There were no winners in the Kavanaugh – Ford reality show yesterday. This national embarrassment continues. However, there was one clear loser — the New York Stock Exchange, where the trading volume dropped 50%, as traders were glued to the show. Productivity declines when workers watch trains collide.
The Flinchum FileThoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
There is a tiny crack in the Fortress Economy of the United States. Corporate earnings per share (EPS) are slowing. They have been increasing at a 25% annual rate so far this year, but that is obviously not a sustainable rate. It has to slow down somewhat. Most companies try to manage expectations and provide … Continue reading Tiny Crack
The relentless flow of good economic data can become boring. Indeed, the latest Consumer Confidence Index is the highest in eighteen years. Remembering that a confident consumer will spend more money than a frightened consumer and that consumer spending is about two-thirds of GDP, this new data suggests continued strong economic growth and even stronger … Continue reading Confident and Cocky
It seems unnatural to applaud bureaucrats anywhere, but the bureaucrats of the European Union are doing more to protect the privacy of their citizens than the august Congress of the United States. Europe now has the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Fortunately, the state of California has rushed in to fill the American vacuum left … Continue reading Thank you, California
Watching Will Ferrell reprise his impersonation of former President George W. Bush on Saturday Night Live, one is reminded of the first law of Political Economy. His portrayal showed the formal President essentially saying “I know history says I was an awful President, but don’t I look pretty good now, compared to President Trump?” Bush was blamed … Continue reading First Law of Political Economy
Many times, I have written about the “bad rap” that globalization has been receiving, recalling the Clinton-Gingrich push through Congress. At that time, numerous economists talked about the benefits of globalization but reminded the Congress that there would be losers. Numerous Congressmen promised job re-training and even relocation benefits for those workers, whose jobs were … Continue reading NOT Sharing the Burden
“I will not do business with any financial advisor who does not use an independent third-party custodian!” The Feds just broke up yet another Ponzi scheme. This one caused a $364 million loss from 230 innocent investors. If anything is unusual about this particular Ponzi scheme, it is that some financial advisors actually fell victim. … Continue reading Repeat After Me
Economics is about the allocation of limited resources to satisfy unlimited needs. There are about 35 thousand gun deaths each year in the U.S. Another 45 thousand die of strokes, and about 35 thousand die from opioid abuse. That is every year! Only a cumulative of 120 people have died from terrorism attacks in the … Continue reading The Budget Vacuum
Obama was right. Trump is wrong. Stockbrokers are very different from registered investment advisors (RIAs). Stockbrokers can charge all sorts of hidden fees and follow the “suitability” standard, which allows them to put mutual funds into a client’s portfolio that pay kickbacks to the stockbroker. They even increase the price of bonds and make the … Continue reading Death of A Good Idea
Apparently, Mueller has “flipped” Manafort, who will now testify against Trump. I would caution my Democratic friends to be less gleeful. Impeachment is a terrible thing. It is bad for the country. I was opposed to the impeachment of Clinton, and I am opposed to the impeachment of Trump. With one exception! If Mueller finds … Continue reading THE High Crime
I listened to an interesting lecture yesterday. Some laws of nature are immutable. Water runs downhill. Moths are attracted to lights, and poor people are attracted to wealth. Just as certain as death and taxes, there will be immigration. Reflecting Paul Erlich’s iconic 1970’s The Population Bomb, the speaker predicted social chaos by 2030 or just … Continue reading Death, Taxes and ….
The bookstore at the University of Pennsylvania/Wharton has always been a favorite of mine. It was always such a pleasure to leaf through the new books, but that bookstore has changed in two ways. First, there are fewer books. Of course, many books are now electronic, on Kindles, etc. In addition, information is now cheap. … Continue reading
We are a fee-only advisor providing best interest fiduciary services to clients
in Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, and the surrounding areas of Hampton Roads.