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.

A Crisis By Any Other Name

Because a crisis seldom arrives alone, it is important to recognize each one as they arrive.  There is an economic crisis, a financial crisis, and a political crisis.  Either can begin a downward spiral.  Combined, they can destroy a country. A garden-variety recession might be called an economic crisis, but it is actually routine, and in fact beneficial for the economy, in the long run.…

Buckle Up !

Thanks to Greek pensioners, the slow-motion train wreck that Greece has been for almost five years is finally coming to a head . . . for awhile.  This is not surprising.  The only real surprise would be if they didn’t “kick the can down the road.”  That could have theoretical implications for other weak European colonies, like Italy and Spain. More important to the U.S.…

The Hidden Cost

Congress is dominated by lawyers with little understanding of economics.  Wisely, they created the semi-independent Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to “score” or estimate the economic impact of the proposed legislation by lawyers.  It is strictly non-partisan.  However, there is a wing of the Republican Party (the Supply-Side wing) that insists the OMB is partisan, because OMB does not employ Supply-Side economics in their…

Supporting The Republicans And A Democrat

Economists can often be as petty and spiteful as Republicans or Democrats.  But, sometimes, the over-whelming majority actually agree on something, and “free trade” is one of those somethings.  To really appreciate why this is true, you need to Google or Bing the law of  “comparative advantage.”  Walking through the math is beyond the scope of this blog, but it would help you understand why…

Equal But Opposite

Sir Issac Newton (1642-1726) was an important English physicist and mathematician.  His Third Law of Motion says that every action produces an equal but opposite reaction. Or does it? As a thirteen-year boy, I was one of the larger boys my age and wanted to play football.  Unfortunately, my mother would not permit me to try out for the football team,  She was afraid I…

One And Done

Wall Street wags like to say the stock market is completely unpredictable, except for one thing — it will always over-react.  To either good news or bad news, it will over-react!  The most recent example is known as the “taper-tantrum.”  That occurred when the Fed announced that it would slowly decrease or taper the amount of monthly purchases of government bonds during the days of…

Reporting On Redistricting

Redistricting is the practice of allowing politicians to draw the lines of their district, which is akin to allowing them to pick their voters, instead of the more traditional view of letting voters pick the politicians.  It is not uncommon for people on one side of a street to vote in one district, while neighbors on the other side of the street vote in a…

Entrapping Debt Collectors

Many decades ago, one of my college professors said that anybody who actually wanted to become a police officer was inherently unqualified for the job.  His argument was that beating up on your fellow citizens was so heinous and disgusting that no sane, mentally-healthy American would want such a job.  As I had a relative who briefly held such a job – without remorse – I…

Get Off The Stage !!

Many years ago, a client went to Greece on vacation.  As a souvenir, he bought me a “genuine” set of Worry Beads, explaining it was my job to do his worrying for him.  It is ironic that much of that worrying has to do with where he bought the Worry Beads — Greece. There is no subject that I’ve spent so much time worrying about…

Poison Rolls Downhill

I have belittled and ridiculed the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission many times for being far more interested in the minor, technical details of the law than the true spirit of the law.  But, we still need them! The current Chairperson is Mary Jo White, who was considered a tough, hard-nosed prosecutor of white-collar crime.  She is now being criticized intensely by both Republicans and…

Unstable Consumer Staples

It has been a decade since I took my father to the World War II Memorial on the Mall in Washington, DC.  I remember we discussed the fact that 6,000 members of the Greatest Generation were dying each day.  It was hard to get our heads around the idea of a generation suddenly shrinking so rapidly. Now, there is increasing discussion about the babyboomer generation,…

Fox Focus

Never was when I expected to be asked to comment on one Fox News TV star interviewing another Fox News TV star.  Last week, Chris Wallace interviewed Mike Huckabee — on Fox News, of course.  During that interview, Rev. Huckabee laid out his proposed tax plan to eliminate the overly-complicated Internal Revenue Code and replace it with a 30% consumption tax or national retail sales…