National Economy

Some Common Cents for April 19th 2013

April 26, 2013, by John Norris

Disclosure: Oakworth Capital Bank owns Apple Inc. in client accounts. One of the more perplexing questions we get is: what is going on with Apple? Unless you have been in a cave, you know the stock has taken it on the chin, and then some, over the last 6 months or so. This as the company has produced decent results, and increased its hoard of cash. Looking at the balance sheet and income statements, you...

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Some Common Cents for April 12, 2013

April 17, 2013, by Shelley deClerk

Last night, I made a presentation, ostensibly about economics. By the end of my allotted time, however, I had delved off into conjuncture and personal opinion which bordered on histrionics. What I said wasn’t wrong; it was anyone’s best guess, and it just so happened to be mine. Lets face it: if I could look into the future with crystal clarity, I probably wouldn’t have made that speech last night, you know? However, I was...

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Strong start to 2013 or Simply a Lackluster end to 2012?

March 11, 2013, by Shelley deClerk

Q: Last week you wrote about whether we are in a recession, and were noncommittal. However, the stock market is up and the economic data has been pretty good recently. With all the other bad news out there, why has the U.S. started the year on such strong footing? A: Why has 2013 started off as good as it has? Well, it is still early, but the easy answer is: because the last half of...

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With everything going on in the world, why do the business headlines seem so dull and uninspiring?

January 10, 2013, by John Norris

What do you have against 2 percent economic growth? In all seriousness, you are not alone. The headlines have become somewhat boring, and it isn’t the media’s fault. There are only so many ways to say the same thing over and over. If you are like I am, you probably want to scream every time you read or hear the word uncertainty. Then we had hours upon hours of fiscal cliff discussion, almost to the...

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Common Cents for January 4, 2012…Happy New Year!!!

January 7, 2013, by John Norris

Last night, my wife was playing a song on the piano which I couldn’t remember having heard, but I liked it. So much so, I asked her what it was, and she told me it was from the movie “The King’s Speech.” Hmm. Since I hadn’t heard her play it before last night, I asked her when she had gotten the sheet music. Not that I cared that much; we had simply been out of...

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2012 seems to be doing the exact same thing as 2011: coming in like a lion, and going out like a lamb. Does 2013 prove to be any different? I hope so.

January 4, 2013, by John Norris

At the beginning of the year, I would say the following to anybody who would listen: “if you liked 2011, you are going to love 2012.” While the investment markets have been a little better than last year, the economy is about the same, as is Washington. Very little is as we want it to be; however, things aren’t as bad as we really fear, primarily because we fear the worst. Guess what I am...

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For Sale…1 Stock Exchange,gently used, sold as-is, $8.2 billion OBO

December 28, 2012, by Shelley deClerk

This week, the New York Stock Exchange announced it had agreed to be purchased by a firm named Intercontinental Exchange. Does this mean anything? Will this have any impact on the stock markets? Since Intercontinental Exchange has its headquarters in Atlanta, the New York Stock Exchange became a Southern company this week. In so many ways, that is simply beyond awesome. OK, maybe Atlanta isn’t the most Southern city, but I imagine it is a...

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Keeping the Public In the Dark

December 20, 2012, by Shelley deClerk

Our elected politicians are currently sparring over tax rates and spending cuts to avoid something popularly called “the fiscal cliff,” as we head into 2013. If the two sides can’t reach a conclusion, all the so-called Bush tax cuts expire, as does the Administration’s payroll tax break. Further, the Congress will have to start cutting spending, or at least cut the growth of deficit spending moving forward. When combined, the US economy is presumably facing...

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December 6, 2012, by John Norris

Should Washington focus more on raising taxes or cutting spending to deal with the deficit? Washington will not be able to balance its budget by cutting spending alone. It will not be able to do so by simply raising taxes on the highest income earners in the country. Further, it won’t be able to get its books in order by a combination of the two. Unfortunately, that is what it seems heck bent on doing....

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Common Cents for October 12th 2012

November 1, 2012, by John Norris

Last night, I watched the Vice Presidential debate until I couldn’t take it any longer. If that was a debate, I don’t know what an argument is. While I understand Joe Biden’s desire to be assertive, and even aggressive, at one point during the proceedings, a scene from “This is Spinal Tap” came to mine: “This one goes to eleven.” Certainly, members of either party will applaud their candidate’s performance, and deride their opponent’s; however,...

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