The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

What, Me Worry?


As 2016 began, worldwide stock markets were suffering with the collapse in the energy sector, as well as a slowing China.  (I was especially concerned about a derivatives default by Glencore.)  Yet, the markets recovered. In June, the surprise Brexit vote stunned worldwide stock markets, who were terrified of the possible collapse of the European … Continue reading What, Me Worry?

Real Men Don’t Cry


Real men don’t cry!  Yet, tears rolled down my cheeks last night.  Nothing – absolutely nothing – brings me to tears quicker than our American soldiers.  I am sorry for the loss of every person, every adult, every child and even animals.  But, I don’t cry . . . except for our soldiers. Last night, … Continue reading Real Men Don’t Cry

The Most Common Question


Everybody lives in fear . . . of something!  Investors live in fear of sudden market crashes (even though each has been followed a recovery).  They have vivid memories of the Crash of 1929, the Crash of 1987, and the Global Financial Crisis of 2008/9.  As long as the bulls run, there will be an … Continue reading The Most Common Question

Live Luggage


As anybody who has boarded an airplane recently knows, passengers have almost as many rights as their suitcases in the hold.  There is a website that follows this issue, i.e., Here is a copy/paste from today’s email from them: Dysfunctional Relationship The Reason for Congressional dysfunction July 26, 2016 To put it briefly, it’s minority … Continue reading Live Luggage

Aging Investment Clubs


Years ago, I had lunch in the historic Old Ebbet Grill across 15th Street from the White House and next to my office at the corner of New York Avenue in Washington, D.C.  I was with two security analysts – genuine nerds – who got into a rather heated argument as to whether Merck (MRK) … Continue reading Aging Investment Clubs

R.I.P. (Run-In-Peace)


Thirty-two years ago – today – one of my personal heroes died, at the tender age of 52.  Like many veterans, my physical conditioning slowly faded away after leaving the military.  Then, in 1977, Jim Fixx wrote The Complete Book of Running, helping me lose 20 pounds and regain some of that lost-fitness.  Ironically, when … Continue reading R.I.P. (Run-In-Peace)

A Stumbling Giant ?


Italy is one of the ten largest economies in the world, and it is the weakest.  Real GDP is the same now as it was fifteen years ago.  The heart of any economy is the banking system, and Italy may have the weakest.  Remember how low stock prices were in January of 2009?  The share … Continue reading A Stumbling Giant ?

Pet Peeve #139


Are engineers the only travelers permitted to take showers?  When I grew up, it was easy to turn the shower on and set just the right temperature.  Today, in an effort to be “new and trendy,” hotels compete on having exotic hardware in the bathrooms.  I’m sure that costs the hotel a little extra, which … Continue reading Pet Peeve #139

Pet Peeve #207


Is there no place to hide from pollution?  I’m talking about political pollution!  Are we so polarized that we must carry our political leanings onto the beach with us?  Does beautiful weather on a July Sunday afternoon compel true-believers to strut their opinions?  What is the point anyway?  Do they think they will change somebody’s … Continue reading Pet Peeve #207



Warren Buffett has said you should buy the stock of a company when you like it and sell it when you don’t like it.  His point was to ignore the stock market as a whole. Some investment managers like to invest on the basis of “drivers” or things that will drive the value of a … Continue reading Y-T-D

Justice ?


The Dow would be a breath-taking 1,200 points higher today, except for the twelve companies that have been LOSERS since its last high in May of 2015.  The biggest LOSER is the investment giant, Goldman Sachs, which is quite highly respected at Goldman Sachs.  It’s value has dropped a whopping 23% and accounts for 327 … Continue reading Justice ?

Grizzled Faces


The Veterans Administration receives much well-deserved criticism, but I value it anyway and chose to receive my own medical care there.  Veterans are only 7% of the U.S. population, a all-time low.  Yet, inside the VA system, it is 100%, and I enjoy the company.  Veterans tend to treat each other with respect and care. … Continue reading Grizzled Faces



If you are confident, then you are more inclined to invest more of your hard-earned cash into stock investments.  If you are uncertain, you are less likely to do so.  That is the reason the stock market hates uncertainty so much. Historically, the stock market just drifts the first half of presidential election years and … Continue reading Uncertainty

The Only Game In Town


Given that the stock market over-reacts, the reaction of the stock market on Friday was interesting.  The monthly jobs reports indicated 287 thousand jobs were created last month, compared to expectations of about 170 thousand jobs.  It was a great surprise, and the Dow picked up 250 points that day.  At first blush, 250 Dow … Continue reading The Only Game In Town

Feeling For Big D


When I worked for New York-based banking giant Citibank in downtown Dallas, it was a common joke that America was simply “fly-over” country between big cities that actually matter, like New York, Chicago, Dallas, etc.  It was stereotypical to think of the urban cities as civilizations with barbarians banging on the gates.  Indeed, we referred … Continue reading Feeling For Big D

National Sock Day


America is not a perfect nation, as we are reminded relentlessly, even during our national holidays.  But, the Fourth of July is different.  Unlike Veterans Day when we thank veterans for the service and unlike Memorial Day when we honor those who laid down their lives for the rest of us, Independence Day is the … Continue reading National Sock Day

Tension Control


Just as there is an unhealthy tension in Washington between Republicans and Democrats, there is another unhealthy tension developing on Wall Street — between “bottom-up” financial strategists and “top-down” economic strategists. It began after the 2008/9 global financial crisis, when the financial strategists looked at the rapidly-recovering balance sheets of corporations, who were refinancing their … Continue reading Tension Control

Just Another Long, Strange Journey


Following a very minor surgical procedure, there was a very long night, in the middle of which I watched the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1970 rock opera, the iconic Jesus Christ Superstar.  Having seen the stage adaptation decades ago, I recalled the almost-humorous stylizing of the very well known classic story into the … Continue reading Just Another Long, Strange Journey

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