After spending decades studying the economy, it is understandable that this blog is usually about the economy, but it hasn’t been that way recently. That’s because all the data has been relentlessly dismal – the worst I have ever seen. What’s the point of elaborating the obvious? The current economy sucks! Here is some of … Continue reading The View from the Bottom
The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
Today is May 29th – traditionally financial planners use this date to remind their clients about 529 plans, which are tax-efficient ways to fund education expenses for kids and grand-kids (and other relatives). These plans were initially very popular and still should be. The very wealthy can put $150 thousand in an unlimited number of … Continue reading Quarantine Chore #5
For some reason, I took a sophomore course entitled “The Philosophy of Logic” and have always been glad I did. The concept of syllogism has been helpful to me over the years. (You’ll remember that as – if A, then B – if B, then C – therefore, if A, then C) Still, it was … Continue reading Logic-Dope
For some long-forgotten reason, I still have a checking account at Bank of America. With their latest monthly statements, there was an insert suggesting the seven questions you should ask a potential financial advisor, which are: What types of clients do you work with? Okay, that’s a fair question. One example would be increased familiarity … Continue reading Oh, did I forget . . . ?
In early 1992, I was appointed by the governor to the Texas State Depository Board. It was a four-member board composed of the State Treasurer, State Controller, State Banking Commissioner, and myself. As it was during the Texas Savings and Loan (S&L) scandal, when taxpayer losses would exceed $300 billion, I met a great many … Continue reading Presidential Protection ?
Most market watchers are familiar with the old rule-of-thumb that the stock market changes directions about 6 months or so before the overall economy, based on the assumption that investors study the economy more closely than most people. There is a lesser known rule-of-thumb that the art market changes directions about 3 months or so … Continue reading We’ll Never Know . . .
Ian Bremmer is the founder & CEO of Eurasia Group, an international risk consulting firm. He is also one of the most original thinkers I follow. You know he must be an original thinker, if he sees a silver lining to the current pandemic and economic collapse. Like pain is “good training” in the Army, … Continue reading Silver Lining ?
Even after all these years, I’m still pretty good with guns and have to roll-my-eyes whenever I see these hot-headed, gun-totting wannabe-protectors demonstrating for the freedom to congregate in churches and bars. Or, maybe it is to strut around with their macho-guns? For years, I have railed about Americans losing their privacy. Where are these … Continue reading Our “Protectors” ??
My father always cautioned me to never discuss politics, religion, or how to raise children. Unfortunately, I must often discuss politics, as it is scrambled with economics, but I still avoid partisanship. On the other hand, I never discuss child-rearing, because I frankly don’t have a clue. I do take his advice about religion and … Continue reading Nature’s Forgiveness
How much fiscal assistance does our economy need? The Democratic programmed response is “more” and the Republican programmed response is “less.” Neither is helpful. Here’s a different way to look at it. Assume our GDP is about $20 trillion per year, and it is. Assume our first and fourth quarters (Q1 and Q4) are about … Continue reading Filling-Up
One way to estimate the size of our economy is this: GDP equals the average number of transactions each year times the average price of transactions. (GDP = TP) Another way is this: GDP equals money supply times the velocity of money. (GDP = MV) The velocity of money is the number of times a … Continue reading A Little Algebra . . .
First, I have a very intelligent friend, who is susceptible to conspiracy theories. Because of that, I do enjoy debating with him. Although he is not the religious type, he believes that Evil exists, as an actual entity, not a mere characteristic of a demented person. Evil roams the planet, he says. Second, I love … Continue reading Connected Thoughts ?
This type of torture is a slow drip of cold water on the face for an extended period, creating such a state of anticipation for the next drop, that the victim eventually becomes insane. That is the experience of most economists during this Great Collapse, anticipating the next piece of bad news. Almost all economic … Continue reading Chinese Water Torture
Economists tend to be a smug bunch, comfortable with their ability to see the future. After all, we’ve seen thousands of economic datapoints over many decades and have a good feel for normal limits. Then, the coronavirus changed everything! No economist has ever seen unemployment increase 20.5 million souls in a single month — truly … Continue reading A Gut Punch
Messianism is the belief in the arrival of a messiah, who will save or liberate people. Understandably, the need for a messiah is increased during times of stress or fear. We can witness the increasing number of messiahs or “strong-man” leaders in the last fifty years, which has been a time of many wars, of … Continue reading The Age of Bullies ?
Thank you, Mr. President!
For years, I’ve argued that news is addictive. It is just like smoking or drinking or illegal drugs . While there are many non-profit organizations and for-profit companies to treat those traditional addictions, there is nobody to help you with your news addiction. The news organizations will not help you. They are NOT in the … Continue reading Another Unhealthy Addiction
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