The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
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Welcome to The Flinchum File

I am an Accredited Investment Fiduciary at Bay Capital Advisors, an investment firm headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA. After retiring from Truist Bank, I started this firm to work more closely with a smaller number of clients, and it has been great! Our client load is about 25% of the national average.

Writing is not for the shy or the meek. It exposes a person’s mind and character. I hope you enjoy the view.

Bring it on . . . ?


Sometimes, what you fear is what you need! Today, our national debt is $28.2 trillion and will certainly exceed $30 trillion by yearend. That is over $225 thousand of debt per taxpayer. Economists have traditionally said the “breaking point” is when our national debt exceeds our national income. Today, our debt exceeds our national income … Continue reading Bring it on . . . ?



Most people remember the Great Recession of 2008/9 as a real estate bubble that burst.  That’s not wrong, but it doesn’t tell enough of the story.  The bubble that burst was the mortgage market, not real estate, and it nearly took down the world’s greatest financial system. Today, there is understandable concern that we are … Continue reading Whack-A-Bubble

Exhausted Yet?


In Vietnam, we promised American sympathizers (Montagnards) that we would protect them . . . and then we left. In Iraq/Syria, we promised American sympathizers (Kurds) that we would protect them . . . and then we left. In Afghanistan, we promised American sympathizers that we would also protect them . . . and then … Continue reading Exhausted Yet?

The Joy of Gray Hair


Most people with lots of gray hair can remember the 1970’s, when inflation was out-of-control, often exceeding 10%.  To stop it, the Fed intentionally caused a recession, to decrease demand for goods and services.  It was the first and the last intentional recession, and it worked, crushing inflation.  However, for those who lived it, there … Continue reading The Joy of Gray Hair

Quarterly Column


For many years, I have written a quarterly column for Inside Business, which is part of The Virginian-Pilot newspaper that dominates the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.  My latest column can be found here: SPACs, NFTs, TINA and raiders: A review of the first quarter – Inside Business (

R.I.H. Bernie


In January of 2009, I was attending a conference in the elegant old Boca Raton Resort & Club.  During a quiet breakfast alone, a small elderly couple sat down at the next table.  As his hearing was poor, their conversation was loud enough to hear.  Although trying not to listen, I learned they had been … Continue reading R.I.H. Bernie

R.I.P. Prince Phillip


Long ago, when I still believed that all men were created equal (women too!), I regarded Great Britain’s royal family as arguably the most over-pampered, over-privileged, over-paid, under-educated  and useless family on the planet.  I was wrong – very wrong . . . and apologize! I have marveled at the calming influence that the Queen’s … Continue reading R.I.P. Prince Phillip

The Four Walls of Our Skull


Oddly, my time in the Army Special Forces made me an existentialist.  We were taught and practiced how to survive off-the-land.  We learned that civilization was merely a convenience, not a necessity.   We could move north or south, during daylight or darkness, as a “friendly” or as a “hostile.”  I didn’t appreciate how much it … Continue reading The Four Walls of Our Skull

Taxing Ghosts . . . ?


With respect to the President’s infrastructure plan, neither my Republican friends nor my Democratic friends can even agree on which things they actually agree on – situation normal – channeling the Gingrich distinction between governing and winning . . . winning wins.  I do part company with my Democratic friends on this issue. Of course, … Continue reading Taxing Ghosts . . . ?

Pandemic Costs


Economists are fond of discussing “opportunity costs” or the costs of NOT doing something.  The classic example is that the cost of a new aircraft carrier is NOT a billion dollars.  The cost of a new aircraft carrier is two unbuilt hospitals and three unbuilt nursing homes, as an example. We tend to look at … Continue reading Pandemic Costs

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