The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Cycles of Civility


History teaches us that the current period of incivility we are experiencing is not unique.  In the 19th century, some Congressmen had fistfights on the floor of Congress and at least one pulled a gun on another.  Eventually, the cycle of civility returned to normal.  Regrettably, we have entered another cycle. I think President Trump … Continue reading Cycles of Civility

What Reality ?


Robert Doll is the Chief Equity Officer of Nuveen and a CNBC favorite.  His latest Commentary is instructive.  He reminds us of ten things: 1.  U.S. economic growth remains solid. 2.  Manufacturing levels may come under pressure. 3.  The outlook for global growth may have weakened recently, but we see no near-term signs of significant … Continue reading What Reality ?

One More Insane Tragedy


Somebody, please explain paranoia to me!  Every religion feels they are being persecuted for their faith.  The lunatic who slaughtered the innocent Jews in Pittsburgh did it because Jews were slaughtering Christians . . . What?  Like I said, lunatic! If any faith has a documented claim on being persecuted, it is the Jewish faith.  … Continue reading One More Insane Tragedy

Downward and Onward?


Most investors were sorry to see the Dow drop almost 300 points last Friday.  However, I was sorry it didn’t drop 1,000 points.  Stock market corrections don’t hit bottom until there is some degree of panic, which flushes stock out of “weak hands.” I know this slump is not a financial crisis, as I watch … Continue reading Downward and Onward?

Paging P.E.T.A


There are many colorful expressions on Wall Street.  One is a “dead cat bounce.”  Imagine your cat dies, and you toss its carcass out the second story window and watch as it hits the driveway below.  It doesn’t land motionless, like a towel.  There is a slight bounce when it hits the concrete.  Yesterday, you … Continue reading Paging P.E.T.A

Just Another Correction


This is the worst month for the stock market since January of 2016.  But, they are very different corrections.  I was nervous during the first one but am just annoyed at the current one. Glencore is a huge London-based commodities trader, and they were struggling two and a half years ago.  Because they were the … Continue reading Just Another Correction



That creaking sound you hear is the stock market struggling under the weight of both geopolitical troubles and political troubles.  Think about it — our colossal trade war with China, the increasing probability that England will have a messy crash-out of the European Union, the Mid-East is being realigned as we watch in real time, … Continue reading c-r-e-a-k-i-n-g

The Need To Break Noses


Is it acceptable to punch somebody in the nose for insulting your late Mother? In an overly-long opinion piece inside yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, the writer alleged that leftists  hate “Mr. Trump’s vulgarity.”  Well, my Mother never used a vulgar word but prayed for those who did.  Vulgarity was not a small deal to her!  It … Continue reading The Need To Break Noses

Hunting The Killer


Perry Mason always found the murderer, but he had a big advantage, because it was after-the-fact. While the economic data is as good as I’ve ever seen it, at least during my lifetime, we should remember that “Bull markets never die of old age.  They get killed first!”  Hunting the killer is easier with a … Continue reading Hunting The Killer

Quarterly Column


While it is somewhat dated, here is the link to my latest column for Inside Business

Meandering Toward Brexit


I understand patriotism.  I feel it from my toes to my nose.  I love our national identity, warts and all!  Britain also has a strong national identity, with minimal warts.  Of course, they feel pride in their national identity, and they should! My inner Republican imagines the damage to their pride when they had to … Continue reading Meandering Toward Brexit

A Geopolitical Diet?


There is obviously a close relationship between the economy and the stock market.  Sometimes, it is not close enough.  During the second quarter, the economy grew earnings 25% year-over-year.  During the third quarter, earnings were expected to rise 15% and actually increased 21%.  The fourth quarter is running 20% up.  Does the stock market growth … Continue reading A Geopolitical Diet?

Thank You, Brett!


Most of us realize that it is unhealthy to watch too much TV news.  Years ago, I declared my Saturdays as a news-free day.  It is important to recognize the toxicity of TV news, be it Red-tinted or Blue-tinted.  Both are toxic.  After the bitterly contentious news coverage on the elevation of America’s only available … Continue reading Thank You, Brett!

Supply and Demand


Most everybody knows that prices are determined by the “Law of Supply and Demand”.  If supply of a product decreases while demand increases, then buyers will “bid up” the price.  Likewise, if demand increases more than supply increases, buyers will again “bid up” the price.  However, if supply increases more than demand, buyers will not … Continue reading Supply and Demand

The End Is Near? Nope!


The stock market held a SALE today, with the Dow stocks getting over 800 points cheaper.  No, it is not the beginning of the end.  More likely, it is a normal bull market correction.  Here is what happened: The European markets closed down sharply.  They were understandably frightened of rising interest rates.  The impact of … Continue reading The End Is Near? Nope!

Dying Of Old Age


Most people hope to get old and die of natural causes, and most people do!  Bull markets don’t have that hope of a pleasant passage.  Bull markets never die of old age.  Like animals in nature, they get killed – by several different causes.  The most common is the Federal Reserve raising interest rates too … Continue reading Dying Of Old Age

Memories That Divide Us


It is the pain that keeps on giving and giving. I watched a movie entitled Last Flag Flying.  It was a story of three veterans from Vietnam.  Like most, their shared memories kept them apart after the war, and they went different ways.  Thirty years later, one lost his son in Iraq, and he sought out … Continue reading Memories That Divide Us



There are precious few Americans who respect Congress.  Respect for the Presidency varies depending on the President, but most everybody I know respects the Supreme Court. When President Trump nominated Judge Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, I thought that was fine.  While Kavanaugh’s perspective on expansive executive power worried me, I felt he was reasonably … Continue reading Sad

Let Them Eat Cake


We think of cancer as a terrible disease, destroying bodies and ravishing families.  We don’t think enough about how stressful it is, especially with regard to financial decisions.  Over one-third of cancer patients fully deplete their savings, 24% borrow against their retirement savings, and 37% of cancer patients cut back on groceries — imagine cutting … Continue reading Let Them Eat Cake



Just when you think that hyper-partisanship could not get any worse, along comes the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.  For a long time, I have believed that hyper-partisanship was due to two factors.  First, politics become more poisonous when moderates are excluded, which is the result of gerrymandering.  Reliably red districts are not likely to produce moderate … Continue reading Partisan-Paralysis

Kudos to Mr. Trump


I applaud the President on the signing of “Nafta II” or the “U.S., Mexico, Canada Agreement” or USMCA, as he prefers to call it. Critics will cite the minor differences between this new agreement and the TPP, which the President rejected immediately after coming into office.  For example, TPP gave U.S. farmers 3.25% of the … Continue reading Kudos to Mr. Trump

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