The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Little Courage

09/28/2019

The President has signed the annual Federal budget on Tuesday, preventing yet another government shutdown for the next two months.  Keep in mind that over 60% of that budget is non-discretionary, which means Congress is already legally required to spend certain monies, like paying interest on the national debt or entitlements like Social Security, which … Continue reading Little Courage

Not More Debt . . . Again?

09/27/2019

Larry Summers is a former Secretary of the Treasury and a former President of Harvard.  Republicans don’t like him, even though he agrees with President Trump that current interest rates are too high.  Democrats don’t like him, because he is as arrogant as the President. But, he has been discussing an interesting new concept – … Continue reading Not More Debt . . . Again?

Now More Debt . . . Again??

09/26/2019

Larry Summers is a former Secretary of the Treasury and a former President of Harvard.  Republicans don’t like him, even though he agrees with President Trump that current interest rates are too high.  Democrats don’t like him, because he is as arrogant as the President. But, he has been discussing an interesting new concept – … Continue reading Now More Debt . . . Again??

Very Poor Taste

09/25/2019

By the time I finished my first course in international economics years ago, I was excited about the ability of globalization to lift our nation and the world to greater wealth and prosperity.  When President Trump referred to us an “globalists,” I thought that was benign and mildly amusing.  Later, he started dividing thoughts between … Continue reading Very Poor Taste

Please Don’t Do It !!

09/24/2019

I was opposed to the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and that didn’t make me a Democrat. I am opposed to the impeachment of Donald Trump, and that doesn’t make me a Republican. Negating an election because somebody lied about a sex act was stupid and nonsensical. Negating an election when the charges are too nuanced … Continue reading Please Don’t Do It !!

Please Don’t Do It

09/24/2019

I was opposed to the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and that didn’t make me a Democrat. I am opposed to the impeachment of Donald Trump, and that doesn’t make me a Republican. Negating an election because somebody lied about a sex act was stupid and nonsensical. Negating an election when the charges are too nuanced … Continue reading Please Don’t Do It

Does It Matter?

09/21/2019

If you have 100% agreement with the President’s – any President’s – foreign policy, and . . . If you have 100% agreement with the President’s – any President’s – domestic policy, then . . . Does character or decency even matter?

What Would _______ Do?

09/19/2019

For decades, the Fed controlled the economy primarily with interest rates.  Decrease rates to pump up the economy and employment.  Or, increase rates to tamp down the economy and inflation.  That was sufficient until the global financial crisis of 2008/9.  Fed chief Ben Bernanke introduced the technique of controlling the economy with the Fed’s balance … Continue reading What Would _______ Do?

The Hassle of Caregivers

09/18/2019

Financial planners often help clients prepare for retirement by preparing a retirement budget.  In a perfect world, every person would have the original type of long-term care insurance, you know, the type that doesn’t have rapidly rising premiums when you are elderly.  In the real world, we plan for caregivers in the home of the … Continue reading The Hassle of Caregivers

The Inverted Fed

09/17/2019

There has been much recent discussion on the “interest rate inversion,” meaning short-term interest rates are higher than longer-term interest rates.  When you buy a bond, you are lending money to a borrower.  If the borrower has to repay you in ten years, there are many things that can go wrong, making him unable to … Continue reading The Inverted Fed

Enough Debt Already!

09/14/2019

I only have one grandchild. He lives in Texas and has not had an easy childhood. The smallest boy in his class, he had to learn to protect himself. He did! I love that boy! That’s why I’m opposed to the President’s new proposal to cut middle-class taxes.

An Improving Cost-Benefit Ratio

09/09/2019

Most people agree that the benefits should be greater than the costs.  For example, I will pay $10 for something that is worth $11.  The problem is often that the costs are clearly known, while the benefits are only vaguely estimated.  If you’re spending $100 million to build a dam, how do you know if … Continue reading An Improving Cost-Benefit Ratio

Anti-Partisan

09/08/2019

Most people recognize that physical health, mental health, and emotional health are three quite different types of health.  We learn about physical health in elementary school, learning the importance of exercise and good nutrition.  Later in life, we learn about mental health, learning the importance of stimulation and sleep.  Since the 1995 publication of Emotional Intelligence … Continue reading Anti-Partisan

Differential Sweating

09/04/2019

It is not unreasonable to think of general recessions as hurricanes.  They can be strong or week.  Some are fast, and some are slow.  “Experts” usually predict their strength and path well in advance. Likewise, you can think of a financial crisis or financial recession as a tornado.  Likewise, few are ever weak.  Few are … Continue reading Differential Sweating

Weighing Economic Data

09/03/2019

It is no longer a question of whether we’re heading into a recession or not.  We are!  The important question is whether it is a bad recession or merely a slowdown, which is known as a “growth recession.” GDP growth has slowed from 3.1% in the first quarter to 2.0% in the second.  Business spending … Continue reading Weighing Economic Data

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