Nobody ever sat at some polished conference table in a gleaming skyscraper in New York City and said “it sure would be fun to collapse the world economy.” Nobody ever said “I want to see eight million Americans lose their jobs.” Nobody ever said “the world would be a better place if six million families … Continue reading Required Viewing
The Flinchum FileThoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
Economics is about the allocation of our limited supply of resources among the unlimited demands for those resources. Idle resources are viewed as unacceptable, if not downright sinful. Idle resources are no different than wasted resources. That makes Christmas and other holidays difficult for economists to understand. Look at all those man-hours of labor that … Continue reading Measuring Value
My Republican friends in Virginia suspect I am a closet Democrat. My Democratic friends in Maryland suspect I am a closet Republican. They’re both correct. The cause of this confusion is my profound belief that gerrymandering is just wrong — no matter who does it. It is the bane of democracies everywhere. Gerrymandering is the … Continue reading A Boring Christmas Wish
I have never heard an unkind word about Art Cashin, who has worked on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for well over 50 years — yes, well over fifty years! Now the director of floor operations for UBS, he knows the old traditions and the new technologies better than anybody I follow. … Continue reading Thank You, Art!
The real, honest-to-God, know-it-all’s at Goldman Sachs work in their research department, and I value their thoughts. Here are some of their latest: 1. GDP growth in the U.S. will slow slightly from 2.4% this year to 2.3% in 2016. Japan will increase from 0.6% to 1.0%, while Europe will increase from 1.5% to 1.7%, which … Continue reading 2016 Peek
It was certainly an interesting week on Wall Street. It began with a stampede of bulls running up stock prices and ended with bears clawing those prices back down . . . violently. To add to Friday’s dramatic sell-off, don’t forget it was an expiration Friday, when most options and futures expire or rollover. That … Continue reading The End Is . . . NOT . . . Near
Finally, the Fed raised interest rates a small amount. The stock market rallied a few days, as it always does when some uncertainty is reduced. Now, it has suddenly remembered “oh, yeah, we have that major uncertainty about the energy business.” That uncertainty is not going away anytime soon! And, without a recovery in energy … Continue reading Drowning Santa
Recently, I wrote about a moving memorial service for a unsung fallen hero buried in Quantico and have received numerous kind comments from readers. Since then, the CIA has posted their own description, and you can find it here: https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2015-featured-story-archive/remembering-cias-heroes-greg-wright.html
Wall Street is just atwitter over the Fed raising interest rates tomorrow — for the first time in nine years. (Back then, millions of current investors could not even find Wall Street on a New York City map.) Five years ago, three years, and even last year, Wall Street was terrified of a rate increase, … Continue reading Go, Fed, Go . . . please!
. . . Robert Redford for his searing portrayal of a lone man adrift-at-sea in All Is Lost, which is arguably the best existential movie of the decade. Unlike Hemingway’s The Old Man And The Sea, Redford’s movie is not a contest between a man and a fish or even against another man. It is … Continue reading And, The Non-Oscar Goes To . . .
It is probably too early to find long-lost hope, but there is something good going on in Washington. With all the drama of the stock market and the pressure of the holiday season, you may not have noticed that two significant pieces of legislation have passed and been signed by the President, plus the predicted … Continue reading Springtime At Christmas ?
Who doesn’t like low gas prices at the pump? Economists get positively giddy at the increased discretionary income for consumers, when they pay less at the pump. But, enough already! At some point, the long term damage exceeds the short term pleasure. Take a look at this chart: There has been a decisive breakout to … Continue reading No More Good News, Please
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