The Dow was up slightly when the news hit The Street that GDP growth was a whopping 4% in the second quarter. That’s good news, right? But, the Dow promptly drops a hundred points on that good news. Why, because a stronger economy means the Fed is more likely to raise interest rates sooner, instead … Continue reading Good = Bad
The Flinchum FileThoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
I cannot remember the last time that Consumer Confidence increased 4.5 points in one month, but it did this month. That means more people are optimistic about their current financial position as well as their future financial position. There is a close relationship between the labor market and consumer confidence. As the labor market improves, … Continue reading Timing Is Everything
The Federal Reserve System is the only central bank in the world that has a dual mandate, i.e., combating both inflation AND unemployment. With inflation virtually non-existent, the focus is on unemployment. The closely-watched monthly “Jobs” report will be released this Friday. Absent some exogenous factor, the stock market will just churn around the flat … Continue reading A Well-Oiled Machine ??
The Old Ebbitt Grill at 15th & New York in Washington, D.C., is one of those classic old steakhouses frequented by Congressmen, bankers, and other shady characters. I had lunch there one day with two analysts who got into an uncomfortable argument about whether Pfizer or Merck was a better investment. They were even quoting … Continue reading Geopolitical Risk
One of my guilty pleasures is taking long walks on the beach alone. During beach season, it is fun to watch the visitors. Ninety percent of them and 100% of the dogs are enjoying themselves. I don’t know why it is so enjoyable, other than the novelty of it. Less than 50% of the adults … Continue reading A Guilty Pleasure
There are many things that I do not understand. For example, I don’t understand why it takes years to build a road. I don’t understand what makes window treatments cost so much money. I don’t understand why women are so obsessed with shoes. But, most of all, I don’t understand what happened to moderate politicians? … Continue reading I Don’t Understand
The Democrats are correct in saying we need comprehensive immigration reform. The Republicans are correct in saying we need comprehensive tax reform, especially reform of the corporate income taxes. If you doubt the need for tax reform, consider the increasing number of “tax inversions” over the last three years The U.S. has one of the … Continue reading Inverted Thinking
On some days, I am actually proud to be part of the human race. Today was such a day! During the course of my workday, I routinely channel-surf between CNBC, Bloomberg, FBN, and CNN. Today, because the stock market was so placid, I became transfixed by CNN’s coverage of the arrival of corpses from Malaysia … Continue reading Today, We Are All Dutch
For anybody waiting breathlessly by their mailbox for the latest issue of Inside Business, so they can read my quarterly column, you can also read it online at: http://insidebiz.com/news/q2-was-bull-market-although-trading-was-low
Yesterday, a civilian plane was shot down over the Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers. Within the hour, Israel invades Gaza. The Dow drops 161 points, the biggest drop in two months, reflecting the increased uncertainty. In addition, the civil war in Syria still rages on. Despite our investment of lives and treasure, Iraq is sub-dividing … Continue reading When It Rains . . .
The Dow set a new high yesterday. Today, the world is worrying whether the stock market is over-valued and ready for a replay of 2008. The answer is NO. Take a look at this chart: If you take the price of a share of stock and then divide it by the earnings per share of … Continue reading Fretting Each New High
If you live long enough, you might get to see history repeat itself. When I first started studying economics, forecasting had a heavy dose of person-to-person interaction, where the thoughts of other thought leaders were at least as important as any independent information I might discover. When I took my first course in statistics, I … Continue reading Such Sweet Justice
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