A Little Common Cents This Late in the Year?

December 29, 2017, by John Norris

Section I Here it is, the last business day of the year 2017. Outside my window, it is seasonably chilly without a cloud in the sky. Traffic on the highway, which I can just make out, is a little lighter than it ordinarily is at this time of day. The trees have all lost their leaves, and I struggling to make sense of this past year. For some reason, the first few lines of William...

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Some Last Minute Advice Before the End of 2017

December 27, 2017, by John Norris

Over the past week, even on Christmas Day, I have been inundated with emails detailing things people should do before the end of the year in light of the recent tax legislation. Many of the so-called recommendations would take a few weeks to hammer out with an attorney, if not months, and time is of the essence. But, you know, some of that stuff sure sounded great….really clever. However, there are still a few last...

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A Little Common Cents for December 15, 2018….a very little

December 15, 2017, by John Norris

Outside of politics, the big headline for week was the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting on Wednesday. This is the monetary policy making body of the Federal Reserve. In a move which surprised no one, the FOMC raised the overnight lending target rate between member banks from 1.25% to 1.50%. On Tuesday, the futures market put this at a 100% probability. The big question is: just how aggressive with the Fed be in raising...

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John Norris: Does corporate America really need a tax cut?

December 13, 2017, by John Norris

I have read numerous articles which asked the following question in a number of different ways: Does corporate America really need a tax cut? After all, big business pays a lot of people the big bucks to find loopholes and ways around paying its fair share, right? Apparently, these are the same companies which give their top executives eye popping salaries, with all kinds of perks on top of sweetheart fringe benefits. To be sure, there...

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Some Common Cents for December 1, 2017

December 1, 2017, by John Norris

Section I: Last night, I made an economic presentation to the Tuscaloosa Estate Planning Council at the Indian Hills Country Club. This group has asked me to speak 3 or 4 times over the last decade, and it always, and I repeat always, serves filet mignon. What’s more, it has the club serve me first, which obviously allows me to enjoy said steak. Frankly, this is wonderful, and kind of, if not exceedingly, rare. You...

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Some Common Cents For Friday November 17, 2017

November 17, 2017, by John Norris

In case you didn’t pick up the November 7th copy of Pravda, you might have missed the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. This was ultimate act in a year of great turmoil within Russia which resulted in even more years of civil strife and decades of economic mismanagement. While Lenin and his proletarians were passionate and idealistic, it is safe to say they didn’t completely understand economics. Apologists for the former Soviet government tend...

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John Norris: People asking ‘what if’ questions don’t really want the truth

November 14, 2017, by Lindsey Owens Krausen

Last week, I made a presentation about the current health of the economy and markets to a group of folks in Birmingham. Not surprisingly, I got a "what if" question about North Korea. You know — what if Kim Jong-un launches a few nuclear missiles towards the United States? How would the markets respond? Admittedly, speculating about such things is more entertaining than analyzing trends in economic data sets and the slope of the yield curve. Those things...

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Oakworth Capital Bank Promotes Roger Spain to Market Leader for River Region

October 31, 2017, by Lindsey Owens Krausen

Oakworth Capital Bank is pleased to announce that Roger Spain will assume the position of Market Leader for the River Region area which includes Montgomery and the surrounding areas. Since joining Oakworth, Mr. Spain has contributed significantly to expand Oakworth’s market share for both banking and wealth management. Prior to joining Oakworth, Mr. Spain worked for 25 years as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and attained designation as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He holds...

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Some Common Cents for October 27, 2017

October 27, 2017, by John Norris

Although I don’t consider myself a codger, I have recently found myself saying things like: “when I was a kid” or “I am old enough to remember when.” You know, the sort of stuff that makes you an old-timer whether you care to admit it or not. This week, I was rooting around in a plastic pumpkin full of candy in our office building looking for something good to eat. Specifically, I was looking for...

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Some Common Cents for October 20, 2017

October 20, 2017, by John Norris

One of my wife’s co-workers recently turned us onto a PBS Masterpiece series entitled ‘Poldark.’ As an aside, in case you didn’t already know, Masterpiece is a code word for: 1) originally produced by and aired on the BBC well before PBS got ahold of it, and; 2) a dramatic piece of historical fiction set in the United Kingdom at some point prior to, interestingly enough, television. ‘Poldark’ is no different. Without going into exhaustive...

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