Global Economy

Some Common Cents for October 10th 2014

October 14, 2014, by John Norris

Last Friday, instead of writing this newsletter, I was in a jury deliberation room discussing the proximate cause of an elderly woman’s incontinence. So, on Sunday, I was kind of surprised to receive an email from someone taking issue with something I had written in Common Cents. After all, I hadn’t written one on Friday. It seems there is a darn good reason why I do what I do for a living, as opposed to...

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Some Common Cents for September 12th 2014

September 16, 2014, by John Norris

I am sure it started out as something of a lark: why not be independent? We can surely go it alone, can’t we? As the Saturday Night Live character Stuart Smalley used to say: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me." However, less than a week from now, the Scots will go to the polls to decide whether to stay in the United Kingdom or become an fully sovereign Scotland....

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Some Common Cents for August 8th 2014

August 8, 2014, by John Norris

On Wednesday, my wife and I dropped off her car to have her transmission fixed, good times. I mean that money was just burning a hole in my pocket waiting to get out. The guy who owns the shop is a fellow named Joe, who was born and lived the first 19 years of his life in Lebanon. He claimed to be 52. After we had worked out a price, we made small talk for...

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Argentinian Woes…Huh?!

July 31, 2014, by John Norris

Today wasn’t a very good day for the world’s investment markets. Bank woes in Portugal; a default in Argentina; conflict in the Ukraine and the Gaza Strip, and the specter of a less accommodating Federal Reserve have investors headed for the turnstiles. In and of themselves, the dollars amounts in Argentina and Portugal don’t amount to much on a global scale. The Palestinians and Israelis have been fighting each other for years, as have the...

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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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