While reading “the classics” is never a bad idea, most people read newer books. However, a middle-age book can also give a refreshing perspective. I just finished Lethal Passage: The Story of a Gun, written by Erik Larson and published in 1995. It was recommended to me by a good British friend who struggles to … Continue reading THE MORE THINGS CHANGE . . .
The Flinchum FileThoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
A Republican neighbor is currently very upset that public schools may start teaching “Critical Race Theory” (CRT), which argues that white supremacy is tightly maintained and supported by America’s legal structure. While I respect her fear, this is not news. It’s been almost twenty years, since I was required to attend a half-day class on … Continue reading Pre-CRT ?
In January, most economists expected GDP to lift-off in the first quarter, spike in the second quarter, before leveling off the rest of the year. First quarter GDP growth was expected to be about 4-5%, spiking to 7-8% in the second quarter, with full year average of 5-6%. Last week, we learned that Q1 GDP … Continue reading Short-term Inflation vs. Long-term Inflation
As the son of a World War II veteran, I was force-fed a steady diet of war stories from birth. I knew which countries were on which side and why. I knew the various campaigns and their outcome. I learned that there was no one war, and there was a lot of ethnic-score-settling masquerading as … Continue reading Right Man at the Right Time
According to Webster’s, a “bad apple” is “a member of a group whose behavior reflects poorly on or negatively affects or influences the remainder of the group.” Of course, the best way to deal with a bad apple is to separate it from the others, before it rots the whole bushel. In the Army years … Continue reading Blanket Parties
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
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?
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
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 (pilotonline.com)
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
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
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