Many people think all economic downturns are recessions – just mild recessions and severe recessions. Actually, there is a difference between a recession and a financial crisis. (The latter shares some characteristics with a Black Swan event.) Recessions are generally predictable events, while a financial crisis is much less predictable, like 2008. Of course, neither … Continue reading A Favorite Metric
The Flinchum FileThoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
The 1984 book by Norman Cantor entitled “In the Wake of the Plague” is a surprisingly good read about the bubonic plague (also known as the black death or the pestilence) in the mid-fourteenth century. It is not a long book, but it is densely written. There was some interesting data, such as the estimate … Continue reading Lessons From the Black Death
Exactly forty-five years ago, on April 29, 1975, the last helicopter lifted off the roof of the American embassy in Saigon, taking the last Marines, the U.S. Ambassador, and the U.S. flag to the command ship Blue Ridge waiting offshore. It was the heartbreaking end to a twenty-year war from 1955 to 1975. As I … Continue reading From Anger to Sorrow
The 1984 book by Norman Cantor entitled “In the Wake of the Plague” is a surprisingly good read about the bubonic plague (also known as the black death or the pestilence) in the mid-fourteenth century. It is not a long book, but it is densely written. There was some interesting data, such as the estimate … Continue reading “In the Wake of the Plague”
I have a friend who is very intelligent, as well as a very independent thinker. Recently, when I told him to stay safe during this pandemic, he took issue with the word pandemic, saying it was a PLANdemic, as it was planned by such evil people as Bill Gates. I just thought Gates was the … Continue reading Premeditated ?
Warren Buffet had a mentor named Benjamin Graham, who said the stock market is “a voting machine in the short run and a weighing machine in the long run.” In other words, it is nothing more than a popularity contest in the short run, with the prettiest stocks winning. However, in the long run, the … Continue reading The Great Disconnect
A few half-truths, along with some glaring omissions, can produce a dangerous weapon. If you can confuse somebody, you can control them. As an example, take a look at this: https://www.aier.org/article/liberate-america-from-this-draconian-lockdown-video/ How many half-truths did you hear? How many obvious issues were ignored? Still, the Tea Party does force some important questions. How do you … Continue reading How Will You Know ??
Much has been written about the Great Depression during the 1930’s. It is usually focused on the economic history, such as unemployment reaching 25%. Reading can give a mental image, but only seeing gives a visual image. For most people, the only visual image of that history would be the food lines, with hundreds of … Continue reading Again ?
For fourteen years, I have written a quarterly column for “Inside Business” — the business journal of the “The Virginian-Pilot” newspaper. It is a quarterly review about economic booms and busts, Republicans and Democrats, even war and peace. Now, I suspect we are approaching an important inflection point. Just as the 9-11 tragedy changed the … Continue reading Change ?
During World War II, the President made extensive use of his war powers by ordering factories to manufacture war materiel. Of course, that cannot be done overnight. Likewise, it cannot be undone overnight either. Shortly after my father returned from the war in Europe, manufacturing actually dropped 5.4% in only ONE month. That hasn’t happened … Continue reading Mom Was Right
Two things happen during a quarantine. First, you will gain fifteen pounds, which is called the “quarantine fifteen.” Second, some millennial will convince you the only way to appreciate television is by binge-watching some show. It changes the television experience, they say. That means you will spend hours studying overly-complicated plots or fictional characters you … Continue reading Binge-Watching Pain
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