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. … Continue reading Deciphering Economists
The Flinchum FileThoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
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 … Continue reading And the Award Goes To . . .
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 … Continue reading Gordian Knot
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 … Continue reading Two Shades of Gray
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 … Continue reading Good News = Bad News
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 … Continue reading Wisdom of Ex-Wives ?
When I was a young boy, my father told me to NEVER discuss religion or politics with other people. What he meant to say was NEVER discuss subjects that make other people react emotionally. If such subjects must be discussed, just don’t be inflammatory. Good Advice! A recent blog entry was about a quote from … Continue reading Dispassionate ?
The short answer on how to handle inflation is simple . . . create a recession and hope you don’t get stagflation. The longer answer is that you have three tools to handle it. First, one cause of inflation is a sustained period when demand exceeds supply. If you cannot increase supply with targeted tax … Continue reading Handling Inflation
One of the best and most venerable market strategists is Dr. Jeremy Siegel of Wharton. His thoughts are always well-informed and well-crystalized. Today, he thinks we may have seen the worst in inflation. CPI and PPI numbers are backward looking – what has been, not what will be. The Fed has both shut down the … Continue reading Inflation Peak ?
If kids ask tough questions, then grown-up kids ask even tougher questions. During a recent visit, my grown-up daughter asked me if I thought the 2024 presidential election would be the last one? Laughing at first, I realized she was actually quite concerned. First, I explained that even dictators stage elections, so if a dictator … Continue reading Post-2024 Elections ?
My latest quarterly column for Inside Business can be found here: https://www.pilotonline.com/inside-business/vp-ib-expert-flinchum-0718-20220718-5v6iajiel5eatpjdqzcdpba4hm-story.html
Raise your hand if you were surprised by yesterday’s report that inflation during June was running at a steep 9.1% annualized rate! We all know it has become a problem. We also know how to stop it – bring on a recession! The hesitancy of the Fed to intentionally cause a recession is understandable, as … Continue reading Who Didn’t Know ??
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