Global Economy

Some Common Cents for July 11th 2014

July 14, 2014, by John Norris

This week’s consternation over Portugal’s debt issues led to me wonder: are we prepared for another global financial crisis, if it comes to that? The easy answer is no one is ever really prepared for one, that is why we call them crises. While I can cite any number of ratios, facts, and figures to support why the US financial system is in healthier shape than it was in 2007, on the eve of the...

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Some Common Cents for March 7th 2014

March 10, 2014, by John Norris

This week, I have found the turmoil in the Ukraine and Crimea to be incredibly fascinating, probably more so than most people. After all, I have read a number of books about Russian history, specifically the later half of the 19th century up through the end of the Russian Civil War. A lot of it is brutal stuff, but there is one thread that seems to have permeated Russian history for, well, seemingly forever: miscalculations...

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Some Common Cents for January 24th 2014

January 27, 2014, by John Norris

Back in the day, back before I was born, the Kingston Trio had a song called “The Merry Minuet.” As my father liked the Kingston Trio, and I mean a lot, I grew up listening to the group’s music, and I particularly enjoyed this song. In fact, the year after I graduated from college, I even sang it on stage  in front of about 100 people in what would have been called a hootenanny in...

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Some Common Cents for September 27th 2013

October 1, 2013, by John Norris

A co-worker recently told me I have been a little too pessimistic about the economy recently. While he hasn’t disagreed with anything I have written, he thought some good news every now and again would be most welcome. After all, there is only so much realism one person can take. So, here goes nothing. There is a one hundred trillion dollar banknote from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on my desk. I bought it this...

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Some Common Cents for August 30 2013

September 3, 2013, by John Norris

When was the last time Syria made so many headlines? The 6-Day War? Shoot, how many Americans do you think could find Syria on a map, without peeking? Or know the name of the capital? Or even the name of the family who has run it since 1970? Clearly, what you don’t know can sometimes hurt, or even kill, you. This might be one of those times. Then, again, it might not be. So, how...

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Some Common Cents for August 16th 2013

August 21, 2013, by Shelley deClerk

With Egypt falling apart at the seams this week, I have thought several times: “you know, maybe having Hosni Mubarak over there wasn’t such a bad thing after all.” When you add the current turmoil in that country with the situation in Syria; the less than friendly folks in Iran, and whatever is going on in Libya, Americans should probably be questioning why we are as involved in that section of the world as we...

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Some Common Cents for May 17th 2013

May 20, 2013, by John Norris

If you were to ask the proverbial man on the street what the biggest problem facing the global economy was, you would probably get a confused expression and some form of admission of ignorance. If you were to ask a roomful of people who care about such things, more than a few would mention something about “global indebtedness.” In fact, I would be willing to bet a plug nickel such a response would be the...

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Common Cents for November 23, 2012

December 6, 2012, by John Norris

One of the bigger business headlines this week has been the liquidation of Hostess Brands, Inc., the company which heretofore made Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Wonder Bread, a host of other snack cakes and breads. As you can imagine, there was some measure of discomfort about the iconic Twinkie brand, a symbol of all that is both right and wrong in the United States, vanishing. What is the world coming to these days? Can the US...

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