budget is essential every year.  There is the Keynesian school that argues deficit spending is essential when the economy is weak.  Then, there is the Supply-side school that argues a cut in … Continue reading The Joy of Intelligent Voters

An Expensively Sweet Subject


Recently, Mayor Bloomberg of New York City proposed a prohibition on sugar drinks larger than 32 ounces.  My first thought was . . . NANNY STATE – I don’t need no government bureaucrat telling me what to eat or drink.  I still feel the same way. Later, I read Mayor Bloomberg’s reasoning that obesity was driving … Continue reading An Expensively Sweet Subject

The Bull Days of Summer


Readers know I’ve been increasing cash for the last few months, expecting possibly severe turbulence the rest of the year.  But, the market has been drifting upwards over the last six weeks.  Does that mean the bull has returned?  In a word . . . No! I would be more likely to believe the bull … Continue reading The Bull Days of Summer

First Guest Blogger


Most blogs allow for readers to post their comments and react to whatever the blogger wrote.  This blog does not permit that . . . and for a very good reason — securities regulators are like traffic police, i.e., they are humor impaired. If a client responded to something I wrote with a kind word, … Continue reading First Guest Blogger

But, Everybody Else Is Doing It . . .


John Kenneth Galbraith was a famous Keynesian economist who wrote an influential book entitled The Affluent Society in 1958 and contributed a useful phrase to the American way of speaking — “conventional wisdom.” It can refer to anything that is commonly accepted among others, kinda like saying “everybody else believes this is true, so don’t bother … Continue reading But, Everybody Else Is Doing It . . .

The Romney-Rand/Ryan Ticket


I have a long-time love/hate relationship with Ayd Rand, who wrote many things, including the powerful Atlas Shrugged.  I believe I have read everything she ever wrote and have seen movies of several of her works.  As a writer, I respect and envy the clarity with which she writes.  As a writer, I understand why she … Continue reading The Romney-Rand/Ryan Ticket

The Cost of Being Civilized?


My first assignment as a graduate assistant years ago was to research and teach a class on a theory of motivation by Victor Vroom from the University of Michigan.  His theory was a giant step forward in the ability to “quantify” motivation.  Basically, it says my motivation to do something is a function of (1) … Continue reading The Cost of Being Civilized?

“The Righteous Mind”


I enjoy watching Greta van Susteran on right-wing Fox News.  I enjoy watching Rachel Maddow on left-wing MSNBC.  And, I enjoy watching Fareed Zakaria on semi-centrist CNN.  When he recommended this book by Jonathon Haidt last week as “required reading,” I decided I would read it.  Humorously, Haidt appeared on Zakaria’s show this morning, after … Continue reading “The Righteous Mind”

Something For Everybody


Everybody must have been happy yesterday, because the Dow rose 217 points, to the highest level in 3 months. The Republicans were happy because they could lament the fact that unemployment rose from 8.2% to 8.3%  More significantly, the combination of unemployed plus under-employed (called the U-6 rate) rose to a scary 15%.  The Democrats … Continue reading Something For Everybody

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