Common Cents Archive

Common Cents & Krystal Burgers for March 22, 2019

March 19, 2019, by John Norris

Someone once asked me the difference between an economist at a university and one at an investment firm. Okay, I lie. A lot of people have asked me that over the years, as it is confusing. After all, you have one group of economists, like those at the Federal Reserve, looking at dot patterns, setting monetary policy, and devising complicated theories. On the flipside, you have folks, like yours truly, who discuss or analyze economic...

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Common Cents & Soccer Balls for March 15, 2019

March 15, 2019, by John Norris

This week, the members of the US Women’s National Team (USWNT), soccer, filed a discrimination lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation (USSF) over the disparate pay between the USWNT and the US Men’s National Team (USMNT). The complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of California – Western Division is 24 pages long, and has something along the lines 41 complaints. As with any legal complaint or legislative resolution, you can...

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Common Cents & The UBI on March 8, 2019

March 8, 2019, by John Norris

Last week, I attempted to explain Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), and am not sure I did a good job doing so. Frankly, I am not certain how anyone could, save a smug so & so with a political agenda, and even that wouldn’t make sense. Then it dawned on me, and how! The perfect way to describe MMT to folks who don’t ordinarily read economic newsletters. Here it goes. Imagine there is this old, fat...

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Common Cents or Mental Gymnastics for March 1, 2019

March 1, 2019, by John Norris

Over the next 18 months, we, the general public, are going to get a heaping helping of discussion about something called ‘Modern Monetary Theory’ (MMT). This is a macroeconomic framework which leftist economists and politicians have brushed off to explain how the country is going to pay for some of the more extreme societal programs currently on the table. But what exactly is it? Let me give you what Investopedia.com says is the ‘central idea...

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Common Cents for February 22, 2019

February 22, 2019, by John Norris

Yesterday afternoon, the Kraft Heinz company (KHC) issued its earnings for the most recent quarter, as well as announcing the impairment of a massive amount of goodwill, some $15 billion, on its balance sheet. Obviously, this had a very negative impact on overall earnings, disastrous even as the stock came out of the gates this morning like a 3-legged horse. Dreadful. As for revenue and core business performance? Those things were decidedly mediocre, beyond bleah, and...

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Common Cents for February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019, by John Norris

This week, freshman Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez sponsored, I guess you could call it that, a resolution she called: “Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.” The Green in this instance means ‘environmentally friendly.’ The phrase New Deal harkens back to Roosevelt’s New Deal programs during the Great Depression. As such, a Green New Deal is/would be a massive government undertaking to create a more environmentally friendly society and economy....

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Common Cents for February 1, 2019

February 1, 2019, by John Norris

In response to last week’s Common Cents about recent proposals to tax ‘the rich,’ a buddy of mine wrote what was basically a ‘yeah but’ email, positing higher taxes can be offset in the economy by an artificial increase in the supply of money, namely printing it. In so doing, the government can maintain a steady flow of dollars into its coffers while ensuring financial liquidity and a lid on inflation. Intellectually, and in theory,...

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Common Cents for January 25, 2019

January 25, 2019, by John Norris

There seem to be a lot of headlines about this or that way to raise additional tax revenue for the Federal government. Senator Elizabeth Warren has proposed a tax on personal assets in excess of $50 million, and media favorite Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is pushing for a 70% marginal tax on incomes in excess of $10 million. It doesn’t seem to matter what the scheme is or who is saying it, the message is pretty...

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A Surprise Common Cents on January 3, 2019

January 3, 2019, by John Norris

The calendar may have turned a page, but it sure feels like déjà vu all over again. If you read financial and business news, you might have seen Apple issued a press release last night warning the most recent quarter’s earnings might not be as robust as initially thought. The company’s claims this is due, almost exclusively, to slower iPhone sales in ‘Greater China’ due to tariff woes and a stronger US dollar. From what...

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Common Cents for December 14, 2018

December 14, 2018, by John Norris

William Shakespeare’s play Richard III starts with the line: “Now is the winter of our discontent.” In general practice this means ‘our’ unhappiness is reaching an end, as winter is generally considered to be the ‘last’ season for whatever reason. I suppose this is because Spring is the season of rebirth. So, perhaps I should start the meat of this newsletter with: “Now is the winter of our content.” Why? Because I can’t remember a...

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