Global Economy

Some Common Cents for July 17th 2015

July 21, 2015, by John Norris

This week, I met with several people who are very concerned, extremely even, the worst case scenario is fast upon us. By that, I mean a global economy which doesn’t accept the US dollar, or any other intrinsically worthless paper currency, as a medium of exchange. Obviously, such a world would be unpleasant, at best. At worst, it would play out like a post-apocalyptic nightmare. It doesn’t take too much imagination to go down that...

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Some Common Cents for July 10th 2015

July 12, 2015, by John Norris

Last week, as everything was hitting the proverbial fan in Greece, I read any number of articles about how Greece had forgiven the debt Germany owed it after World War II, so turnabout should be fair play. I had not known this, but the majority of articles I read on the subject didn’t really go into just how much Greece forgave and the circumstances behind the forgiveness; only that Greece had done so at something...

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Some Common Cents for June 19th 2015

June 19, 2015, by John Norris

This week, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced plans to redesign the $10 bill, and replace the current headshot of Alexander Hamilton with a yet to be named woman. This comes at the heels of a push to remove Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill. However, the Treasury announced the $10 bill was due for a redesign before the $20, so the $10 bill it is. Fair enough, but I can’t grasp why it would throw...

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The US Currency (btw…bonus points if you make it to the end of this post)

June 16, 2015, by John Norris

Recently, I have been reading about the impending collapse in the US dollar. The arguments supporting said collapse are compelling, when you take them at face value. However, when you take a step back, you can come to a pretty stark realization: the dollar has been collapsing, for lack of a better word, for a very long time. Currencies are nothing more than a medium of exchange and, arguably, a store of value. Today, there...

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Some Common Cents for May 8th 2015

May 11, 2015, by John Norris

This week, Fed Chairman Janet Yellen gave the investing world a meaty headline when she opined that stocks are overvalued, generally speaking that is. Almost immediately, tongue wagging pundits started comparing her comments to Alan Greenspan’s famous “irrational exuberance” quote. Remember that one? Well, here it is, in case you don’t: “Clearly, sustained low inflation implies less uncertainty about the future, and lower risk premiums imply higher prices of stocks and other earning assets. We...

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Some Common Cents for March 20th 2015

March 20, 2015, by John Norris

This week, a friend forwarded an article by Porter Stansberry to me. In case the name isn’t familiar, Stansberry is a financial commentator who made a lot of hay a few years ago by predicting the impending bankruptcies of GM, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. In truth, folks had been discussing GM’s inevitable restructuring for years, and the question wasn’t whether Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s balance sheets were upside down; the question was whether...

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Some Common Cents for February 27th 2015

March 1, 2015, by John Norris

This morning, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced its second take on 4th Quarter 2014 economic growth. After previously announcing a 2.6% number, it seems the BEA’s best guess this time is it grew at a 2.2% clip. What’s 0.4% among friends? When you break down the data, several things become readily apparent: 1) military expenditures fell through the floor, and; 2) the private sector appears to be in reasonably healthy shape, and; 3)...

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ISIS bigger threat to world economy than Russia

February 23, 2015, by John Norris

While the folks in Europe might feel differently, ISIS is a bigger threat to the global economy than the Russians. Frankly, I don't think it is even close. The reason is pretty simple: no one really wants to go to war with Russia over the Ukraine. The Germans don't; the French don't; the British don't, and the US really doesn't. Where the rubber meets the road, if the Russians really wanted to take over the...

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Some Common Cents for February 20th 2015

, by John Norris

Over Christmas of 1990, my brother-in-law and I got into a rather lengthy discussion about the upcoming First Gulf War. That the US was going to invade Iraq was pretty much a fait accompli; however, the ultimate amount of force and time required to beat the Iraqis wasn’t, at least not to John Q. Public. At the time, I was 22, single, and without dependents. He was 31, married, and my first nephew was around...

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Some Common Cents for January 30th 2015

February 2, 2015, by John Norris

I am bullish on energy long-term. The argument is simply too compelling: as emerging market economies, namely India and China, continue to develop and prosper, they will consume more. Period. They will want more protein, even in India, and they will want many of the trappings of perceived Western affluence, namely personal transportation, and preferably a car. According to an aggregated amalgam of various sources, India has around 25 personal vehicles for every 1,000 inhabitants....

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