The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
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Welcome to The Flinchum File

I am an Accredited Investment Fiduciary at Bay Capital Advisors, an investment firm headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA. After retiring from Truist Bank, I started this firm to work more closely with a smaller number of clients, and it has been great! Our client load is about 25% of the national average.

Writing is not for the shy or the meek. It exposes a person’s mind and character. I hope you enjoy the view.

. . . by any other name . . .


In 1996, ValuJet flight 592 crashed into the Everglades, killing all 110 people on board.  The media coverage was intensive and harsh.  The name of ValuJet was ruined.  Therefore, it quickly merged with AirTran to jettison the name of ValuJet. Economists are not above doing the same thing. Readers will recall that, when politicians talk … Continue reading . . . by any other name . . .

Blame It On The Scapegoat !


The hot debate among macro-economists now is whether the recent volatility in emerging market stocks is due to the Fed’s tapering program.  In other words, is the Fed responsible for the problems of emerging markets around the world?  This cartoon summarizes the criticism: I think this is unfair.  Yes, emerging markets are more sensitive to … Continue reading Blame It On The Scapegoat !

Some Emerging Market Currencies


A few years ago, I read a book about currency wars, which predicted competitive devaluations in currencies.  In other words, we would force the dollar lower in order to make our exports more reasonable to foreigners and their products more expensive to Americans.  Of course, this is a zero-sum game, in that our gain is … Continue reading Some Emerging Market Currencies

The Silly Season


No disrespect to the current President or any past President, but the State of the Union (SOTU) message is even more over-rated and more over-hyped than the SuperBowl –assuming that is possible. As we know, existentialists have a “thing” about absurdity.  It simply drives them crazy, but they still cannot stop watching it — like … Continue reading The Silly Season

What It Is . . . And Isn’t


Last week was the worse week for the Dow since November of 2011.  Is it time to panic?  No, of course not! However, it might be a good time to review the differences between an economic recession and a financial crisis.  For example, an economic recession normally comes on relatively slowly, while a financial crisis … Continue reading What It Is . . . And Isn’t

Slipping Into Dishonor


The indictment of Virginia’s past governor and his wife is certainly a personal tragedy for them, and it is also an object lesson in the slippery slope of corruption.After several years of experience as a trust officer, I became a division president for a large public company responsible for public syndication of real estate.  During … Continue reading Slipping Into Dishonor

Losing the Golden Touch ?


During the dark ages of last month, THE vampire squid, otherwise known as Goldman Sachs, predicted that gold would end this year at $1,050 per ounce.  Today, it is selling for about $1,264 — but that is up considerably so far this year. At times, gold has moved in opposite directions from stocks.  At other … Continue reading Losing the Golden Touch ?

It’s Here . . . I Hope


Bull markets NEVER go straight up.  After a great 2013, I predicted the stock market needed a good 5-10% correction.  It is a normal, healthy part of a long-term bull market.  While I didn’t expect it quite so soon, it looks like it is here anyway, and that’s fine! The immediate catalyst for yesterday’s fall … Continue reading It’s Here . . . I Hope

Surf’s Up !!


Deutsche Bank is a giant European bank, who also has a huge wealth management business in the United States.  Because of this European background, I try to follow their perspective on the U.S. economy.  Here is the latest: 1.  The U.S. economy is definitely gaining positive, sustainable momentum, albeit weak.2.  The things that have been … Continue reading Surf’s Up !!

Dying Unhappy Is Optional


I laid awake last night thinking about a dead guy . . . actually, a dead rich guy.  He was only 73 years old.  He married well and worked hard enough to be wealthy and retired by age 50.  To fight the boredom of retirement, he ran a retail store for several years, until that … Continue reading Dying Unhappy Is Optional

Happy MLK Day


As a boy, I was raised to be very respectful of authority.  So, it was not surprising that Martin Luther King was held in low esteem in our household.  After all, he was encouraging people to dis-respect authority.   But, it was not racism.  In fact, my father, who had spent a great deal of … Continue reading Happy MLK Day

Another JOLTing Column


My latest quarterly column for Inside Business can be found at:  In that column, I mention the JOLTS report or Job Openings Labor Turnover Survey.  Since the column was submitted to the editor, the latest report (November) has been released, and it shows continued increases in the number of “quits,” which is a very healthy … Continue reading Another JOLTing Column

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