The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Selling Somebody Else’s Money

03/31/2017

One rainy morning in 1981, I was in a well-lighted conference room on a high floor of Citicorp Center in Manhattan.  The weather was so bad that we could not see the streets below.  Into the room walked Congressman St. Germain of Rhode Island.  For an hour, he explained the problem with bankers is that … Continue reading Selling Somebody Else’s Money

Perfection?

03/29/2017

Just as no person is perfect, no political party is perfect.  The Democrats are wrong about interstate health insurance, and the Republicans are wrong about privacy.  Allowing internet providers to sell information on users, including browsing history and Social Security numbers is just WRONG!  It is morally repugnant!!

A 10% Correction . . . So, What?

03/28/2017

Bob Doll of Nuveen is one of my favorite “thought-leaders.”  After a 1.4% fall in the stock market last week, I was looking forward to his thoughts.  Obviously, he thinks the President’s disappointment with the Obamacare replacement makes it more difficult to get badly-needed legislation on the tax code revisions and rebuilding infrastructure.  The much-heralded … Continue reading A 10% Correction . . . So, What?

Unthinkable — Part Deux

03/26/2017

There has been some interesting criticism of the “Unthinkable” blog last week.  It was NOT a call for the impeachment of President Trump.  Quite the contrary, I stated impeachment was indeed bad for the country.  But, I predicted it would happen nonetheless, reflecting the poisonous partisanship, the massive egos in Washington, and the lack of … Continue reading Unthinkable — Part Deux

Stepping on Rattlesnakes

03/24/2017

Years ago, I ran the Rattlesnake Roundup 10K in Sweetwater, Texas.  All along the road, rattlesnakes were positioned on one side or the other.  Fortunately, each was tended by a “snake-charmer” who had a long tool to control the rattlesnake.  At the beginning of the race, the announcer gave us some advice I never forgot: … Continue reading Stepping on Rattlesnakes

We’re # 14 !!!

03/22/2017

The latest “Happiness” survey listed Norway as the happiest nation on Earth.  It may be just a happy coincidence that Norway also has the highest financial literacy, compared to the U.S., which was 14th, just behind the Czech Republic. So, should high school students be required to take a financial literacy course?  I doubt anybody … Continue reading We’re # 14 !!!

The Unthinkable

03/21/2017

Q.  When is it time to start thinking about the unthinkable?A.  When you find yourself awake at night, staring at the dark ceiling, and worrying. Q.  Will the President be impeached?  If so, for what impeachable offense?A.  Yes, but the offense doesn’t really matter at this point.  “High crimes” can include most anything.  Impeachment is … Continue reading The Unthinkable

Another Good JOLT

03/17/2017

Wall Street, politicians, and the media pay very close attention to the monthly “Jobs Report” on the first Monday of each month.  Announcing the rate of unemployment, it is the “headline news” on the labor market. On the other hand, economists pay closer attention to the JOLT report, which stands for Job-Openings, Labor-Turnover.  An increasing … Continue reading Another Good JOLT

No Pomp and Circumstance ??

03/15/2017

Do you remember the mixed emotions when your kid graduated from high school?  There was pride that they had accomplished something worth doing.  There was relief that your efforts to get them functioning in the real world had some measurable success.  There was excitement that they would now be standing on their own two feet, … Continue reading No Pomp and Circumstance ??

Only Five ?

03/14/2017

Bobby Doll is the Chief Equity Analyst for giant Nuveen Asset Management and has long been one of my favorite thought-leaders.  An affable, humble man with an ability to write succinctly, he remains confident in both the economy and the stock market.  However, his most recent commentary lists five risks we should pay attention to, … Continue reading Only Five ?

Freaky Libertarians

03/11/2017

Easily, the most readable book on economics in this young century is Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner.  There is also a Freakonomics podcast (which is available in the App Store).  I often listen to one of those podcasts when running.  A recent one concerned the Libertarian political party, complete with an interview by Gary Johnson, who ran … Continue reading Freaky Libertarians

Oh, What A Relief It is . . .

03/09/2017

During the Era of Gridlock, the United States was a one-armed boxer.  Gridlock made fiscal policy useless, as Congress was unable to do anything that mattered.  All we had was monetary policy, which is controlled by the Federal Reserve.  Therefore, Wall Street held its breath every time the Fed met to decide any changes.  If … Continue reading Oh, What A Relief It is . . .

Arithmetic Matters ?

03/07/2017

I would like a tax cut.Who doesn’t want more spending money in their pocket? I would like Obamacare replaced with something “better,” as the President promised.Who doesn’t want better health care? I would like a stronger military forces.Who doesn’t want stronger defense? I would like a modern infrastructure.Who doesn’t want better roads, bridges, port, airports, … Continue reading Arithmetic Matters ?

An Economic Week

03/05/2017

During the past week, did you observe and absorb the following economic data points? 1.  On Monday, we learned home prices increased 5.8% last year, with 0.8% coming in December.  The Pacific Northwest led the way.  On Wednesday, we learned New Home Sales rose very modestly in January, showing increased cancellations due to rising mortgage … Continue reading An Economic Week

Consorting With The Devil ?

03/04/2017

As a boy, I remember being told that the oratorical skills of Adolph Hitler would rob a person of their own internalized principles and beliefs.  That was added to the growing list of things I didn’t understand as a boy about the grown-up world.  Later, I was told that I would understand the holocaust IF … Continue reading Consorting With The Devil ?

Gridlock = Gridlock

03/03/2017

In 1792, some “wannabe” stock traders gathered under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street to develop some agreement to trade stocks and the New York Stock Exchange was born.  Today, over twenty trillion dollars of stocks trade there and is the biggest in the world.  It has become synonymous with “the market.” Initially, it merely … Continue reading Gridlock = Gridlock

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