The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Where Are The Lions?


Why did Romans spend good Roman money to attend contests between lions and Christians?  Wasn’t the victor pretty obvious?  What was the contest anyway? Why do I spend good American money to attend football games between the Dallas Cowboys and anybody else?  The participants are always changing.  I don’t know and have never met any … Continue reading Where Are The Lions?

Rolling Crisis?


When I moved from the barely-growing mid-Atlantic to rapidly-growing Texas in the late 1970’s, I was grateful that at least some part of the country was growing.  A few years later, Texas experienced an oil crash.  I remember seeing bumper stickers that read:  Please God, let there be one more oil boom, and I promise … Continue reading Rolling Crisis?

Thank You, John !


Almost every family has some goofy, old aunt or uncle who always complains “the end is near, and we’re all going to die.”  Wall Street is like that, especially about all things political.  When the sky is not falling, it is like Sherlock Holmes’ dog that didn’t bark.  The lack of an expected response can … Continue reading Thank You, John !

Obama Is A Failure


But, so was Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.  All promised to “do something” about the loudness of TV commercials.  That has been the most common complaint to the Federal Communications Commission since 1980, averaging over twenty thousand complaints each year. At least Obama “did something” and got Congress to … Continue reading Obama Is A Failure

Shelter In A Storm ?


For those of us who worry about a global economic slowdown, there is one sector of our U.S. economy that should remain largely immune, and that is homebuilding.  First, relatively small amounts of inventory have been added since the Great Recession, while population has increased.  With demand for housing rising faster than the supply of … Continue reading Shelter In A Storm ?

Quarterly Column


My latest column for Inside Business lives at: 

A One-Handed Clap


Psychologists say constant negative feedback creates a certain numbness to feedback, so we should offer some positive feedback whenever possible. How many times have I asked readers to take a cold shower at ?  That website shows the spiraling problem of increasing debt.  It is frustrating, frightening and maddening! But wait!  The budget deficit … Continue reading A One-Handed Clap

Still 98.6 Degrees


Is the stock market over-heated?  The shorthand answer on Wall Street deals with the Price-Earnings (PE) Ratio or how many times the stock market values each dollar of earnings per share.  In other words, if a stock earns $1.00 per share and sells for $20 per share, then the PE ratio for that stock is … Continue reading Still 98.6 Degrees

Bold Predictions ?


I would never hire anybody who worked at investment banking giant Goldman Sachs, UNLESS they worked in the research department, which I do respect.  Here are some of their latest forecasts: 1.  GDP growth in the U.S. remains essentially unchanged at 2.4% last year, 2.5% this year, and 2.4% next year.2.  GDP growth in Europe … Continue reading Bold Predictions ?

One Joy of Education


We’ve all heard about the increasing concentration of income among the top 5%.  You might even think the 95% are treated unfairly.  Or, maybe the 5% are just better protected. If you are having trouble convincing your kid that he should stay in high school and then go to college, consider the latest research from … Continue reading One Joy of Education

Majority vs Minority


Q.  What is the difference between Republican congressmen and Tea Party congressmen? A.  Republicans believe in majority rule, not minority rule.

Senatorial Sense


Democrats are right:  The seeds of the next financial crisis are sown in the ashes of the last one. Former Senator Hillary Clinton is right:  She wants to tax high-frequency trading and “dark pools’, making them more transparent and less profitable.  High-frequency trading poses a systemic risk to our financial system by overwhelming it with … Continue reading Senatorial Sense

According to the Good Doctor(s)


Republicans are right:  When your corporate income tax rates are the highest in the developed world, they are too high.  That is the reason that American corporations have maintained $2 TRILLION overseas, where it doesn’t have to pay 25-40% (depending) income taxes on it. Dr. Ben Carson is right:  He has proposed a six-month window … Continue reading According to the Good Doctor(s)

Symmetrical Response ?


The Dow rose 304 points yesterday.  Were you elated?  Were you open and communicative with your family?  Did you go out to dinner? If the Dow had fallen 304 points instead, would you have been depressed?  Would you have sat with a sullen face in front of a television without watching it?  Would you have … Continue reading Symmetrical Response ?

Amen, Ben !


Readers know I have long argued that punishing individuals is more appropriate than punishing non-individuals, like corporations.  (See blog on September 25th for the most recent.) It is satisfying when a major player agrees with you.  Ben Bernanke was Chairman of the Federal Reserve System during the global financial crisis of 2008/9.  In his new … Continue reading Amen, Ben !

Curse of the Y Chromosome


I confess – I have a male ego.  I want to win!  More than I love winning, I hate losing.  It’s a guy-thing, I guess.  Sometimes however, if you cannot win, it can be enjoyable to watch your opponent lose. For years, I’ve wondered how the United States got caught in the crossfire from a … Continue reading Curse of the Y Chromosome

The Only Guarantee


Friends often struggle to understand why I normally get up by 5AM each day.  The primary reason is that my “body clock” is genetically set for it.  The professional reason is that I want to check the foreign markets before U.S. stock markets open. I can save my clients a little money by using “market … Continue reading The Only Guarantee

Fill In The Blanks


ASSOCIATED NEWS (AN) – Yesterday, some psychotic nutcase in [insert city and state here] named [insert name of loser here] used a [insert type of guns] to kill [insert number] innocent people and to wound an additional [insert number] innocent people, between the ages of [insert number] and [insert number].  The senseless slaughter took place in … Continue reading Fill In The Blanks

The Passing Storm


The third quarter is finally over .. . GOOD!It was the worst quarter on Wall Street in four years.Most stock averages were down about 7%.Most hedge funds were down 15-20%. The bad news is that there will be more bad news in this quarter. Historically, stock prices suffer during the month of October.Historically, stock prices … Continue reading The Passing Storm

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