Oakworth welcomes Mr. John McPherson to its Board of Directors

January 17, 2014, by John Norris

Oakworth Capital Bank is pleased to announce the addition of John McPherson as a member of its Board of Directors. Mr. McPherson is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Vulcan Materials Company. He joined the company in 2011 as Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and Business Development and most recently served as Senior Vice President of Vulcan’s East Region. Prior to coming to Vulcan, he was a senior partner of McKinsey &...

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Some Common Cents for January 10th 2014

January 17, 2014, by John Norris

This morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Employment Situation report for December 2013.  While it wasn’t an absolute disaster, I think it would fair to say the report didn’t live up to virtually anyone’s expectations. Simply put, the US economy created 74K net, new payroll jobs last month. The median estimate in Bloomberg’s survey of 90 analysts was for 197K, and the average estimate was 196K. The high was 250K; the low...

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Some Common Cents for January 3rd 2014 Happy New Year!!!

January 7, 2014, by John Norris

In trying to come up with a worthwhile forecast for 2014, I kept coming back to something I have said over and over again throughout the years: “the US economy and markets rarely fall apart just because. There is almost always, if not always, some kind of shock to the financial system which precipitates declines in both.” By declines, I mean recession and 2008; I don’t mean 2% GDP growth and 0% in the S&P...

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Some Common Cents for December 20th 2013

December 23, 2013, by John Norris

Whenever you question the validity of a contemporary phenomenon, you run the risk of people calling you a old fuddy duddy, Luddite, or worse. Perhaps you are “old school,” or “behind the times.” Regardless, not accepting the “wave of the future” is often bad for your reputation, in the short-run. Be that as it may, I simply can’t get my arms around Bitcoin, and why so many think it is such a swell idea. Oh,...

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Some Common Cents for December 13th 2013

December 16, 2013, by John Norris

Some years ago, I was at the Walt Disney World complex. At the time, Mickey was hard at work selling “remastered animation cels” for what I considered a princely sum, and there seemed to be no shortage of takers. Being a clever mouse, he bandied about the words “rare” and “collectible” like nobody’s business, and the hoi polloi gladly forked over their hard earned money for, what, 1/5,000,000th of a direct to video animated picture....

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Some Common Cents for December 6th 2013

December 9, 2013, by John Norris

  This morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced the US economy created 203K net, new non-farm payroll jobs during November 2013. While I would stop short of calling it an awesome release, or at least as awesome as the folks on TV are calling it, the Unemployment Rate fell; the Labor Force Participation rate went up; hours worked ticked up a little, as did hourly earnings; job growth was a little more evenly...

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Some Common Cents for November 22nd 2013

November 25, 2013, by John Norris

Yesterday, I made my annual speech to students at Samford University about resume writing, interviewing, and the whole interview process. Much, if not all, of what I said should be common sense to middle-aged business people. However, it isn’t to fresh, young faces in their late teens and early twenties. Let me tell you, they took a lot of notes. Here are some of the supposed pearls of wisdom: Although you might not want a...

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Some Common Cents for November 8th 2013

November 8, 2013, by John Norris

One of the more important business lessons I have learned happened in a casino. I am not a huge gambling fan, but I was in Atlantic City for a friend’s bachelor party, many moons ago, and ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do.’ Since I had some rudimentary knowledge of blackjack, I tried to find a table, but even ’back in the day’ all of the tables were $20/hand or higher. Even at this...

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Some Common Cents for October 25th 2013

October 28, 2013, by John Norris

  Today is such a beautiful day in central Alabama, it is hard to imagine anything wrong in the world at all. There isn’t a cloud in the sky; the air is a little crisp with a slight breeze, and the leaves have only just started to change. It is the type of day which lets you know there are far more important things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies....

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Some Common Cents for October 18 2013

October 21, 2013, by John Norris

  This month, the Federal Reserve introduce a new $100 note that was a decade in the making. By any measure, it is a impressive looking piece, even if it is starting to look increasingly like, um, foreign currency. Regardless, I think it safe to say the United States has never had such hi-tech paper currency.   In an article on finance.yahoo.com, Lisa Scherzer pointed out some of the new anti-counterfeiting details: “Two key security...

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