Musings & Insights

A Surprise Common Cents on January 3, 2019

January 3, 2019, by John Norris

The calendar may have turned a page, but it sure feels like déjà vu all over again. If you read financial and business news, you might have seen Apple issued a press release last night warning the most recent quarter’s earnings might not be as robust as initially thought. The company’s claims this is due, almost exclusively, to slower iPhone sales in ‘Greater China’ due to tariff woes and a stronger US dollar. From what...

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Common Cents for December 14, 2018

December 14, 2018, by John Norris

William Shakespeare’s play Richard III starts with the line: “Now is the winter of our discontent.” In general practice this means ‘our’ unhappiness is reaching an end, as winter is generally considered to be the ‘last’ season for whatever reason. I suppose this is because Spring is the season of rebirth. So, perhaps I should start the meat of this newsletter with: “Now is the winter of our content.” Why? Because I can’t remember a...

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Common Cents for December 7, 2018

December 7, 2018, by John Norris

This morning, my co-worker Sam Clement and I recorded the upcoming ‘Trading Perspectives’ podcast which will drop on Monday afternoon. We discussed the recent market volatility and the potential reasons for it. By this point, you have probably heard a lot of the same old excuses from any number of different outlets no fewer than umpteen times. Am I right? However, for all the bricks in the proverbial wall of worry; for all the loose...

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Historical Common Cents for November 16, 2018

November 16, 2018, by John Norris

For good reason, it seems the Chinese ‘trade war’ and the Federal Reserve have dominated the post-election business headlines. They should have all along, but politics are far more interesting than monetary policy or international trade negotiations for/to most people. I am the outlier. Recently, I either wrote here in this newsletter or mentioned on our podcast (Trading Perspectives) the Chinese don’t adhere to US election cycles. They don’t care too much about arbitrary quarterly...

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Common Cents for November 9, 2018

November 9, 2018, by John Norris

It would seem I have no shortage of topics on which to pontificate, if not bloviate, this week, What, with the elections, FOMC meeting, and a whole litany of other attention-grabbing headlines? Certainly, there is ample fodder to wax on finance, politics, society, how they are intertwined, and the impact on your pocketbook. Indeed. However, I am going to resist temptation, at least for about 800 words, to do what most other people are doing...

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Common Cents for November 2, 2018

November 1, 2018, by John Norris

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of John Norris, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Oakworth Capital Bank, its management, its ownership, or its associates. The $64,000 Question here at the end this week is: “who is going to win the midterm elections this upcoming Tuesday?” I am going to go out on a very short limb and say the media outlets will, as millions of us will tune into the...

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Dear John

October 22, 2018, by Lindsey Owens Krausen

Chief Economist, John Norris, answers the most commonly asked questions. Dear John, What kind of impact do you think the midterm elections will have on the US economy and markets? I have long maintained politicians get too much blame for the bad times and too much credit for the good. The upcoming elections will NOT change that conviction. Discussing politics is always a slippery slope, but I have run what you could only call ‘Monte...

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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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A Short Amount of Common Cents on September 28, 2018

September 28, 2018, by John Norris

This week, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the monetary policy making body of the Federal Reserve, raised the overnight lending target 0.25% to 2.25%. This was so widely expected as to be a fait accompli. However, the statement, which the FOMC releases after every meeting, removed any mention of monetary policy being ‘accommodative.’ This was NOT expected, and had tongues wagging. Is the Fed signaling the beginning of the end of this tightening cycle?...

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Righteous Common Cents for September 21, 2018

September 21, 2018, by John Norris

Way back in 2000, and I can’t believe it has been 18 years, the movie ‘Meet the Parents’ hit the screens. I thought it was a real laugh riot at the time, and still think certain scenes are hilarious. If you have seen the movie, you may remember the following exchange between Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro. If you haven’t, it is a conversation in the car between a young man (Greg) trying to impress...

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