The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

No, Not the Fed Too ??


It has been widely-reported that the U.S. Department of Justice has been overly-politicized, and that report is now widely accepted. It has been widely-reported that the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), two of the most respected institutions in the world, are being overly-politicized, which might explain why they … Continue reading No, Not the Fed Too ??

Enough ?


One of my favorite guns is a small Beretta .22LR automatic.  It has 2″ barrel and six-shot clip.  With such a short barrel, it is not accurate much past 20 feet, but it is small enough to fit into my front pants pocket — making it an ideal  “pocket-pistol.”  I keep it in the glove … Continue reading Enough ?

Stutter-Step Whack-A-Mole


Shutting down the economy is a terrible thing.  It hurts the economy, as well as the emotional health of our citizens.  Recognizing this, President Trump nonetheless had the courage to shut us down anyway.  However, he remained under enormous pressure to get America open and back-to-normal as quickly as possible. The only thing worse than … Continue reading Stutter-Step Whack-A-Mole

Watching Paint Get Old & Moldy


Being a Republican is easy, just watch Fox News. Being a Democrat is easy, just watch MSNBC or even CNN. Being Independent NOT easy!  NEWSY is unbiased but not deep enough. Being Independent does require you to watch news networks you don’t like. However, being Independent does not require you to watch national conventions. I … Continue reading Watching Paint Get Old & Moldy

Rationales R’ Us


Economists have two primary trade associations.  First, the American Economic Association (AEA) is the oldest and is oriented toward academic economists, more commonly known as “nerds.”  As far as I can tell, it has no ideological bent.  If you can still solve quadratic equations in the dark, this group might be for you.  Second, there … Continue reading Rationales R’ Us

Conflated . . .


When closely-related but different subjects are conflated, heated arguments are not uncommon. A week or so ago, there was a heated kerfluffle about voting and the Post Office.  My Republican friends became very animated, because others don’t see the problem of illegal voting as a big problem.  My Democratic friends became very animated, because others … Continue reading Conflated . . .

Attractive Hazard


If you build a swimming pool without a fence and a child drowns in it, you are guilty of creating an attractive hazard.  Did you really expect a child NOT to jump into the pool? If you require college students to return to campus during the Covid-era, knowing there are bars and party venues near … Continue reading Attractive Hazard

Kudos to the President


It is no small understatement to say I’ve been disappointed with our current RINO President, but he deserves kudos for the Israel-UAE deal he announced last week. Since the birth of Israel in 1946, Israel has been the most hated neighbor in a nasty neighborhood.  Slowly, it has made “peace” with Egypt and then Jordan.  … Continue reading Kudos to the President

All Clear . . .


Most people are overly-fearful of recessions and shouldn’t be.  Garden-variety recessions are routine.  They come and go.  The danger is that a garden-variety recession might morph into a financial crisis, which is much worse. We are certainly in a recession right now.  (In fact, it is a totally unique “flash depression,” which sounds worse than … Continue reading All Clear . . .

Historical or Emotional ?


Last summer, I visited the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, which is more widely known as “the lynching museum.”  Touring both campuses, it was a long day feeling one of the horrors of history come alive.  For example, I learned about the man that was lynched in my own hometown.  … Continue reading Historical or Emotional ?

Vaccine Rally . . . When?


There is widespread agreement on Wall Street that development of a Covid-19 vaccine will be bullish.  Of course, that’s true, but it also begs a few questions.  First, how will we know when there is a credible vaccine?  At completion of the phase three trials?  When a bio-pharma company says so?  When the CDC announces … Continue reading Vaccine Rally . . . When?

American Suppression


Both Republicans and Democrats agree the economy needs additional stimulus but disagree on the amount.  The Republicans believe $1 trillion is enough, while Democrats want no less than $2 trillion.  It should be emphasized that the Republicans think we do need $1 trillion! Now, the President freely admits he will stop that stimulus if it … Continue reading American Suppression

Enthusiasm in a Cynical World


While I am not qualified to discuss psychology, I can still wonder about it.  For example, I don’t understand the sadness and exasperation at the loss of sports this season, due to Covid.  One pundit estimated college football alone contributed $4 billion to our annual GDP, a paltry contribution in a $22 trillion economy.  Of … Continue reading Enthusiasm in a Cynical World

Tea Leaves . . .


Because the bond market is so much bigger than the stock market, it has long been the accepted-wisdom that you could “read” the bond market for a reliable understanding of change in the financial markets.  For example, one could learn a great deal about risk appetite and about inflation expectations.  That is no longer true.  … Continue reading Tea Leaves . . .

Taking Our Medicine Now?


It will be a long time before we get meaningful estimates of the total monetary cost of the pandemic, but I’m confident TEN TRILLION DOLLARS will be low. If you measure only the 6% GDP drop in Q1 and the 33% drop in Q2, you get about $3 trillion.  Now, let’s assume that was the … Continue reading Taking Our Medicine Now?

Good Riddance!


A gun lover is NOT the same thing as a gun-nut.  I have had guns since I was a boy and am not sure how many guns I have today.  After the Army, I even joined the National Rifle Association for a few years.  In those days, it was primarily an interest group and sponsored … Continue reading Good Riddance!

Moderates, Unite!


Mark Warner is the senior Democratic U.S. Senator from Virginia.  When he was running for the office in 2008, he described himself as an “extreme moderate.”  While I always liked that philosophical description, I was slightly suspicious that it might be self-serving, as Virginia was still a fairly Republican state at the time. Recently, I … Continue reading Moderates, Unite!

Quick — tell the President!


The stock market can handle bad news, but it hates surprises.  No economic data is more closely watched than the monthly “Jobs Report” issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the first Friday of each month.  It is always a comparison against expectations.  If the data is better than expected, the market will go … Continue reading Quick — tell the President!

Opposing Forces


First, there is an increasing certainty of future tax increases. Both Republican economists and Democratic economists agree on one thing — an over-concentration of wealth is bad for democracy.  Of course, that’s where the agreement ends!  The Republicans think it is a small problem that will eventually fix itself, as succeeding generations divide up the … Continue reading Opposing Forces

A Tiny Bit of Good News


Every business has a seedy side.  Not even the church business is spared.  In the financial world, I’ve always found the world of offshore asset-protection-trusts (APT) to be one of the most seedy places.  There are many legitimate financial planning reasons for asset protection, such as protecting a kid’s inheritance from bad marriages, etc.  The … Continue reading A Tiny Bit of Good News

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