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.

Once A G.O.A.T. . . .

Going from G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) to Goat (stupid mammal) in just two years requires more than bad luck. Two years ago, the head of the Fed Reserve, Jay Powell, was celebrated for his actions getting us past the pandemic.  He dropped rates and greatly expanded the money supply.  Facing soaring job losses from Covid-19 and in concert with Congress, he injected trillions into…

Just Rip It !

Your choice . . . do you slowly peel-off a band-aid or do you prefer to simply rip it off? Economists have long believed the only certain tool to end inflation is a recession.  Paul Volcker proved it!  He was Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1979 to 1987 and ushered in two recessions, by raising interest rates from 11.2% to 20% during 1980 and…

Ying/Yang Fiscal Policy

For those who like to see a conspiracy behind every tree, here is a fresh one . . . So, assume President Biden wants increased spending, but that causes more inflation. Further, assume Fed Head Jerome Powell wants less inflation and drives up interest costs to slow inflation. Is it possible they floated down the Snake River in Jackson Hole this week and conspired that…

Soaking Human Stumps ?

I have a young cousin who is dumb as a stump . . . maybe dumber?  Fortunately, he lives six hours away, and I have rarely seen him over the years.  Unfortunately, his downward slide began when he was expelled from school about fifteen years ago for smoking pot and started hanging out with a bunch of losers. Shortly afterwards, there was a large family…

Nerdfest

Anybody who have ever been to Jackson, Wyoming, has fallen in love with it — truly a remarkable place for lovers of nature.  It’s also a remarkable place for nerds.  In fact, the Federal Reserve System holds their annual Economic Symposium there in late August of every year, and it is jokingly referred to as The Nerdfest.  I suspect all the attendees still have their…

Deciphering Economists

I’ve spent almost two decades guessing whether the National Association of Business Economics (NABE) is conservative or progressive.  The membership of the competing American Economics Association consists of academics and is clearly progressive.  However, the NABE membership consists of working economists, and I think there is a mere 51% probability that NABE is also progressive.  Here are some examples from their most recent survey of…

And the Award Goes To . . .

My nomination for the best television commercial of the year goes to the search engine “DuckDuckGo,” which competes with Google’s search engine and others.  The commercial shows a young man wearing a T-shirt that says Google.  It shows him looking over the shoulder of Americans using search engines to find things online.  The 1983 musical classic by the Police, “Every Breath You Take” is perfect,…

Gordian Knot

In the fourth century BC in Greece, there was a legend that a rope-knot was so entwined and complicated that it was impossible to unwind.  That legend promised control of Asia to anybody who could undo the knot, which became known as Gordian’s Knot.  Along came Alexander the Great, who didn’t waste time trying to untie the knot.  He simply took out his sword and…

Two Shades of Gray

The poorly-named “Inflation Reduction Act” was just passed by Congress.  Democrats rave that it will reduce inflation.  Republicans crow it will not!  They’re both right . . . a little! Think of it this way:  If you own a $1,000 CD, you get paid interest.  The money spent buying the CD is called principal.  The interest paid by the bank is called income.  Now, remember…

Good News = Bad News

Yesterday’s monthly “jobs report” was a good example of when good news is not so good.  Expecting a healthy 258 thousand jobs were created last month, Wall Street was stunned to see twice as many jobs were created.  It was a blow-out number, suggesting the economy was still strong, but why did Dow futures suddenly drop 220 points.  Shouldn’t investors be happy that America was…

Wisdom of Ex-Wives ?

My ex-wife was fond of saying that one of the biggest problems with men is that they just can’t stop competing with other men . . . even dead men. Paul Volcker (1927-2009) was the Chairman of the Fed from 1979 to 1987, when he was succeeded by Alan Greenspan.  A product of Princeton and Harvard, he is still widely regarded as the greatest “Fed-Head”…