Musings & Insights

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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Meet the Oakworth Summer Intern Associates

July 31, 2018, by Lindsey Owens Krausen

Alexander Mitchell This summer at Oakworth I was able to truly be a part of the team and see all the different facets and roles of each department. Over the course of the internship I took on various projects and was given real responsibilities. In my first rotation I was able to dive into the three different financial statements paired with Moody’s Analytics software for asset base lending. This project was something that I found...

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2nd Quarter Economic Update

, by John Norris

As a general rule, I liked roller coasters when I was a kid. The Great American Scream Machine at Six Flags Over Georgia was a favorite, as were just about any other traditional wooden ones. If you aren’t familiar with the one in Atlanta, think of the Cyclone at Coney Island or the Yankee Cannonball at Canobie Lake Park. Closer to home, the Rampage at Alabama Splash Adventure in Bessemer is a surprisingly good ride....

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Dear John

, by John Norris

Chief Economist, John Norris, answers the most commonly asked questions. Dear John, It seems like all the companies you read about being so-called disruptors are just tech stocks. So, why do we even worry with calling them disrupters and just call them what they are? This is a great question, and the easy answer is: it just seems like they are all tech companies, but they aren’t necessarily. After all, Tesla makes cars. For its...

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It Might Be Common Cents – You Decide On July 27, 2018

July 27, 2018, by John Norris

Something kind strange happened this morning. After 8.5 years of economic expansion and almost 3 years into a Fed tightening cycle, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the best quarterly GDP (Gross Domestic Product for those keeping score at home) report in recent memory. To be sure, ‘you’ have to go back to 2Q and 3Q 2014 to find comparable quarterly results, and I might still argue this was a better report. The only...

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Common Cents for July 6, 2018

July 6, 2018, by John Norris

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend of mine about Canada legalizing marijuana at its Federal level. Ultimately, the discussion got around to whether the stuff would ever be legal in Alabama. My thoughts were/are simply this: “at some point, it will be impossible for our state to effectively enforce its cannabis laws, and it will become legal as a matter of course if not a matter of law.” My buddy looked at me as...

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Common Cents for June 29, 2018

June 29, 2018, by John Norris

This past Wednesday night, I made a presentation down in Mobile. During the Q&A, one person asked whether the growing economy has already made back the money the Federal government ‘lost’ due to the “tax cuts.” The pure black & white, straight accounting answer, the one the opposition will use during the mid-term elections, is quite simply: no. There will be no getting around the issue, and plenty of GOP candidates will hem, haw, and...

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Common Cents for May 25, 2018

May 25, 2018, by John Norris

Back in early 2003, the finance committee of the City of Birmingham summoned me to explain the negative performance for 2002 in the account it had entrusted to my then employer’s care. To be sure, given the roughly 60% weight to stocks, it would have been a real magic trick to have generated a positive return in that portfolio for the year. What’s more, we had done much better than most, much, although I completely...

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