The most interesting travel experience I’ve ever had was in 1987, when I happened to be in Hong Kong on the day the British government announced the handover of Hong Kong to Red China. Immediately, the vibrant exciting city become moribund. There was no traffic on the formerly crowded streets. The stores didn’t open. The … Continue reading Staying Focused
The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
Everybody knows that a rowboat operates better with two oars than one. The same is true for economic policy – it works better with BOTH monetary policy and fiscal policy. Monetary policy is controlled by the Fed, which has done the heavy lifting to get the economy out of recession. Fiscal policy is controlled by … Continue reading Lawful Discrimation
The conventional wisdom on the stock of smaller companies or small-cap stocks is that they produce higher returns over the long run because they are more risky than large-cap companies. After all, the risk-return ratio seems to justify that, doesn’t it? If that relationship starts to break down, it suggests problems for the overall stock … Continue reading Worrisome Sign
On January 6th, Inside Business published my 2014 stock market forecast that the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index would reach 2,014 in this year. It was 1,800 at the time. On September 19th, it happened. That’s the good news! The bad news is that it was an intra-day high on the same day of the Alibaba … Continue reading Semi-Bragging
Typical of their sophomoric humor, the current joke circulating among economic students is that President Obama “needs a Brazilian.” Normally, an improving job market reflects an improving economy. If you can make GDP increase, then you can make unemployment decrease. Right now, the Brazilian economy is slowing down, from 2.1% to 1.0%. Job creation has … Continue reading Is Brazil is”getting an American” ??
Most people find it boring and tedious to watch the stock market all day, and I understand that, but consider today, Friday, September 19th. First, it is a Friday, always the most unpredictable day of the week. Second, Scotland wisely voted to remain in the United Kingdom, saving the pound from dropping and saving the … Continue reading Enjoy The Show
Outgoing Fed Head Ben Bernanke did not want to be remembered solely as the Fed Head who greatly expanded the economic power of the Fed. Last year, he.announced that his program to stimulate the economy known as Quantitative Easing (QE) would begin tapering, i.e., slowly decreasing monthly purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed bonds from … Continue reading “Considerable” Angst
I just watched the monthly video of economic conditions from Wells Fargo. They foresee continued GDP growth of roughly 3% thru the end of 2016. If so, this would be the best two-year GDP expansion in a decade. They also consider the disappointing Jobs Report earlier this month of only 142 thousand jobs to be … Continue reading Drinking From A Fire Hose
The seemingly sudden arrival of the Islamic State upon the world’s stage is disturbing in a number of ways. After all, it even televises and broadcasts its atrocities and war crimes. It truly celebrates a culture of death. I suspect it is the first truly nihilistic nation – one that sees life as a mere … Continue reading The First Nihilistic Nation
It is a bad sequel to a great movie. One can argue that the only good thing Mel Gibson ever did was the 1995 movie Braveheart, which won several Oscars, including Best Picture. It shows the subjugation of Scotland by the English beginning in 1280. That was a long time ago, but tribal memories are … Continue reading A Bad Sequel
My father likes to watch educational, non-fiction DVDs about World War II, which I order and often preview for him. Last weekend, I watched the two-disc set of Apocalypse Hitler. The first disc detailed the childhood and early adult years of Hitler. It was interesting to me that he was such a “Mommie’s Boy” and … Continue reading A Chilly Similarity ?
Is the Wall Street bull getting tired? After all, it has been running for over 2,000 days now. It has been more than 2,000 days since March 9, 2009 when the Dow touched its low of 666 points. It is now around 2,000 points after 2,000 days. (Technically, the 2,000th day was August 30th.) No, … Continue reading We’re Number Three !!
I would gladly buy tickets to watch Bernie Madoff get executed. After all, he betrayed thousands of people. But, I would not buy tickets to watch Bob McDonnell get punished, even though he betrayed millions of people. (“Bob For Jobs” McDonnell was the immediate past governor of Virginia, who was just convicted of eleven crimes … Continue reading Lessons From A Tragedy
The continued flow of economic news in this country is relentlessly good. Last week, the ISM Manufacturing Index showed that the factory sector has accelerated. Indeed, the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index of the service sector has reached a nine-year-high. In addition, reflecting our emergence as an energy-exporter, our trade deficit actually decreased. Of course, the first … Continue reading Concrete Good News . . . but vague worries
The Lord works in mysterious ways. We’ve all heard that or some iteration of it. It came to mind reading that Andrew Madoff had died from cancer. While I’m sorry for him and his immediate family, I do remember that his father was Bernie Madoff, who infamously stole billions of dollars from his clients. The … Continue reading Today’s Bible Lesson
This stock market rally does not get the respect it deserves, probably because it is significantly weaker than the average rally. But, as this graph shows, it is now the 7th longest rally since 1932. While I do respect the rally, I sure wish we could get a meaningful correction. A correction cleans out the … Continue reading Wishing For Bad News
Existentialists are often accused of being dour pessimists who are obsessed with death. Of course, they then laugh heartily, saying that it is not them but society that is obsessed with death, attaching far more significance that it deserves. Existentialists see death as merely the over-hyped end of a relatively meaningless life. A recent movie … Continue reading Must-See Conversation
Trust me, if you have any sense of humor . . . watch this: http://econstories.tv/the-lego-movie/
I have a relative whose only ambition in life was to NOT work. It didn’t matter what else he did in life, as long as it was NOT work. It was a negative ambition. I’ve struggled for a long time to understand but have failed. A few years ago at a dinner in Florida, I … Continue reading Workers-of–the-World . . . thank you!