The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

The 10% Rule


After telling my father about a minor “dust-up” with four black youths when I was about 12 years old, my father explained to me that “10% of black people are bad people.”  After scratching my head, I asked what percentage of white people are bad people, and he told me . . . 10%. His … Continue reading The 10% Rule

A Banner Year


2017 was a banner year.  Stocks were up.  Bonds were up.  Commodities were up.  It was a very good year indeed! The largest company stocks did best, with the Dow rising 28.11 percent.  (Your portfolio probably didn’t rise nearly that much, unless you invested solely in the Dow without diversifying or invested very heavily in … Continue reading A Banner Year

Missing The Point


Point #1: Fox News argues 24/7 that Secretary Clinton leaked national secrets and abused email protocols.  If so, the Secretary should be punished. Point #2: Non-Fox News argues 24/7 that President Trump colluded with Russia to influence our voting.  If so, the President should be punished. Point #3: All U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia … Continue reading Missing The Point

2018 New Year’s Resolution


In the early nineteenth century city of Nottingham in England, working conditions for working men and women were barely human.  In a effort to gain negotiating strength for possible unionization talks with the textile industry, workers began destroying machinery.  When violence broke out, the mill owners began shooting the workers, and the rebellion from 1811-1816 … Continue reading 2018 New Year’s Resolution

Let It Snow. Let It Snow . . .


During the past week alone, we have learned: 1.  New home sales are surging, up 17.5% in November.2.  Consumer Sentiment was the highest in 2017 since the year 2000.3.  Personal Income is rising nicely, up 0.3% in November alone.4.  Inflation is quiet.  The PCE deflator is up on 1.8% year-over-year.5.  Core inflation is up even … Continue reading Let It Snow. Let It Snow . . .

Mourning the Dead


Bill was my buddy.  He was from Kentucky, and we were bunk-mates in Officer Candidate School, room-mates in Paratrooper School, and next door neighbors in the Special Forces Officer Course.  In Vietnam, he commanded a platoon of “tunnel rats” – those guys with the terrifying duty of flushing the Vietcong out of tunnels.  Accepting his … Continue reading Mourning the Dead

Only Two Choices


Q.  What’s the difference between Democratic economists and Republican economists? A.  Democrats like Keynesian economics,while Republicans like Supply-side economics. Q.  What’s the similarity between Democratic economists and Republican economists? A.  Both love budget deficits but strongly deny it! Q.  How do they justify such budget deficits? A.  Republicans use deficits to make the economy better, … Continue reading Only Two Choices



Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) is a giant, well-respected bond firm.  However, their latest market commentary actually made me laugh.  They see continued economic growth, unless there is a ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. The flow of economic data in the U.S. is remarkably positive, and it has been joined by a flow of positive economic data around … Continue reading ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE ?

Mystery Manipulator (s)


I believe the U.S. intelligence agencies, that the Russians meddled in our presidential campaign last year, and think it deserves further examination.  Unfortunately, any discussion of this subject gets mixed into a discussion about potential involvement by the Trump campaign.  Whether anybody from the campaign colluded is a separate issue from the Russian meddling.  Forget … Continue reading Mystery Manipulator (s)

And, You Are . . . ?


Long ago, my father told me not to discuss politics or religion, because people take offense so easily.  I cannot ignore politics in my profession, but I never write about religion.  But, sometimes you read something so amusing that it has to be shared.  During a recent sermon, I learned churches and synagogues have too … Continue reading And, You Are . . . ?

Choice of Altars


Hillsdale College is a well-respected conservative think-tank in Michigan.  A good friend gave me one of their recent policy opinions to read, which I did gladly.  The gist of it was that the problem with Democrats is that they worship at the altar of identity politics, dividing America instead of unifying it.  The writer argued … Continue reading Choice of Altars

A Non-Theory


When I was taught the “scientific method” long ago, I recall the arduous process of moving an idea from hypothesis to theory to principle.  While I don’t have time to go through that lengthy process, I do have a hypothesis. While the stock market invariably over-reacts, it over-reacts to different news, depending on where it … Continue reading A Non-Theory

Bitcoin, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin


After months of 24/7 saturation coverage, you can recall that certain exhaustion you feel the day before an election.  You have hope, because the election is the next day.  Still, you can barely tolerate coverage for another 24 hours.  That’s the way I feel about bitcoin! In the business media, coverage has been bitcoin, bitcoin, … Continue reading Bitcoin, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin

More Technology = Less Privacy


Being a sports fan offers a fun opportunity for both competition and silliness.  American football fans are no different.  As a long-suffering fan of the Dallas Cowboys, I have a Cowboys jacket, a Cowboys sweatshirt, a Cowboys tee-shirt, a Cowboys watch, and even a pair of Cowboys underwear (TMI).  But, the Cowboys’ reach for profits … Continue reading More Technology = Less Privacy

Fond Reunion


Absence makes the heart grow fonder, even for economic data.  While the monthly jobs report is not the most instructive economic report, it has long been the most popular and has the most short-term impact on the stock market. Today’s report continued a long string of good reports, with 228 thousand new jobs being created … Continue reading Fond Reunion

Shiny Objects


Readers will recall that I predicted in March that President Trump would be impeached.  Today’s news only makes me more confident that it is true.  Only a resignation could preclude the impeachment.  But, I mourn for the country, because impeachment is an agonizing experience and is bad for the country.  It will not make us … Continue reading Shiny Objects

Thru The Looking Glass


When I was a young economics student, I was fascinated by economic cycles.  Wouldn’t it be great to be an investor with full knowledge of the next recession?  Those cycles ranged from 4 years to 52 years and had exotic names like Juglars and Kondratieff.  However, regardless of the cycle you choose, we are late … Continue reading Thru The Looking Glass

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