National Economy

Common Cents & The UBI on March 8, 2019

March 8, 2019, by John Norris

Last week, I attempted to explain Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), and am not sure I did a good job doing so. Frankly, I am not certain how anyone could, save a smug so & so with a political agenda, and even that wouldn’t make sense. Then it dawned on me, and how! The perfect way to describe MMT to folks who don’t ordinarily read economic newsletters. Here it goes. Imagine there is this old, fat...

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Common Cents for February 22, 2019

February 22, 2019, by John Norris

Yesterday afternoon, the Kraft Heinz company (KHC) issued its earnings for the most recent quarter, as well as announcing the impairment of a massive amount of goodwill, some $15 billion, on its balance sheet. Obviously, this had a very negative impact on overall earnings, disastrous even as the stock came out of the gates this morning like a 3-legged horse. Dreadful. As for revenue and core business performance? Those things were decidedly mediocre, beyond bleah, and...

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Your 2018 Taxes: What to Expect

January 23, 2019, by Lindsey Owens Krausen

It’s that time of year again.  Tax time.  Before you file your 2018 taxes, we wanted to share an overview of the key tax changes affecting individuals made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Although this is just a general overview, we found this article to be very beneficial in helping our clients understand some of the key changes. Taxpayers should anticipate some big changes when they file their 2018 federal income...

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Common Cents on October 5, 2018

October 4, 2018, by John Norris

This week, a colleague asked me whether I thought the projected amount of additional Federal debt over the next decade would have a detrimental impact on interest rates. Another way of putting their question was/is: “we are already $20 trillion in the hole in Washington, and will be $30 trillion in the red in 10 years. Interest rates should go UP, right?” This makes perfect intuitive sense. After all, it would seem to be basic...

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Fed Raises Rates

September 26, 2018, by John Norris

This afternoon, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the monetary policy making arm of the Federal Reserve, raised the overnight lending target 0.25% (25 basis points) from 2.00% to 2.25%. This was as expected, as the futures market had been giving it a 100% probability for some time now. The only real question was: will the Fed give us any idea about the next move(s)? As is usually the case, it did and it didn’t....

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Common Cents (or lack thereof) for September 14, 2018

September 14, 2018, by John Norris

Some years ago, before smartphones and the ubiquity of social media, I wrote a pretty thorough complaint to the corporate headquarters of a large national restaurant chain. In it, I gave a detailed description of my impression of three separate units, and included: the time of my visits, the locations, the respective store numbers, my real name, an email address, and my telephone number. A representative of the company, not the franchisee, called me about...

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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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Common Cents on August 17, 2018

August 17, 2018, by John Norris

Would you believe, as I type here on August 17th, the S&P 500 index is positive for the month? With all the wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth about Turkey, China, and even Elon Musk’s ill-advised tweets, you would think the US markets would be falling off a cliff, but they aren’t. No, international markets are, more specifically emerging markets. Although I have been in the investment industry for quite a while now, I...

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Common Lira on August 10, 2018

August 10, 2018, by John Norris

Today, the markets are all aflutter over tensions between the US and Turkey. Various peccadilloes over the last several years have grown into some pretty major problems. So much so, and you can decide for yourself where to cast blame, the Administration declared some pretty stiff trade tariffs on Turkish metals. Frankly, you could have seen this coming with your eyes closed. Interestingly enough, I have read some analysis on how Washington’s ham-fisted approach with...

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Common Cents on August 3, 2018

August 3, 2018, by John Norris

This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Employment Situation report for July. The economy created 157K net, new payroll jobs during the month and the Unemployment Rate fell to 3.9%. In so many words, it was a pretty dull report. There wasn’t anything particularly bearish or bullish in the release, even if plenty of seemingly intelligent people will spend hours overanalyzing and commenting on it. Yep, as Forrest Gump might say: “That’s...

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