Since redistricting made barbarians out of politicians, I have not really cared what promises they make to win office. However, President Obama made one that I really care about, i.e., controlling loud TV commercials. In 2011, he did get Congress to pass the Commercial Advertisement Litigation Mitigation or CALM Act, which reduced the average volume … Continue reading Seconds of Silence
The Flinchum FileThoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
It is often said that corporate earnings are the “mother’s milk” of stock prices, which grow faster when the corporate earnings are flowing. While there are other secondary factors, corporate earnings growth is the primary factor . . . over the long term. Over the short term, however, anything could happen. Which individual has the … Continue reading Vlad’s Market
I have a client in Naples, Florida, and fret every time a hurricane slams into south Florida. I also have another client in Napa, California and have been fretting since she experienced her first earthquake last weekend. The Naples client is a big, macho ex-CEO type and doesn’t need or want anybody worrying about him, … Continue reading The Male Maternal Instinct
Assuming there are people-people and there are numbers-people, only people-people are impressed by the fact that the S&P 500 finally broke thru the 2,000 barrier. To numbers-people, that number is no more important than 1,999 or 2,001. But, this graph means something even to numbers-people: The stock market has been trading within a relatively narrow … Continue reading Long-Distance Running Bull ?
I’ve said many times that my favorite professor at Wharton is Dr. Jeremy Siegel and read his Weekly Commentary faithfully. Since it is so succinct, I am quoting the first paragraph of last week’s commentary. “This was one of the best weeks for economic news in months. Every single economic growth indicatorcame in above its … Continue reading Wharton Wisdom
It was 2:45 PM on May 6th in 2010. I was watching the stock market as usual, when the thoughts suddenly racing thru my mind were . . . everything is cool — that was odd — something is wrong — no, something is very wrong — now, RUN! That became known as the great … Continue reading Strait-Jacketed Protectors
During my mother’s final years, she was wracked with constant pain. One of her many ailments was acute arthritis. Every movement of her body caused pain. Naturally, we took her to a pain-management doctor. Unfortunately, the process of getting her into a wheel chair to be lifted into a van to be pushed into the … Continue reading Great Aim, Wrong Target
Every year during the hot, miserable days of August, central bankers from around the world gather in the cool mountains of Jackson Hole in Wyoming for their Economic Policy Symposium. It is always a fascinating time for economic nerds. This year, it looks like there will be friction over which priority of the Fed is … Continue reading “Shrinkflating” Our Debt
Some people might describe Goldman Sachs as the most highly self-respected company in America. I would argue their economics research department actually deserves to be respected. Here are some of their latest predictions: 1. GDP growth in the second quarter was a whopping 4.0%. For the full year, it will only be 2.9%, due to … Continue reading Summertime with THE Squid
I’m not sure it is human nature, but we always seem inclined to fret about how bad the economy is. Does anybody ever rejoice about how good the economy is? Consider the case of Finland: It was one of the rapidly-growing Scandinavian bears until 2007 when Apple introduced the iPhone. Huh? What does the introduction … Continue reading GDP Envy
Have you ever seen such a divergence between the mainstream media and the business media? CNN and MSNBC are covering the Ferguson riots non-stop 24/7? (Fox News is a little more balanced but not much.) On the other hand, CNBC, Fox Business News, and Bloomberg allocate no more than 10% of their air time to … Continue reading Ferguson Focus
My late mother always told me to be positive. You can do anything you want in life, as long as you’re positive. A positive life requires a positive mind. A glass is always half-full, never half-empty. Frankly, I always thought that was good advice and have tried to follow it, which is not normal for … Continue reading The Groucho Marx Dilemma
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