Economically Speaking

Common Cents & Hyperinflation on May 24, 2019

May 24, 2019, by John Norris

This week, Wednesday night actually, my college-aged daughter asked me a number of questions on the passing scene. What did I feel about this or that? What was my opinion on thus and so? That sort of thing. Not surprisingly, she was a little more idealistic than I on some issues, but we mostly agreed and mostly in part. Laughingly, she has a lot more time to get her head screwed on straight than I...

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Common Cents & The Ballpark on May 17, 2019

May 17, 2019, by John Norris

This week, I met with some clients who asked me about inflation, namely why there isn’t any. They weren’t complaining, not in the least. They were curious: how was the Federal Reserve able to pump trillions of dollars into the financial system and keep the overnight lending target rate below 3% for over a decade without prices spiraling out of control? My response took about 20 minutes, seriously. First, I told them inflation is where...

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Losing Face & Trade Negotiations on May 13, 2019

May 13, 2019, by John Norris

In graduate school, I did a case study for a marketing class on selling farm equipment in China. If I remember correctly, which I believe I do, I ultimately recommended conducting a massive charm offense on the necessary cadres, at all levels, and selling our products at their variable costs until ‘we’ had achieved some solid footing or market share. The class was not amused. What about overhead? What about profit margins? What about this...

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Common Cents & Uber on May 10, 2019

May 10, 2019, by John Norris

This morning, the rideshare company Uber had its Initial Public Offering (IPO), which had been a long time in the making. Despite not having turned a profit, ever, the details of the IPO valued the company north of $80 billion. Clearly, you could argue, this is a mind-boggling sum for losing money, and, surely, we must have fallen through the looking glass, as it were and as one does. Leading up to the IPO ‘Democratic’...

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1st Quarter Market Breakdown Conference Call

April 12, 2019, by Lindsey Owens Krausen

Oakworth Capital Bank would like to invite you to attend an open conference call hosted by Chief Economist, John Norris. John will be providing an overview of the US economy and financial markets for the first quarter of 2019, followed by an opportunity to ask questions. Date: Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 Time: 4:00-4:30 Join by phone: +1-510-338-9438 USA Toll Access code: 623 326 528 (If you do not have an attendee ID#, press the #...

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1st Quarter Economic Update for 2019

April 11, 2019, by John Norris

In last quarter’s newsletter, I closed this section with the following: “although the markets will likely be more volatile than most of us would like in 2019, the worst of the market panic is likely behind us for now." I only got that partially correct. Yes, the worst of the market panic ended up being behind us during the 1st Quarter of 2019. However, there hasn’t been a lot of volatility thus far this calendar...

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4th Quarter Economic Update

January 23, 2019, by Lindsey Owens Krausen

Investors overreacted during the 4th Quarter, but for understandable reasons. There has been a lot of ‘uncertainty’ in the markets, and no one likes uncertainty. Unfortunately, all these worries seemed to hit at a time when standard negative seasonal factors were at play. As a result, the markets were still wringing their collective hands after the somewhat usual bad October. In simple terms, the buyers just didn’t show up in November and December like they...

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3rd Quarter Economic Update

October 22, 2018, by Lindsey Owens Krausen

As the last several weeks have demonstrated, the current economy and markets are not for the faint of heart. We will continue to see volatility, which will be exceedingly unpleasant at times, for no other reason than the current economic expansion and Fed tightening cycle are getting a little long in the tooth. Or in a tip of the cap to the baseball playoffs, perhaps I should say we are entering the latter innings of...

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Common Cents on August 31, 2018

August 31, 2018, by John Norris

I absolutely loathe the capital gains tax. It is one of the worst tax laws ‘we’ have, as it inhibits the free flow of capital throughout the financial system. Period, and end of discussion. You can make whatever impassioned argument you want in favor of it; you can produce complicated spreadsheets purporting to show the financial efficacy of the capital gains tax all you want, and I will not waver in my distaste for it....

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Common Cents for August 24. 2018? A Peach?

August 24, 2018, by John Norris

During an interview with Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt this week, President Trump had this to say: “If I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash, I think everybody would be very poor, because without this thinking, you would see…you would see numbers that you wouldn’t believe in reverse.” This is an amazing thing for the President of the United States to say, for a lot of reasons. However, is it true? Hmm. Do...

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