The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Sniffing a Crisis ??

05/30/2018

Let’s take a look at economic data released in the last few weeks: 1.  Consumer confidence rose again in May.2.  The increased gas prices are not expected to be impact consumer disposable income significantly,3.  Existing home sales dropped 2.5% due to lack of homes to sell, which is a good problem.4.  Home prices have risen … Continue reading Sniffing a Crisis ??

From An Unknown Source

05/28/2018

Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it! God bless them, every single one!

An Earned Salute

05/26/2018

When I was a boy, I remember my father telling me many times I should get a “do-nothing government job.”  It was an extra bonus that nobody could ever be fired in such a job.  That never made sense to me, as I strongly believe that work is good for the mind, body and soul. … Continue reading An Earned Salute

HA HA !

05/26/2018

I will not say . . . I told you so.I will not say . . . I told you so.I will not say . . . I told you so. We’ve all seen those new home gadgets from Amazon, called Alexa, which allows the homeowner to ask questions, both big and little, as well … Continue reading HA HA !

Indignation Evolution

05/25/2018

I recall writing years ago that “if we are free only to be respectful, then we are not really free at all.”  Yet, I was quite angry when the NFL players refused to stand during the national anthem.  It was disrespectful to a symbol that is intensely important to me.  I reacted too strongly to … Continue reading Indignation Evolution

Look, It’s Alive !

05/24/2018

As we witness the highly partisan attacks on such institutions as the FBI and EPA, it is easy to overlook some surprising life in our long-dead Zombie Congress. Last August, the Senate passed “right-to-try” legislation, which permits terminal patients to try unproven drugs.  The House passed it this week, and it goes to the President, … Continue reading Look, It’s Alive !

Fear of Peasants

05/23/2018

When I went to China a few years ago, my strongest impression was just how frightened the central government is — afraid of their own people.  That makes the tightest controls on freedom necessary.  After all, with a minimal middle-class, China could have a billion poor people take to the streets — how scary is … Continue reading Fear of Peasants

Rat Poison Squared

05/21/2018

Warren Buffett was wrong!  He recommended against buying both Amazon and Google.  He was wrong! So what?  There is also a rumor he might actually be human! One of his primary rules is to buy what you understand.  Who understood Google when they heard about it the first time?  Techies just delight in saying that … Continue reading Rat Poison Squared

Yet Another School Shooting

05/19/2018

Gun lovers (like myself) say “This is crazy!”Gun nuts say “This is crazy!” Gun lovers say “There’s too many guns!”Gun nuts say “There’s not enough guns!” Gun lovers say “Conduct real background checks!”Gun nuts say “Background checks give the government too much power!” Gun lovers ask “Does everybody have the right to have guns!”Gun nuts … Continue reading Yet Another School Shooting

Loving the Pampered?

05/18/2018

How can anything so routine and mundane put so many smiles on so many faces worldwide?  I’ve been bewildered by this all my life but am finally starting to understand . . . maybe. The British Royal family is arguably the best known family on the list of the world’s ten most pampered families.  Despite … Continue reading Loving the Pampered?

Capital Punishment

05/17/2018

I have long urged investors to make sure there is always a custodian (TD, Schwab, Pershing, etc.), because that keeps their advisor honest.  But, I’m increasingly despondent, as I was just reading about yet another Ponzi scheme, based in Boca Raton, stealing $1.2 BILLION from 8,400 investors, mostly in Florida and Colorado. It is a … Continue reading Capital Punishment

In the beginning . . .

05/16/2018

. . . there was Benjamin Graham, the father of investment management and author of the dryly titled Security Analysis.  He was the mentor for Warren Buffett.  Graham advocated a “bottoms-up” approach to investment management, which requires exhaustive analysis of all financial statements, physical inspection of all facilities, and probing interviews with senior management.  The … Continue reading In the beginning . . .

Rising Interest Rates ??

05/14/2018

It is widely assumed that the Fed will continue raising interest rates, and they will.  They want to “normalize” the level of interest rates, as well as having some “dry powder” in case the economy stumbles and needs lower rates.  Plus, they believe higher rates will encourage increased savings. There is also a technical reason … Continue reading Rising Interest Rates ??

Rich Folks Hoax

05/12/2018

The moon is hanging in the purple skyBaby’s sleeping while its mother signsTalking ’bout the rich folksRich folks have the same jokesAnd they park in basic places The priest is preaching from a shallow graveHe counts his money, then he paints you savedTalking to the young folksYoung folks share the same jokesAnd they meet in … Continue reading Rich Folks Hoax

What I Wished For ?

05/12/2018

Long time readers will recall ten years ago or so that I lamented the death of democracy when Republicans and Democrats could not even do the things they agree on — for fear of “cooperating with each other.”  I pondered endlessly about Erdogan’s famous comment that “Democracy is like a train – when you get … Continue reading What I Wished For ?

The Rubicon

05/12/2018

There is no American I respect more than John McCain.Therefore, there is no American I respect less than Donald Trump.

Your Personal Roadblocks

05/09/2018

The media reports the unemployment rate each month, which is currently about 4%.  Economists normally look at the JOLTS report, which shows the number of job openings is a record high 4.2%.  In other words, there are more job openings than there are workers to fill those jobs.  This is a all-time record.  The job … Continue reading Your Personal Roadblocks

A Planner Too Long ?

05/07/2018

In 1985, I watched the classic Out of Africa movie with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.  She played a wealthy Danish woman who came to Kenya and fell in love with a professional game-hunter.  By the end of the movie, she had lost her wealth, and he had lost his life.  A sad love story, the … Continue reading A Planner Too Long ?

Take A Stand !

05/06/2018

Suppose I owe you a lot of money and then suppose I only pay you 77% of what I owe you.  How happy would you be?  Now, suppose you knew 20 years before that it would happen.  Would you try to do something about it? Social Security is a pay-as-you-go entitlement, meaning money paid into … Continue reading Take A Stand !

The Joy of Regulation

05/05/2018

It is fashionable to “trash-talk” regulations, and some of that is fair.  However, some regulations are better than others and are actually good for America! Famously described as “financial weapons of mass destruction” by Warren Buffet, derivatives have posed ever-greater risks to the financial system and were largely responsible for the global financial crisis of … Continue reading The Joy of Regulation

The Need To Please

05/04/2018

On a long flight recently, I took the opportunity to read a biography on Tiger Woods. Everybody knows the story of Tiger, but I am interested in father-son relationship between Earl-Tiger.    Earl was a former Green Beret, who was determined that his son could change the world, literally.  He had a disciplined focus on … Continue reading The Need To Please

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