The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions



As a Cub Scout, I learned that lichens only grow on the north side of trees, so I could orient my map.  As a soldier, I learned to aim slightly lower when aiming uphill, as the reducing air pressure gave a slight lift to the bullet.  As an investment analyst, I learned that stock prices … Continue reading Clues

The Rights of Europeans


Oh, those silly Europeans . . . they’re just so fussy . . . and cute! Earlier this year, Congress held hearings on the future of Big Tech companies, like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft.  Congress is worried they have become too big and too powerful.  Historically, Democrats have always been distrustful of Big Business.  … Continue reading The Rights of Europeans

In Defense of . . .


 I rise in defense of Donald J. Trump. Somehow, it was leaked that Mr. Trump has over $400 million of debt, which he has not denied.  Pundits immediately went to the bankruptcy angle, whereby he could theoretically be begging in the Oval Office.  Those pundits are unfamiliar with Real Estate Finance 101. Typically, a real … Continue reading In Defense of . . .

Ten Lessons


Fareed Zakaria is a native of Mumbai, India who earned his doctorate from Harvard and now hosts a highly-rated weekly show on foreign affairs for CNN, called GPS.  He has already written several best-selling books, including his latest, which is entitled Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World. I didn’t see his “Lessons” as something to … Continue reading Ten Lessons

The Good, The Bad, and the Deficit


My quarterly column for Inside Business can be found here:

The Cost of Good Luck


It is no surprise that white middle-aged men have economic and social advantages in life.  Of course, these blessed Americans also have 69.97% of all suicides.  One usual reason is the guilt of having squandered their “white-male” advantages by accomplishing so little.  It is the curse of “the American Dream.”    Another reason is that … Continue reading The Cost of Good Luck

Enough Drama ?


If President Trump is reelected, my Democratic friends will find that as proof of our continuing systemic racism.  If President Trump is defeated, my Republican friends will blame it on the media. Niall Ferguson is a brilliant, widely-respected, Scottish-born conservative, who is a professor of history at Stanford and has authored numerous excellent books.  Personally, … Continue reading Enough Drama ?

Free ?


For years, I have recommended that everyone have a “news-free” day.  That is especially important as the never-ending pandemic stretches on, as our political establishment continues to embarrass us, as neighbors gravitate into Red or Blue tribes, as domestic strife breeds domestic terror, and so on. Saturday is my day to be free of news.  … Continue reading Free ?

A Good Error


I’m concerned that many mail-in ballots will be disqualified, because zero errors are permitted.  You might mail in a ballot with an error unknowingly, only to have your ballot disqualified and not know it. Unfortunately, I did make an error completing my ballot.  Since I could no longer vote-by-mail, I went to the Courthouse and … Continue reading A Good Error

China Rebounding


Since signing the agreement to a ceasefire in the trade war with China, that trade war has been crowded off the front page by the election, but interesting things are still happening. Despite a long-established reputation as a currency manipulator (in order to make their exports cheaper for foreigners to buy), they have actually allowed … Continue reading China Rebounding

Planning Time . . . Now!


Nobody wants to pay higher taxes and have less money to take home to their families.  Some taxpayers say taxes alone drive all their decisions, which I don’t understand.  I know one man in Texas who actually sold his house and moved to another state, away from his grandchildren, just to avoid increased real estate … Continue reading Planning Time . . . Now!

A Little Thing


It is a trivial thing, I know, but the way a President returns salutes has always been interesting to me.  Both President Bushes saluted properly, which I appreciated.  President Clinton (a non-veteran) never did figure it out.  Bless his heart, but President Obama did try the hardest.  However, President Trump always had a excellent salute, … Continue reading A Little Thing

Get Well Soon


Readers know the low regard I’ve had for the Presidency of Donald J. Trump.  Despite all that, I pray that he, his family, and his staff enjoy a quick, complete recovery from the coronavirus!  Nobody deserves that awful disease. Be well, Mr. President!

More Good Datapoints


Consumer Confidence is a key indicator of the economy, especially future retail sales.  In February, it was 132.6 – a record high.  Then, the pandemic hit and Consumer Confidence dropped to 85.7 in April.  Monday, we learned it has risen nicely to 101.8.  This was better than expected. We have spoken before about the two-speed … Continue reading More Good Datapoints

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