Common Cents Archive

Common Cents & Routines on July 10, 2020

July 10, 2020, by John Norris

My wife and I have settled into a little routine since the start of the pandemic. After work, I read a book on one end of the couch and she watches CNN from the other. Unless the volume on the television is too loud, and it almost never is when she is in charge of the remote, I can normally block out Erin, Anderson, and Chris pretty easily. We never make it all the way...

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Common Cents & Jobs on July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020, by John Norris

I won’t mince words: this morning’s Employment Situation for June 2020 was a blowout, and in a good way. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US economy added, get this, 4.8 million net new payroll jobs last month. 4.8 million! That is roughly the entire population of the State of Alabama, every last man, woman, and child (although I am certain I am offending someone somewhere by describing people as such). Not...

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Common Cents & Uncertainty on June 26, 2020

June 26, 2020, by John Norris

Judging from the headlines and the markets, it seems as though investors might have awakened this week, at least a little bit. While things probably aren’t as bad as many may fear, they also aren’t as good as most would hope. But for the various financial lifelines from the Federal Reserve and the Congress, the economy and financial markets would not have performed as ‘well’ as they have over the last 6-8 weeks. I will...

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Common Cents & Equality on June 19, 2020

June 19, 2020, by John Norris

With everything that is currently happening in the world, you would think it would be easy to find a topic for a weekly economic newsletter. Trust me, it isn’t. If fact, it is incredibly difficult, as reading or watching the news can leave one wondering how to make sense of it all. I would argue, the recent discord and disquiet has actually simmered in American society for years. It has finally come to a boil...

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Trading Perspectives Podcast #93: Economic Recovery

June 16, 2020, by Sara McPherson

Economic Recovery The economic data has improved, but how good is it really? Is it too early to call for a V-shaped recovery? Or are the recent economic reports signs of good times to come? In this week’s podcast, Sam and John delve into some surprisingly strong data to try to determine the truth. After all, no one has ever seen an economic downturn like this was. So, how do you adequately predict what happens...

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Common Cents & The Rule of Law on June 12, 2020

June 12, 2020, by John Norris

Believe it or not, I have always attempted to be as apolitical as is possible in this newsletter. I don’t always succeed, but I still try nonetheless. Of course, most folks can probably tell by now how I am wired, but talking politics really isn’t my cup of tea. I am not nor will I ever run for an elected office. Also, debating political positions with people has two possible outcomes: 1) they agree with...

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Common Cents & Job Growth (?) on June 5, 2020

June 5, 2020, by John Norris

Everyone has heard the cynical expression: “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Obviously, that isn’t always accurate, and life wouldn’t be worth living if it was. For example, I went quail hunting this one time which included a lunch. The staff at the camp fried up chicken wings using Crisco in a cast iron skillet, heavy on the black pepper and paprika. Those, my friends, were too good to be...

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Common Cents & Hong Kong on May 29, 2020

May 29, 2020, by John Norris

Yesterday, in part-5 of Oakworth’s ‘New Normal’, I made several predictions about what the ‘new normal’ might be in regards to China and its role in the world. This past Tuesday, on our ‘Trading Perspectives’ podcast, Sam Clement and I discussed the ongoing tensions in Hong Kong and what it might mean moving forward. Today, the stock markets are mostly in the red over trade tensions between the US and the People’s Republic, as well...

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Common Cents & Memorial Day on May 22, 2020

May 22, 2020, by John Norris

By now, you probably feel you have read the same stories and same headlines over and again. Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can add here today which you haven’t read or seen elsewhere, in some form or fashion, this week. How is that for honest? Yes, the economic data is awful. However, investor sentiment seems to have detached from all the dreadful reports. And why not? After all, the government is throwing money at the...

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Trading Perspectives Podcast #89: The Impact of Unemployment on Society

May 19, 2020, by Sara McPherson

The Impact of Unemployment on Society In the last 2 months, America has lost decades worth of jobs.  2-3 million people a week are filing initial jobless claims.  What does that mean for society in terms of future wage growth, mental health, divorce rates or crime rates?  Businesses that are currently, or planning to, reopen will eventually adjust to operating on a lower employee base.  How do we fix it?  What can we do to...

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