Given that the world was supposed to have already ended this month, according to the long-dead Maya, and given that America is supposed to end in a few days from stumbling over the Fiscal Cliff, according to the way-too-lively Media, it is a wonder that gold has declined in value over the past few months. … Continue reading Gold’s Complex Relationships
The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
Like most people, I remember when President Kennedy was shot. It was a terrible tragedy, indeed! But, America grieved, pulled itself together, and continued to be America. I also remember when America cared about “who shot JR?” It was a manufactured media event and made the word “media-hype” commonplace. Shooting the President was horrible, while … Continue reading Gripping Reality
It was a cold February morning in 1968 that I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. As an officer, I had to be the first one to jump out, ostensibly to show my men I was not afraid. Of course, that was not true. I was very afraid, but I was completely resolute to … Continue reading Paratroopers and Idiots
In 1946, Dr. Benjamin Spock published his classic book on child-rearing and raised my generation. In 1969, Jim Henson came on the television with his classic show Sesame Street and raised my daughter’s generation. One of the most annoying characters on that show was Count von Count, who insisted on counting everything and then telling everybody … Continue reading Economists on Sesame Street ??
At the end of another long, exhausting year and facing yet another cold, dark winter, it is not surprising that the first type of clinical depression cataloged by psychologists was seasonal depression, occurring this time every year. Different societies have long recognized the extra need for merriment at this time of year. So . . … Continue reading WinterFest 2012
What is the most powerful business or industry in this country? No, it is not the defense industry, even though it can blow everything into tiny pieces whenever it likes. No, it is not the political business, even though it can destroy everything we love and cherish. No, it is not the religion business, even … Continue reading 2013 Christmas Wish
In our rush to fall over the Fiscal Cliff, I took a wrong turn onto Memory Lane and ran into the classic 1991 video by Chris Isaak called “Wicked Game” — where he was so blissfully serene about falling . . . in love . . . if not into recession, like us? If the … Continue reading The Serenity of Falling ??
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a cartoon worth? Take a look at this one, which has more humor than truth: It shows Fed Head Ben Bernanke shoveling a huge pile of existing cash into a fire, where it is destroyed forever. It makes the point that the average American … Continue reading . . . Worth 1,000 (misleading) Words!
As a boy, I remember my parents fretting over whatever I was reading — fearful I suppose that I would read something that would send me careening down that “broad and well-traveled road.” Yet, there was no shortage of reading materials that “all is lost,” and America is lost! There were relentless parallels between the … Continue reading Declinology
The stock market is more than computers and concepts. It is a living, breathing source of energy and wealth. I never tire of studying of it. It is a rare occasion indeed when I watch anything other than CNBC or Bloomberg. Yesterday was one of those days. Watching the horror of Newtown was gripping. So … Continue reading Stupid Simplicity in a Complex World
When he was running for the Democratic nomination in 2008, President Obama said he wanted to be a “transformational President” like Reagan, i.e., one who changes the trajectory of history. I hope he still wants that, because he now has the opportunity. It is now clear that taxes will increase for both the successful and … Continue reading Choosing Greatness . . . I hope!
When I was studying at Wharton, my favorite professor was Dr. Jeremy Siegel, author of The Future for Investors, and I have followed him closely ever since. In his latest commentary, he thinks that, while there are problems with the latest Jobs Report, it is clear that the economy continues to improve. More interestingly, he … Continue reading Favorite Professor
Maybe, you remember where you were . . . when Kennedy was assassinated. Of course, you must also remember where you were . . . when you learned who shot J.R. But, where were you four years ago today . . . when we learned about Bernie Madoff? (It’s hard to believe it has … Continue reading Four Year Anniversary . . . Already?
The public is focused on the unknown of whether we will or will not go over the Fiscal Cliff. Of course, nobody knows the answer with certainty. What is known is this: My taxes are increasing. What is NOT known is this: What spending will decrease? The President has always advocated for a “balanced solution” … Continue reading Kicking a Smaller Can . . . .
Economics is like a beautiful woman: just enough science to be satisfying and just enough art to be mystifying. I’ve been chasing her and courting her all my life! Politics is her older, ugly sister, who talks constantly and is married to a rich know-it-all. She’s been chasing all of us. And, she is getting … Continue reading Raining on her sister’s parade . . .
Kent Woodward is a good friend and a strong, independent thinker. He was kind enough to write today’s blog! It examines a simple but elegant way to enjoy the benefit of unionization, i.e., higher wages, without the inherent inefficiencies of union regulations. It must be a good idea, because it would irritate both political parties! … Continue reading Independent Thinking . . .
Like country music, I was Supply-side before Supply-side was cool! You’ll recall Supply-side economics argues that, at some point, income tax rates can become so high that it hurts the economy and actually reduces the revenue received by the government. (Of course, there is plenty of argument about where that point is.) I taught the … Continue reading “Where’s the Beef” in the Tax Code
Because so many decisions are made emotionally, true financial planning has to work with those emotions for clients. Even as a male financial planner, it is often difficult to work with male clients during certain times. Despite an avalanche of books on the subject of the differences between men and women, I’m reading Resilient Widowers by … Continue reading “Being There” . . . How to?
I’ve believed the underlying U.S. economy is stronger than most people expect but is weighted down by our politicians. Last Thursday, we learned that GDP growth in the third quarter of this year was revised higher from 2.0% to a surprisingly strong 2.7%. In fact, it was double the growth rate in the second quarter, … Continue reading Digging Into the Details