As if today’s government shutdown was not enough bad news, watch out for Italy. Sore-loser Silvio Berlusconi, who hasn’t been funny since his famous “boom-boom” comments, looks like he is pulling out of the ruling coalition. He just ordered five cabinet ministers to resign, who promptly did as told. This is just what Italy and … Continue reading Another 1 – 2 Punch
The Flinchum FileThoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
Imagine sitting in a high-powered car in the parking lot of a school when classes are dismissed for the day and putting the car into Drive just before jumping out. Imagine giving Roman Candle fireworks to teenagers living in a shantytown. Imagine being in a large crowd and firing hundreds of rounds from an AK-47 … Continue reading What Shutdown?
“The primary function of sports is to provide advertisers a way to sell beer and unhealthy stuff to losers who go to sports bars and pretend they have friends.” OK, that’s definitely an ouch! But, it does hint at the importance of advertising, which is widely ignored in economic theory. Economists like to talk about … Continue reading Wish I Had Said That . . .
Long ago and far away, I used to teach a junior level course at the University of Texas at Arlington called “Economics of Money and Banking.” During that course, I would teach that the risk/reward principle (higher risk deserves higher reward) applies to the pricing of loans as well. That explains why a successful … Continue reading In Praise of Imperfection
President Reagan never referred to Goldman Sachs as “the evil empire” but some of us think he could have. He was referring to the old Soviet Union, not the giant investment banking firm that is too-big-to-fail, unfortunately. Nonetheless, their research is good, and here are their most recent predictions: 1. GDP growth will be 1.6% … Continue reading Not Evil ?
Missing another bullet, the stock market is relieved that Angela Merkel’s political party did slightly better than expected in the German elections, maintaining a steady hand at the top for another four years. If she had been repudiated by the German voters, the market would be suffering badly today. The only hiccup is that her … Continue reading Less European Uncertainty
I like guns. I own several. I even have my father’s old shotgun. I am very experienced with them. I also have a concealed weapons permit and usually carry one in my car with me. I feel safer with guns than without them. And, I genuinely think other people around me are safer because I have … Continue reading Guns and Lunatics
That was the date the House voted down TARP, a $700 billion nation-saving economic bailout (which was fully repaid with interest). As the House voted, I watched the Dow lose a heart-stopping 777 points. I thought about that yesterday as the House voted on the budget to kill ObamaCare. The futures market indicated the … Continue reading September 29, 2008
Marshall Gore woke up in the cell on death row in Florida earlier this month, knowing it was his last day on Earth, as he would be executed that night. Imagine the absurdity he felt when he learned he would be allowed to live one more day, so that the state Attorney General Pam Bondi … Continue reading Spare The Rod . . . For What??
For the last three months on Wall Street, the most important guessing game has been — when will the Fed reduce quantitative easing (QE) and by how much? The guessing game started immediately after the Fed’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) last quarterly meeting, when Bernanke used a press conference to telegraph their intention to “take … Continue reading A Fat Lady Sings Tomorrow
Names are not important. Thoughts, words, and policies are. The surprise announcement that Larry Summers was withdrawing his name as a candidate for Chairman of the Federal Reserve, replacing Ben Bernanke, leaves the door open now for Janet Yellen to become the first female Fed head. Appointing the head of the Federal Reserve is one … Continue reading Larry Yellen or Janet Summers
Yesterday’s blog noted the list of serious worries has dwindled over the past year. One reader questioned why there was no mention of the tapering problem. Briefly, the Fed is now buying $85 billion worth of Treasury and housing bonds each month. This has been very good for the stock market, obviously. Three months ago, … Continue reading Reader Reactions
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