Some Common Cents for May 26th, 2017

May 26, 2017, by John Norris

This week, a reporter friend of mine asked my thoughts on the prospects of traditional banks and credit unions getting into, what can only be called, the payday lending space IF the Administration’s regulatory reform proposals get through the Congress. It seems some banks have made overtures about doing just that, but this is very anecdotal and far from the norm. Frankly, I am kind of professionally ambivalent on the matter, but I still gave...

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Norris: Corporate America can’t hit snooze button on economy

May 24, 2017, by John Norris

Recently, a reporter called to ask my thoughts about the ongoing scandal in Washington surrounding former FBI Director Jim Comey, the Russians and the White House. Is it enough to cause the stock market to crash? In so many words, my response was simple: “only if it causes a slowdown in economic activity and a corresponding drop in corporate profitability. Absent that, long-term, no.” Obviously, his follow up question was whether the turmoil would put the...

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Some Common Cents for May 19th, 2017

May 19, 2017, by John Norris

This week, I had a brief discussion with a very bright individual regarding future economic growth and potential investment opportunities in the United States. His comments were in complete alignment with my thoughts: moving forward, there will be two types of companies which will matter: 1) disrupters, which are companies providing technologies, products, and/or services which fundamentally change our lives and how we conduct business, and; 2) base, which are those providing the essentials of...

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John Norris: Value is in the eye of the beholder

May 16, 2017, by John Norris

Recently, I was at my parents’ house, and my father pointed to a smallish watercolor on the wall. He said that it had been a wedding present for my grandmother during the Great Depression, and that it could possibly be the most valuable thing in their house. That certainly piqued my interest. Frankly, the painting seemed pretty pedestrian to me, but I am admittedly no expert. So, I googled the artist’s name on my phone,...

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Some Common Cents for May 12th, 2017

May 15, 2017, by John Norris

To read the headlines, you would assume the French Presidential election and the Administration’s sacking of Jim Comey as the Director of the FBI were the big stories for the week. However, both were sort of non-events for investors, or should be. First, the French election was basically a foregone conclusion. The issue wasn’t whether Macron would win, as everyone expected he would. The bigger issue was by how much he would win. It was...

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Some Common Cents for May 5, 2017

, by John Norris

Years ago,  I tied myself in knots over little league baseball. Gosh, it seemed so important at the time, and my son was a pretty decent player. However, I resisted the siren song of hiring batting and fielding coaches for my son, despite much advice such things were absolutely necessary for his success. Perhaps he would still be playing the game had I done so. Only The Shadow knows, but I doubt it. My contention...

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John Norris: Alabama has two economies

May 9, 2017, by John Norris

Over the years, readers have asked me to be more of a homer in my columns, meaning I should accentuate the positive to a much greater degree than I do. When I respond, I typically say I can rah rah with the best of them. However, in my opinion, we get enough of that already. Besides, ignoring problems doesn’t make them go away. We know our state lags the national averages in a lot of...

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Norris: Washington should focus on economic growth

May 1, 2017, by John Norris

A lot of folks have asked my opinion on the Administration’s tax reform proposals. I think I have surprised them with my less than sophisticated response: anything is better than doing nothing. As the old saying goes, if you are standing still, you are falling behind. In helping run a trust and wealth management department, our Byzantine tax code benefits me professionally. I couldn’t argue otherwise and keep a straight face. Folks will go to...

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Some Common Cents for April 28th, 2017

, by John Norris

A lot of folks have asked my opinion on the Administration’s tax reform proposals. I think I have surprised them with my less than sophisticated response: anything is better than doing nothing. As the old saying goes, if you are standing still, you are falling behind. In helping run a trust and wealth management department, our Byzantine tax code benefits me professionally. I couldn’t argue otherwise and keep a straight face. Folks will go to...

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