The American Economics Association (AEA) is populated by mostly academics and is consequently more theoretical. I was a member exactly one year. The National Association of Business Economics (NABE) is populated mostly by economists working in the real world. NABE is NOT a bastion of liberal college professors, and I have been a member for … Continue reading The Wisdom of Geeks
The Flinchum FileThoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
Listening to the endless debate over gun violence, I am reminded of the difference between rifles and shotguns. A rifle fires one bullet at a time and is usually more accurate than a shotgun, which fires many small pellets. Our debate seems to search for a single “silver bullet” that will fix the problem of … Continue reading Rifle or Shotgun?
It is important to know what you don’t know, and I know that there is much I don’t know about technology stocks. As a result, I am slow to invest in technology companies that I don’t understand. I did not buy Apple or Amazon when they first offered stock to the public. Maybe, that is … Continue reading Tesla = TSLA
It has been almost a year since I predicted that President Trump would be impeached. That prediction was not made with any glee, as impeachments are painful for America and disturbing for the stock market. However, like all predictions, it is framed by certain experiences. First, at one time I was a division president in … Continue reading deju vu
Unlike many who lost respect for investment banking giant Goldman Sachs during the global financial crisis, I did not. Instead, I lost trust in them. Except for their research department, my conclusion has not changed. In their arrogance, I doubted they knew or cared about that loss of respect/trust. To my surprise, they set aside … Continue reading Skinning A Cat
Nobody is smarter than the market . . . but sometimes the market is stupid. Two days ago, Walmart stock had their worst daily drop in 30 years, dropping over 10%, based on an unexpected squeeze in profit margin and a disappointing increase in the growth of online sales, which has increased 50% for each … Continue reading Another Over-Reaction
I remember a long-forgotten professor saying to his class that “if you cannot argue both sides of an issue, then you don’t really understand that issue.” Last night, I had the pleasure of listening to John Brennan, the former head of the CIA, as he spoke to the Norfolk Forum. Having served six presidents (three … Continue reading The Spook Spoke
There has never been a time in my life that the massive conglomerate of General Electric was not one of the most respected companies in America. Sadly, since the stock hit $53 per share in 2000, it has repeatedly lurched downward and is only $15 per share today. The total market capitalization from dropped from … Continue reading What! No Santa?
Most people think existentialism is a dark, dour, and depressing philosophy, but I have always found its emphasis on absurdity and self-determination to be refreshing. Because I read most of the classic books on this subject years ago, I no longer look for additional books. However, I find myself reading Left Bank by Agnes Poirier about … Continue reading Intellectual PTSD?
Economists often joke that a president gets more credit than he deserves for good economic times and more blame than he deserves in bad economic times. This reflects the fact that long term trends affect things more than any one occupant of the White House. Consider this: 1. Thirty years ago, the homicide rate in … Continue reading More Than Half Full
It was July 18th of 2015 when I took the measure of Donald Trump . . . as a man. That was the day he needlessly attacked and trashed a personal hero of mine, i.e., John McCain. It doesn’t matter to me what the Mueller investigation eventually concludes, as I already know all I need … Continue reading Crystal Clear
In the beginning, there was the Austrian school of economics, which argued that government tax revenues must equal government expenses every year. The problem was that Austrian economics is “pro-cyclical,” i.e., it makes cycle highs higher and cycle lows lower. The only time the government can increase its spending is when revenues are rising, which … Continue reading Thumbnail of Economic History
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