National Economy

Some Common Cents for May 26th, 2017

May 26, 2017, by John Norris

This week, a reporter friend of mine asked my thoughts on the prospects of traditional banks and credit unions getting into, what can only be called, the payday lending space IF the Administration’s regulatory reform proposals get through the Congress. It seems some banks have made overtures about doing just that, but this is very anecdotal and far from the norm. Frankly, I am kind of professionally ambivalent on the matter, but I still gave...

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Norris: Corporate America can’t hit snooze button on economy

May 24, 2017, by John Norris

Recently, a reporter called to ask my thoughts about the ongoing scandal in Washington surrounding former FBI Director Jim Comey, the Russians and the White House. Is it enough to cause the stock market to crash? In so many words, my response was simple: “only if it causes a slowdown in economic activity and a corresponding drop in corporate profitability. Absent that, long-term, no.” Obviously, his follow up question was whether the turmoil would put the...

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Some Common Cents for May 19th, 2017

May 19, 2017, by John Norris

This week, I had a brief discussion with a very bright individual regarding future economic growth and potential investment opportunities in the United States. His comments were in complete alignment with my thoughts: moving forward, there will be two types of companies which will matter: 1) disrupters, which are companies providing technologies, products, and/or services which fundamentally change our lives and how we conduct business, and; 2) base, which are those providing the essentials of...

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Some Common Cents for May 12th, 2017

May 15, 2017, by John Norris

To read the headlines, you would assume the French Presidential election and the Administration’s sacking of Jim Comey as the Director of the FBI were the big stories for the week. However, both were sort of non-events for investors, or should be. First, the French election was basically a foregone conclusion. The issue wasn’t whether Macron would win, as everyone expected he would. The bigger issue was by how much he would win. It was...

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Norris: Washington should focus on economic growth

May 1, 2017, by John Norris

A lot of folks have asked my opinion on the Administration’s tax reform proposals. I think I have surprised them with my less than sophisticated response: anything is better than doing nothing. As the old saying goes, if you are standing still, you are falling behind. In helping run a trust and wealth management department, our Byzantine tax code benefits me professionally. I couldn’t argue otherwise and keep a straight face. Folks will go to...

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Some Common Cents for April 28th, 2017

, by John Norris

A lot of folks have asked my opinion on the Administration’s tax reform proposals. I think I have surprised them with my less than sophisticated response: anything is better than doing nothing. As the old saying goes, if you are standing still, you are falling behind. In helping run a trust and wealth management department, our Byzantine tax code benefits me professionally. I couldn’t argue otherwise and keep a straight face. Folks will go to...

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Some Common Cents for April 14th, 2017

April 19, 2017, by John Norris

A couple of weeks ago, we raised a little cash in the vast majority of our client accounts. In the grand scheme of things, it was relatively minor across the board. While we would ordinarily send out an email detailing our actions, we didn’t this time as we didn’t want anyone to misprocess our actions as “the sky is falling.” Thus far, the trade has been mostly a wash in terms of overall portfolio performance....

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Some Common Cents for January 27th, 2017

January 30, 2017, by John Norris

This morning, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its first stab at 4Q 2016 Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Since the BEA estimated the economy grew at a 3.5% annual rate for 3Q 2016, no one was expecting a huge number (or shouldn’t have). However, the 1.9% figure the BEA gave us was less than the so-called ‘consensus’ estimate of 2.2%, but it wasn’t surprising. In fact, it was the somewhat gaudy 3Q estimate I...

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Some Common Cents for December 23rd, 2016

December 27, 2016, by John Norris

Since the election, I have had more than one person ask me a variant of: “how are we going to pay for everything Trump says he is going to do?” This is ordinarily more rhetorical than an actual desire to know the answer, which is understandable. There has been no shortage of so-called experts predicting fiscal rack & ruin over the next 4 years. It always seems to go something like this: “Based on what...

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Some Common Cents for December 16th, 2016

December 19, 2016, by John Norris

My wife had her office Christmas party last night, and came home with an Amazon Echo Dot she received as a gift from one of her co-workers. I was a little torn on this, as I had planned on getting her one, although largely just for the speaker aspect. So, I decided to proceed forth, and see what I could now buy to make the most of the thing. You know, wall adapters, and things...

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