Theory that seniors don’t spend, no longer true

June 29, 2015, by John Norris

Everyone knows how important consumer spending is the U.S. economy. However, we are getting older as a country, and people tend to spend less as they age, or at least that is what I remember from school. So, with an aging consumer, how can the U.S. really grow at previous rates? The elderly are spending more money than ever. But do their expenditures have the same overall effect, as say those of someone in their thirties? (Link...

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Fed raising interest rate isn’t major concern

June 23, 2015, by John Norris

The Federal Reserve met this week, and, as far as I can tell, it pretty much telegraphed a rate increase in September. What will this mean for the US economy? If one 0.25 percent increase in the target overnight lending rate between banks causes the U.S. economy to swoon, guess what, it was going to do so anyhow. In and of itself, the upcoming change in monetary policy is simply an admission of the obvious:...

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Some Common Cents for June 19th 2015

June 19, 2015, by John Norris

This week, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced plans to redesign the $10 bill, and replace the current headshot of Alexander Hamilton with a yet to be named woman. This comes at the heels of a push to remove Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill. However, the Treasury announced the $10 bill was due for a redesign before the $20, so the $10 bill it is. Fair enough, but I can’t grasp why it would throw...

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Cutting corporate and capital gains tax rates helps

June 16, 2015, by John Norris

In your opinion, what would be the most constructive thing(s) Washington could do to create wealth in the country? Without a doubt, the most constructive things would be to maintain the rule of law and strong property rights; eliminate graft in the public sector; deregulate the private sector; facilitate the free flow of capital in the financial markets, and train the heck out of the workforce. However, those things aren’t always easy, politically popular, or...

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The US Currency (btw…bonus points if you make it to the end of this post)

, by John Norris

Recently, I have been reading about the impending collapse in the US dollar. The arguments supporting said collapse are compelling, when you take them at face value. However, when you take a step back, you can come to a pretty stark realization: the dollar has been collapsing, for lack of a better word, for a very long time. Currencies are nothing more than a medium of exchange and, arguably, a store of value. Today, there...

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Some Common Cents for June 12, 2015

June 15, 2015, by John Norris

Last night, I had my parents over for dinner. As usual, my father veered off into current events almost as soon as he sat down. Let’s just say the pace of societal change has him a little perplexed, which I can certainly appreciate. A lot has changed over the last, well, umpteen years, and it seems to be accelerating, thanks to our  instantaneous access to information. That, and the need for all these news services...

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Finally, some good news — for now

June 10, 2015, by John Norris

Mr. Norris, I have been reading your column for years, and have to say you are one of the most pessimistic people in the world. Will you ever write anything positive? If you are reading this, you can tell I cleaned up the language and paraphrased your correspondence with me. However, it might not surprise you I get this question quite a bit. We have so much access to information, it is virtually impossible to...

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Some Common Cents for June 5th 2015

June 8, 2015, by John Norris

This morning, al.com, the online news outlet for 3 of Alabama’s largest newspapers, ran a story about how a handful of Birmingham’s most prominent businessmen worked together behind the scenes to help save the UAB football program. Trust me, this was/is a powerful group of men, and those I know personally are great guys. To be fair, the UAB faithful rallied, and came up with a surprising number of pledges. In fact, the advertised and...

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Oakworth Capital Bank to merge with Montgomery based AlaTrust Inc.

June 3, 2015, by John Norris

Oakworth Capital Inc., the parent company of Birmingham's Oakworth Capital Bank, has signed an agreement to acquire Montgomery's AlaTrust Inc. AlaTrust, an independent, state-chartered trust company that provides a range of wealth management services, will become part of Oakworth Capital Bank and operate under its existing management team. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. The deal must be approved by AlaTrust shareholders and...

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