The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Unforgivable ?


If you want to see a grown man cry, just watch my eyes when they play “taps” at a military funeral. As an existentialist, I don’t grieve for the veteran, as death is only one side a coin . . . one side with pain and one without.  Of course, as a human, I do … Continue reading Unforgivable ?

Right Hand/Left Hand


If I had to say something nice about the current economic collapse, I would say — at least, it is NOT also a financial collapse.  Our banking system has remained relatively strong, thank goodness.  If not, this “flash-depression” would easily turn into another Great Depression.  Keeping our financial system solid is desperately important.  After the … Continue reading Right Hand/Left Hand

Guessing Expectations


On Wall Street, the favorite game is guessing what outcome is already “priced-into-the-market.”  It is a game of guessing expectations.  For example, I think the stock market currently expects Trump to lose the Presidency, while Republicans hold onto the Senate.  Remember, Wall Street always over-reacts to surprises! If the Senate remains Republican, the Trump tax … Continue reading Guessing Expectations

Your Favorite Foot?


One of my favorite thought leaders is the brilliant but affable Jeremy Siegel of Wharton.  In his latest commentary, he thinks the stock market will remain relatively range-bound for the next 3-4 months before a breakout upwards.  The continued flow of cash from the Fed is the major support of the economy.  For example, M2, … Continue reading Your Favorite Foot?

A Stain on our Soul


One Sunday morning many years ago, I sat in a pew, listening to a minister who preached that God loves all people, even bad people — because every person has some good in them.  Unfortunately, he went on to say God even loved Hitler.  Everybody sitting in the pews immediately straightened their back and listened.  … Continue reading A Stain on our Soul

Damn Shame


There’s more to investing that mere numbers.  There’s more to accounting than mere debits and credits.  There’s more to financial planning than canned software programs.  Clients are human.  They need fewer numbers and more human advice, even young millennials . Alexander Kearns was a 20-year-old resident in Illinois.  Like so many, he signed up with … Continue reading Damn Shame

In A Flash


Do you remember the year of 2010?  That was the year of the “Flash Crash”.  It happened on May 6th, when the stock market suddenly fell almost a thousand points, losing a trillion dollars, before recovering 36 minutes later.  It was a market event . . . of temporary significance. Do you remember the year … Continue reading In A Flash



Without numbers, an opinion is nothing more than a gut-feeling. So, here’s my gut feeling: 1.  The stock market hit a bottom in March. 2.  A modest rebound was expected. 3.  Instead, the market rebounded very, very strongly. 4.  Market watchers could not explain the strength of the rebound. 5.  However, an increase in retail … Continue reading Gut-speak



Imagine looking out your front window.  On the sidewalk across the street, a man, an auditor-looking man in a trench coat sits in a lawn chair with a clipboard on his lap.  When your lights come on each morning, he makes a note on his clipboard.  When you get the newspaper off the front porch, … Continue reading Creepy

“miscalculation error”


Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly unemployment report.  It was much better than expected, showing unemployment dropped 1.4% instead of increasing 4-5%.  I wrote “Something Smells” about this.  After all, how could 30 million workers be receiving unemployment benefits, when the BLS said  only 20 million workers were unemployed? Later … Continue reading “miscalculation error”



Incivility in politics runs in cycles.  Believe it or not, this is not the worst partisanship in our history, although I do suspect we are near the low point in this cycle.  Tracing this cycle back to its beginning, you might find Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich instructing freshman congressmen to avoid fraternization with … Continue reading Slant-Seeking

The Burden of Good Intentions


Lars von Trier is the greatest film director you’ve probably never heard of.  Maybe that’s because he is Danish, or maybe because he doesn’t make movies for the mainstream.  Those movies are existential to the core, with a stream of surrealism meandering between the comedic and the absurd.  A-list actors beg for the experience of … Continue reading The Burden of Good Intentions

Hope Is Not A Plan


As people approach retirement, their anxiety rises, and this is natural.  After all, retirement is a great unknown.  Most people focus solely on income replacement, but there is so much more to consider.  In fact, that’s not even close to the beginning point. Start with identifying your risks, keeping in mind that risk is a … Continue reading Hope Is Not A Plan

deja vu


My Democratic friends are understandably concerned that there are unidentified soldiers roaming the capital.  These are soldiers without any apparent identification.  It is unknown what military service or what unit they represent.  There is no way to determine where they came from.  I understand how unsettling that can be, but it is not the first … Continue reading deja vu

Something Smells . . . ?


What are you gonna believe — economics or statistics? Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their monthly employment report for May.  Economists were expecting another 8 million workers lost their jobs and that the rate of unemployment would rise from 14.7% to 19.5%.  Instead, according to this report, 8 million workers did NOT lose … Continue reading Something Smells . . . ?

1968 vs 2020


I remember reading that marriages during the year of 1968 had the highest rate of divorce.  The theory was that marriages during heightened levels of unrest stressed relationships too much?  Maybe . . . ? After all, 1968 was the year of the Hong Kong virus, which killed a million people worldwide.  That was an … Continue reading 1968 vs 2020



During my time at the Kennedy Special Warfare Center, I learned that only dinosaurs believe the atomic bomb is the ultimate weapon.  We learned the ultimate weapon is the guerrilla — highly motivated individuals who can operate independently behind front lines for long periods, to damage and confuse superior military forces.  Defeating a guerrilla force … Continue reading Whack-A-Mole

This Time Is Different


In 2016, Colin Kaepernick was quarterback for the San Francisco 49er’s.  During the playing of the National Anthem, he refused to stand and “took a knee,” saying any country who tolerated such racism was not worthy of respect.  To me, I saw disrespect to the flag and strongly condemned him.  My binary view was the … Continue reading This Time Is Different

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