Common Cents Archive

Common Sense & Scorching Temps on September 13, 2018

September 13, 2019, by John Norris

It has been blisteringly hot here in central Alabama, seemingly forever. You expect hot weather when you live here; however, recent high temperatures have been unusual even for those of us accustomed to them. So much so, climate change was a popular topic of discussion at a cocktail party I attended in Montgomery, Alabama, this past Thursday night. You read that right: climate change was a topic of discussion at a recent cocktail party in...

Read More : Common Sense & Scorching Temps on September 13, 2018 - Full Article

Common Cents & US Negative Interest Rates? Common Sense? September 6, 2019

September 6, 2019, by John Norris

This week, a friend of mine sent me an article she felt I might find interesting. Actually, calling it an article might be a bit of a stretch, as it wasn’t much more than a few hundred words. However, it was enough of one to warrant its own headline, and what a headline it was: Alan Greenspan says it’s ‘only a matter of time’ before negative rates spread to US. That is exactly how it...

Read More : Common Cents & US Negative Interest Rates? Common Sense? September 6, 2019 - Full Article

Common Cents & The Shrinking Blue-Collar Middle Class on August 30, 2019

August 30, 2019, by John Norris

In response to last week’s newsletter, I received an email which asked the question and made the statement: “does our trade deficit really matter? After all, cheaper goods benefit the US consumer, which is the largest part of the economic equation.” The answer is: it probably doesn’t. Some years ago, I heard a somewhat well-known economist say it isn’t important if the United States makes or exports anything, as long as foreigners continue to invest...

Read More : Common Cents & The Shrinking Blue-Collar Middle Class on August 30, 2019 - Full Article

Common Cents & “What In The [heck] Was That” on August 23, 2019

August 23, 2019, by John Norris

Up until about 10:00 CDT this morning, I struggled with a topic for today’s newsletter. Everything was variations on a theme or similar to something I had read elsewhere. I mean, how many different articles can you read about Fed Chairman Jay Powell’s comments on monetary policy after a meeting of academics? The answer is: as many as you would like, and there isn’t a nickel’s difference between the lot of them. At about that time,...

Read More : Common Cents & “What In The [heck] Was That” on August 23, 2019 - Full Article

Common Cents & Falling Interest Rates on August 16, 2019

August 16, 2019, by John Norris

What an awful week, I mean really. It is too hot to much of anything outside other than sweat. However, if you stay inside, you are probably going to watch the markets flummox about and the rest of the world try to tear itself apart at the seams. For some reason, as I was reading yet another depressing story on some news service this week, a song came into my head and become something of...

Read More : Common Cents & Falling Interest Rates on August 16, 2019 - Full Article

Common Cents & Tragedies on August 9, 2019

August 9, 2019, by John Norris

Most people reading this will know the stock market fell apart this past Monday (8/5/19). At one point, it looked as though the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) would close down in excess of 1,000 points. In fact, I would have bet on that at some points during the day. The vibe was that bad. Fortunately, if you want to call it that, the Dow ended the day only 767.27 points lower than where it...

Read More : Common Cents & Tragedies on August 9, 2019 - Full Article

Common Cents & Negative Interest Rates on July 26, 2019

July 25, 2019, by John Norris

About 20 years ago, I was a groomsman in the wedding of one of my miscreant friends. A few years prior, he could have said the same about me. For the guys’ weekend, as I hesitate to call it a bachelor party, we went to Atlantic City. At the time, I had been to a few casinos, a very few, and had only played the up to $10 blackjack tables and the slot machines. To...

Read More : Common Cents & Negative Interest Rates on July 26, 2019 - Full Article

2nd Quarter Economic Update for 2019

July 24, 2019, by John Norris

The 2nd Quarter of 2019 wasn’t quite as strong as the 1st, but the markets still managed to post solid absolute returns. After a horrible month in May, investors climbed back on the rally bandwagon in June, and the party which started in January has kept up through the first couple of weeks in July. It has been quite a ride. So, what gives? Why has this year been so good for the stock market?...

Read More : 2nd Quarter Economic Update for 2019 - Full Article

Common Cents & Novak Djokovic on July 19, 2019

July 18, 2019, by John Norris

This past Sunday, I watched every point of the men’s finals at Wimbledon between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, every point. This took some conviction and playing hooky from church, but I couldn’t peel my eyes away from the screen. While I will stop short of saying it was the best tennis match in history, I am not sure if I have personally seen a more gripping one. It was the longest men’s final in the...

Read More : Common Cents & Novak Djokovic on July 19, 2019 - Full Article

Common Cents & Cryptocurrencies on July 12, 2019

July 12, 2019, by John Norris

Long years ago, when I was four, my sister and I found a quarter outside a grocery/delicatessen named Browdy’s here in town. More appropriately, I saw said quarter on the ground, and my nine-year old sister pushed me out of the way to pick it up. No matter, as she bought a fistful of hard candies and bubble gum for us to share, and a candy bar for herself. At the time, I thought it...

Read More : Common Cents & Cryptocurrencies on July 12, 2019 - Full Article