The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
Subscribe to the Flinchum File
View Archives

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.

The Long View

Bobby Doll is the chief equity strategist of Nuveen Asset Management.  Before that, he held the same job at Blackrock.  I have followed his commentary for many years and always try to catch his interviews on CNBC.  His gravitas is amazing, and I have never seen him smile.  But, he never loses the long view, which is so critical during a crisis. In his latest…

Horror Flicks

Greece is off the stage, taking an intermission.  Now, China is spooking the stock markets – in Asia, in Europe, and in the Americas.  (Isn’t globalization wonderful?)  The Shanghai Stock Market lost 30% of its value last month.  That is a whopping $3 trillion of wealth destroyed – in one month.  Then, it stabilized, due to extraordinary government intervention.  Today, it dropped another 8.48% –…

Existential Humor — No, really!!

Although existentialists have a reputation as dour and sullen, surprisingly, they actually have a sense of humor, even if it is always a bit awkward.  There is the very dark humor.  Dark existentialists like to joke that everyone is going to die, and everything in life is worthless because you’re going to die.  Real upbeat souls, they are!  An example would be:  I can’t go…

Next Currency War?

I know this graph looks a bit complicated initially, but it is interesting.  First, you will see that the dollar (USD) and the Chinese currency or yuan (CNY) pretty much tracked each other until July of last year.  At that time, the Fed ended quantitative easing (QE), and the Fed started talking about interest rate increases.  Naturally, the dollar started rising in value against the…

Reasonable Men Disagreeing

Some people pass through your life too quickly, and you wish for more time with them. While doing some certification work at Wharton, I was able to hear Dr. Jeremy Siegel of Wharton five times . . . but only five times.  I respected him greatly, because he was an economic agnostic, which means he borrowed from whatever school of economics that made sense out…

A GOP Curse

A definition of ad hominem attacks is this:  “Overtly attacking somebody, or more subtly casting doubt on their character or personal attributes as a way to discredit their argument. The result of an ad hominem attack can be to undermine someone’s case without actually having to engage with it.”  It can usually be found where reason is lost and emotions are found. To avoid the…

Happiness On A Monday Morning

Everybody has their memory of living with inflation during the late 1970s.  One of mine was early on a Monday morning in the offices of an insurance company that was buying a construction loan I had made for a large apartment property to be built.  When we arrived, we noticed that everybody was far, far too happy for a Monday morning.  Something had obviously happened…

Paved With Good Intentions

There is no good intention that cannot eventually be corrupted by craven politicians pandering for votes. Sometimes derided as the “Appalachian retirement system,” the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program was created in 1956 by Republican Dwight Eisenhower, who promised it would be operated “efficiently and effectively” to help “rehabilitate the disabled so that they may return to useful employment.”  A good intention, indeed! Here…

Spock Gets A Kleenex

Years ago, during those days when the TV series Star Trek was a cultural phenomenon, most young men fashioned themselves after the brave commanding officer, Captain Kirk.  I was always more interested in the executive officer, Mr. Spock, who was actually brave enough to control his demons, which some people describe as emotions.  His goal was to be 100% brains and 0% heart.  To achieve that,…

Keynesian Luxury

If you’re a hammer, then all problems look like nails.  When the U.S. economy began falling into serious depression in 1929, the hapless President Hoover only had one tool, Austrian economics, and he used it, getting Congress to pass the Smoot-Hawley Trade Bill in 1930, despite a signed petition from 1,028 leading economists to veto the bill.  The economy shifted from a severe recession into…

The Old One-Two Punch ?

While the world stands mesmerized by the slow-motion train wreck of Greece, the Chinese stock market is crashing.  That is the only word for it — crashing!  Since it set a seven-year high on June 12th, it has been losing $145 billion of value everyday.  It is now down 32% in less than a month!  Take a look at this graph: You’ll have to look…

America’s Most Important Website

The most important website in America is: http://www.usdebtclock.org/  Now, don’t be overwhelmed by the dizzying speed of growth in our debt!  You’ll get used to it. However, it is easy to miss the amount of “unfunded liabilities” on the bottom.  This is the most important item on the most important website in America. It shows the future costs of entitlements, like Social Security and Medicare.…

Slow-Motion Suicide

While religion has no place in a blog about “honest economic analysis and existential opinions,” I could not avoid remembering Luke 23:34 when listening to the outcome of the Greek referendum.  It said:  Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing. I understand that nobody wants austerity.  Besides, why me?  The last two generations of Greeks have enjoyed a living standard  that the economy…

Smart Is As Smart Does?

The smartest people on Wall Street like to say that the smartest people on Wall Street work at Goldman Sachs.  Because of their apparent sincerity, it is worth the effort to follow their forecasts.  In no particular order, here are some of their latest predictions: 1,  GDP growth in the U.S. will be flat this year but rising to 2.6% next year.2.  GDP growth in…

Thanks To Wealthy, White Men

It was two hundred, thirty-nine years ago that the Age of Enlightenment gave birth to The Great American Experiment, known as Democracy.  That birth was midwifed by a group of wealthy, white men, who courageously risked their lives and their wealth by signing the Declaration of Independence.  This single piece of paper gave us the Big Freedoms, which were later amplified by the Bill of…

Jobs, Jobs . . . Skills

Wall Street was expecting 233 thousand jobs were created in June, with whisper-numbers as high as 300 thousand.  When the actual number of 223 thousand were announced, we also learned that our estimates for April and May were over-estimated by 60 thousand jobs.  Economists were disappointed but traders were happy, because a weaker employment picture takes pressure off the Fed to raise interest rates.  Dow…