The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Force-Feeding Vinegar

09/25/2020

The joke among investment analysts is . . . if you want to have a small fortune in airline stocks, you just need to invest a large fortune! The aviation industry is a huge business, employing many thousands of people and consuming huge quantities of capital – both debt capital and equity capital.  Whenever there … Continue reading Force-Feeding Vinegar

The End Is Near . . . ?

09/23/2020

Some people believe that “those who refuse to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.”  Some pundits amuse themselves by saying “history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”  My view is that history is the best flashlight we have to find a pathway in the dark. Here are some lessons … Continue reading The End Is Near . . . ?

Peeking Outside

09/22/2020

Like most people, we have been cloistered the last seven months, with trips to the grocery store for excitement and an occasional meal at a local open-air restaurant.   Recently, I needed to visit a client in Greenville, South Carolina.  So, it was with some trepidation that we temporarily re-entered the normal world, because it was … Continue reading Peeking Outside

Just Do It!

09/18/2020

We tend to think of life in three phases:  childhood years, working years, and retirement years.  This reflects the lifecycle model of a time when jobs were secure and lifespans were short.  This has all changed, and we should update our perspective. In the past, we’ve noted that some work (either for money or for … Continue reading Just Do It!

Not Two-Dimensional Chess

09/17/2020

When the Fed meets and especially when the FOMC meets, they issue a written report, which is the most finely perused government report.  Analysts scrutinize every word for any tiny minute change, even the placement of commas (seriously). It’s latest release promised to keep interest rates low for a longer period than predicted earlier.  Now, … Continue reading Not Two-Dimensional Chess

Marginalize Extremists?

09/14/2020

A new analysis from Brown University estimates the cost of the war in Iraq and in Afghanistan has been $6.4 trillion.  Ignoring the necessity of those wars, focus on paying for the wars.  Looking at www.usdebtclock.org, our national debt is about $26.8 trillion.  That means the cost of those never-ending wars explains about 24% of … Continue reading Marginalize Extremists?

What’s Different This Time?

09/09/2020

Normally, we talk about economies in terms of separate countries, as in this country has a strong economy, while that country has a weak economy.  Often, we slice economies by industries, as in this industry is doing well, while that industry is doing poorly.  Since the 1970s, we have also sliced it by region, as … Continue reading What’s Different This Time?

The Golden Age of Conspiracies

09/07/2020

Conspiracy theories are fashionable these days.  Most psychologists suggest that some people are more susceptible to conspiracy theories than other people.  That may be, but I suspect existentialists are the least susceptible. One of the few things I remember from high school physics is that atoms are in constant motion, colliding randomly with other atoms.  … Continue reading The Golden Age of Conspiracies

Disgust

09/05/2020

Having watched our RINO President refer to the late Senator McCain as a loser, and calling the late President Bush a loser for going down in his plane during World War II, and later disrespecting a Gold Star family, I don’t have any difficulty believing he also called our fallen soldiers losers and suckers.  He … Continue reading Disgust

Did you know . . . ?

09/02/2020

Households making less than $300 thousand annually give about 2.3% to charity each year, while households making more than $300 thousand donate 4.4%. Households identifying as religious give twice as much as those who do not. Volunteers to charitable organizations give 2.5% of their income to charity each year, compared to 1.2% who don’t volunteer. … Continue reading Did you know . . . ?

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