Have you been to http://www.usdebtclock.org lately? This website is complex but fascinating. Most people focus on the total debt of the U.S. government, which is now over $19 trillion. While that has continued to increase during the recession, the more important ratio of that debt to GDP has been decreasing . . . until now. Please … Continue reading Picking Poison
The Flinchum FileThoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
Saturday was my second attempt to avoid political news on television, with all its breathless hyping of trivia, for a single day each week. It was easier than the first attempt last week. Between social duties, I watched The Golf Channel and almost finished reading another book. Three times during the day, I checked the Bloomberg … Continue reading Resolution Update
Some of the latest predictions from the good people in the research department of investment giant Goldman Sachs are: 1. The S&P 500 will rise to 2,025 over the next three months and 2,100 over the next twelve months, which would be an 8.2% increase!2. European stocks will rise even more – up 11.1% over … Continue reading Goldman Thoughts
Liberty requires autonomy or independence of the individual. One of the things I enjoy about New York City is the knowledge that I can glide through masses of other people unseen and unknown. I don’t know them, and they don’t know me, and that’s okay. The middle of crowds can be a very lonely place, … Continue reading Slip Sliding Away?
Ever vigilant for another financial crisis, I have fretted about the possibility of a simultaneous commodity crisis, currency crisis, and credit crisis. My conclusion was that the possibility of another recession may have increased but not necessarily the possibility of another financial crisis. Part of my thinking was that the much-discussed Chinese banks are not … Continue reading Chinese Decision Making
Yesterday was my first attempt to minimize my intellectual and emotional pollution by avoiding television news for one day each week, normally Saturdays. The day got off to a bad start. When I turned on the TV, a news channel popped up. Not to be a purist, I learned that I need to change channels … Continue reading News-Fast
Are we going to have another financial crisis? Absolutely, but we will survive it, just like all the others. More importantly, are we going to have another financial crisis in the near future? A month ago, I was worried. Today, I am less so. My concern was that a perfect storm of a commodity crisis, … Continue reading Financial Crisis 2.0
Everybody knows about recessions, as we normally have one every 4-8 years and are due for another. The conventional definition is that GDP must drop two consecutive quarters, usually at an annualized rate of about 3%. Despite the fact that investors invariably over-react to the first hint of a recession, the really scary thing out … Continue reading Financial Crisis 101
The novice investor tries to buy a stock when it hits a low and sells it when it hits a high. What could be wrong with that? After all, doesn’t everybody say “buy low and sell high?” As wonderful as that sounds, numerous studies have shown that “market timing” seldom works in the short-term term … Continue reading Enough Cash?
Some of us are expected to be mind-readers at best or soothsayers at worst. Because of that, we are usually more forgiving when others in our profession are proven wrong . . . unless it is the legendary Goldman Sachs, of course. On January 28th, Russia called for talks with other oil-producing nations to limit … Continue reading Limits of Logic
At first, I felt guilt . . . then quite quickly, I felt relief . . . great relief. I had forgotten to watch the presidential debates at 9PM on Saturday night. I wasn’t surprised by the guilt, as I’ve always tried to be an analytic, dispassionate voter and do try to watch such events. … Continue reading Tardy 2016 Resolution
Excess emotions produce bad decisions. Did you feel bad when the Dow lost 300 points on Thursday? How bad?Did you feel good when the Dow rose 300 points yesterday? How good? I’ll bet the strength of your bad feelings on Thursday was greater than the strength of your good feelings on Friday. That’s because the … Continue reading Emotional Symmetry
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