One of my favorite quotes from the Rocky movies was the line by the champ (Mr. T) that “I pity the fool,” referring to challenger Rocky Stallone. Sometimes, economists are as arrogant as the champ. This blog has discussed the problem of a strong dollar quite often. Yesterday’s announcement that GDP growth was only 2.6% in … Continue reading Pity The Fool ?
The Flinchum FileThoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
For about ten years, investment strategists have been arguing that, since half of the world’s stock is outside the United States, we should invest about that much in foreign stocks. In other words, about 50% of your portfolio should be invested internationally. One way to do this was to buy the stock of large U.S. … Continue reading When Is Fast Too Fast?
Last Fall, the CNBC Fed survey of economists and fund managers showed their belief that the Fed would not begin raising interest rates until this June. That didn’t make sense to me, and I suggested it would not happen until much later in the year. Today, the latest survey showed their expectation that the Fed … Continue reading Not This Year
Imagine a Shangri-La where everybody gets free medical car and everybody retires at age 60 unless they have a hazardous job, like hairdressers who must work with dangerous chemicals, you know, or disc jockeys, who are around electrical equipment, you know. They get to retire at age 55. Imagine a national joke about paying taxes, … Continue reading Crybaby Nation
Clint Eastwood’s new movie American Sniper is a must-see for every lover of America. It is not about war.It is not about the Iraqi war.It is not even about warriors. It is about one particular warrior in the Iraqi war.It is about one particular American Hero, who deeply loved his country.It is a true story about a … Continue reading American Hero
This morning, the European Central Bank announced it would begin quantitative easing (QE) in March by purchasing 60 billion euros or about $70 billion of “bonds” each month until Fall of next year, if not longer. This was more than expected, and almost as much as the $85 billion the Fed was buying before it … Continue reading All Eyes On Europe
I didn’t watch the State of the Union address last night. It was past my bedtime, plus I already knew whatever the President said would be dead-on-arrival and could already cite the reasons the Republicans would use to explain why everything was dead-on-arrival. But, apparently, the President coined a new phrase — middle class economics. … Continue reading Middle-Class Economics ??
A recent editorial in Investment News began with “Despite what one may read in newspaper headlines or see on nightly television news shows, the business of providing financial advice is an honorable one — no less honorable than teaching children, taking care of the sick or keeping criminals off the street. In fact, a person who … Continue reading Agism
I write a quarterly column for Inside Business which is supposed to take both a look back as well as a look forward. The most recent column can be found here: http://insidebiz.com/news/q4-recovery-makes-its-way-main-street Unfortunately, that column was submitted just before the Swiss National Bank unexpectedly allowed their currency to float. That announcement may turn out to be … Continue reading Timing Is Everything
We just watched Melancholia, the highly-existential 2011 movie offering by Lars von Trier, who is seriously-talented as a writer and director but might be sadly-flawed as a person. The movie is a study of two sisters – one who is sensible and responsible and the other who is depressive and socially dysfunctional. During the first … Continue reading Melancholy About “Melancholia”
Presidents always get too much credit for good economic times and too much blame for bad economic times. After all, the world’s largest economy has its own momentum. And, it changes direction and speed like an aircraft carrier – S – L – O – W – L – Y. In 2007, we were running … Continue reading Don’t Stop Thinking About . . .
In the wee hours this morning, European stock markets went crazy. Unexpectedly, the Swiss National Bank announced it was no longer supporting the cap on the Swiss franc, which immediately jumped almost 20% in value. This was a huge unexpected jump to occur at one time. Remember that Switzerland maintains its own currency and does … Continue reading Kaboom!
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