Some Common Cents for December 24th 2015

December 29, 2015, by John Norris

We had a pretty sneaky suspicion 2015 would be a difficult year for the markets, and told our clients to prepare for the proverbial roller coaster. I don’t mind telling you the hills on this year’s wild ride were sometimes much steeper than we had envisioned, and the cars went a little faster than we would have liked. The slumps in energy and international stocks were a little more protracted than most people, including us,...

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Some Common Cents for December 18th 2015

December 18, 2015, by John Norris

Well, the Fed finally raised the overnight lending target rate. I have to tell you, when people literally stop me on the street to ask me about the short-term future of monetary policy in the US, perhaps we have all become a little too preoccupied with the subject. Now, we can quit wringing our hands and gnashing our teeth, and move onto something else. The only problem is: how are all the numerous news and...

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Bank expands, opens new headquarters

December 17, 2015, by Shelley deClerk

The furniture was just delivered to the new Oakworth Capital Bank headquarters in Montgomery and two new hires were still getting set up there, but Barry Prim was already looking down the road. “We’re building for the future,” he said, pointing to a room filled with empty work spaces. Birmingham-based Oakworth bought Montgomery financial management company AlaTrust earlier this year...

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Is the American Dream dead?

December 14, 2015, by John Norris

This week, I read a headline stating nearly half of young Americans, ages 18 to 29, believe the proverbial American Dream is, well, dead. At least that is how some 48 percent of respondents replied to the following question in a Harvard survey: “For you personally, is the idea of the American Dream  alive or dead?" (Read the full article as previously published in the Montgomery Advertiser Sunday Dec 13th…) The opinions expressed within this report are...

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Some Common Cents for December 11th 2015

December 12, 2015, by John Norris

For most of my career, investors have thought low energy prices were good, generally speaking, for the US economy. As one esteemed economist told me back in the day: “the only things that really matter are energy prices and interest rates.” This makes perfect intuitive sense: it is hard to have runaway inflation without energy playing a pretty significant role. It is almost harder still to have skyrocketing interest rates without inflation, at least in...

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Best thing for local economy: adequate police force

December 7, 2015, by John Norris

According to FBI data, the number of reported crimes in the United States peaked in 1991, and has fallen dramatically since then. Couple this with population growth, and the official crime rate per 100,000 has plummeted by about 50 percent since the early 1900s. (Read the full article as previously published in the Montgomery Advertiser Sunday Dec 6th…)  

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Some Common Cents for December 4th 2015

December 4, 2015, by John Norris

If I didn’t already have gray hair, mostly white actually, the events of the last several months would have caused that train to leave the station. I have been doing this line of work for a pretty long time, and there have been few times as confounding as these have been. Nothing much has changed in regards to overall economic activity and broad macroeconomic forecasts. However, the markets have been all over the place; hanging,...

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Solving our country’s boring problems

December 1, 2015, by John Norris

As you read this, another Thanksgiving has come and gone. However, I have yet to eat a bite of turkey and the Iron Bowl is still days away while I type. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a pretty good idea what will happen, particularly when the family all gets together on Thursday.  (Read the full article as previously published in the Montgomery Advertiser Thursday Nov 26th…) The opinions expressed within this report are those of John...

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