The increase in consumer confidence during May surprised me. It rose a healthy 5.1 points to 118.3, the highest since last September. The consumers were polled following the lousy jobs report earlier this month, leading me to expect a lousy report on consumer confidence, as is normal. (Of course, the polling took place prior to … Continue reading What, Me Worry?
The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
For those of you smart enough to miss my June 14th presentation to the Hampton Roads Association for Financial Professionals, here is a link to their website, where you can click on the slideshow: http://hrafp.org/PastMeetings.html It could be worse . . . they might have put the video online!
First, polling in the U.K. has never been as scientific as it-used-to-be in this country. With the tsunami of cell phones and the now-stylish disdain for anything remotely “establishment,” the percentage of the population actually surveyed has been dropping steadily for years in both countries. In the U.K., it was thought that the betting odds … Continue reading Miscellaneous BREXIT Thoughts
The last chapter is almost every textbook on introductory economics discusses international economics. Unfortunately, many courses don’t get to the end of the textbook, and the students miss the most interesting area of economic study. One subject in that last chapter is always the Law of Comparative Advantage. A full discussion is beyond the scope … Continue reading Intellectual Scapegoating
Q. Will the Brexit vote lead to a depression?A. Of course, anything is possible but is not likely: Q. Why did the stock market react so strongly about the vote?A. Wall Street likes to worry but hates surprises. Q. Did the British voters make a mistake?A. The mistake was not going far enough in creating … Continue reading Brexit Questions
During election night in 1968 between Nixon and Humphrey, I was so fascinated by the role of demographics in elections that I stayed up all night, watching the returns. The next day, I felt so lousy that I swore to never do that again. Last night, I stayed up all night watching the Brexit election … Continue reading The Morning After . . .
Remember: the only guarantee about stock market behavior is that it WILL overreact! Judging from the number of questions I’ve received about today’s BREXIT vote in the U.K., I expect a very volatile stock market in the short term. This is a good opportunity to ask yourself whether you are an investor or a trader. … Continue reading Binary Betting
The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) has long been opposed to “hidden fees” being charged to clients. One example is the sales commissions paid to stockbrokers when clients buy into mutual funds. Another is the mysterious “12b-1” fee paid each year to stockbrokers. Another is the value of exotic vacations for stockbrokers and … Continue reading R-Rated Fiduciary Explanation
There is one thing that older Republican men, older Democratic men, and older moderate men can all agree on — those increasingly frequent “sleep interruptions” are really annoying! However, serendipity can sometimes make lemonade out of that lemon. In the wee-time of 0230 hours, I stood at our window overlooking the entrance to the Chesapeake … Continue reading Lemonade
Making no decision is an actual decision! It is a decision to let whatever will be . . . just be . . . without any guidance or effort to change the inevitable. Some may think you cannot make a mistake if you do not make a decision, but they are wrong, because that is … Continue reading Que Sera Sera
As a strapping young economics student in the last century, we studied how prices allocate resources. If a product has a high price, more people will want to sell it. Eventually, the new suppliers of that product will provide more than consumers want and will have to start discounting the price in order to sell … Continue reading Millions . . . down the drain
The war began in 2008. Our armies arrayed themselves on the battlefield and waited for their generals. Alas, only one general showed up, and that was only a lesser general. The other generals stayed in the barracks and pointed fingers at each other. The armies had no choice but to follow the one general who … Continue reading Leaderless ??
As someone who sees the world economy as a fascinating and almost living organism, it is rare that I can take my eye of it. But, I have been shocked and saddened by the senseless massacre in Orlando. The heavy fog of sorrow has fallen over Orlando, just like it did over DC and New … Continue reading Shocked and Saddened
It is important to remember that recessions and bear markets are different. Recessions happen in the economy, while bear markets happen on Wall Street. There is a relationship but not a tight one. We like to think that, since the average IQ on Wall Street is higher than the average IQ on Main Street, bear … Continue reading 5.79 Million Useless People
One of my closest relatives is retired from law enforcement. I am quite proud of him! He has handled investigations from “routine, run-of-the-mill” murders to real headline-making mass murder. Now in retirement but as a courtesy to a long-time friend in the funeral home business, he will occasionally get a request to attend funerals — … Continue reading Coffin Fights?
Earlier this year, I had to take a 22-hour course on behavioral finance, which is about peoples’ attitudes and misconceptions about money and investing. After all, there is considerable ongoing research in this field. Frankly, it reminded me of Art Linkletter’s 1957 classic book, Kids Say the Darndest Things!However, one important point in that course … Continue reading Investors Think the Darndest Things
On average, there are about 160 economic reports each month. Those are just the reports from the Federal government, various state governments, agencies, and trade associations. That doesn’t include reports from the many banks, brokerages, and other commercial companies. I would guess the combined total approaches a thousand reports per month. Can the average person … Continue reading Jobs, Interest Rates, and Libertarians