Can the Federal Government find political balance?

| January 26, 2017

My answer: Rarely does the pendulum find the middle. Neither the fiscal or social policy balancing coming from Washington DC makes much sense to me. There have to be moderates who see validity in each others positions? Rather than the black and white collisions between the liberal Democrats and the conservative Republicans’ points of view, […]

Tech – Jobs Friday: Wages up, but a tepid 156K nonfarm job rise

| January 6, 2017

U.S. employment increased less than expected in December, but wages are rising, ever so slightly after a long stagnancy. Most economists are positive since they say we only need to create 56,000 jobs per month to keep up with current levels of new entrants in the job market. Others will point out that our job […]

Investing to and past DOW 20,000 under a President Trump

| December 23, 2016

We still have a week of trading before closing the books on 2016, but those last few DJIA psychological points to 20,000 have proven evasive. Thursday’s 23 point decline, after the steady climb since the election, has a few gurus thinking the Trump Rally may be ahead of itself?  Some are looking at current corporate […]

Ugly election, Middle East unrest, Economy – October surprise?

| October 18, 2016

Maybe it is just me being a little nervous, but there are a lot of potential triggers for panic. The craziest presidential election I’ve ever seen, a stock market that has risen longer than average between recessions (with tepid economic growth), unrest in the middle east (of course always on fire) and both the Chicago […]

Everybody thinks they are an economist … including me!

| October 16, 2016

I love simplicity … so when tossing around political footballs, I generally join the team that at least "attempts" to simplify government and taxes. I’m not naïve enough to believe it will ever happen or even work well, but after filing personal (for friends and family), organizations and business taxes for years, it would sure […]

How does government best assist in job creation?

| October 7, 2016

What is the goal? More and better paying jobs, profits for companies and growing tax revenues to fund government services, entitlements and improved ability to pay down our nation’s debt. How do we accomplish this? There are two ways government helps to create jobs in the US. The current Democrats remain focused on #1, while […]

Books and WSJ page: Trumped! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin

| September 27, 2016

After watching David Stockman on Wall Street Week this past weekend, I was intrigued enough in his message of economic panic to pick up the Kindle version of his latest book. Although he is not new to the "Henny Penny" view that economically we can’t continue on the current path, hearing and reading his analysis […]

Fuel economy on the BMW X5 35d diesel after modifications

| September 9, 2016

For those following the modifications and upgrades on our 2010 BMW X5 35d for most of 2016, below are the resulting fuel economy improvements, at least so far. This 5225 lb SUV (minus a few pounds) will never be a Volkswagen TDI fuel sipper, but I’ll take a 15% mpg improvement considering it also has […]

Our BMW X5 35d loves cheap diesel fuel ;-)

| August 14, 2016

First let me qualify, this is the discounted United Dairy Farmers (UDF – Mobil) price for diesel … but I’m not complaining about $2.14 either (current Aug 2016 price). It isn’t like we need an excuse to buy milkshakes, but their summer promotion in discounts fuel is the little push I need to bring home […]

Sensible economic thinking from business CEO Andy Puzder

| August 11, 2016

There are people who have the ability to communicate and can make "simple-sense" of the usually complicated economic issues facing our country. I’d like to believe that IF enough voters are willing to digest the three minutes of conversation below, that they would be less inclined to "dis" a business oriented pro-growth policy that is […]

Crude Oil paralleling the stock market and world economies

| March 23, 2016

Looking at the Finviz chart of the wild second half of 2015 slide for crude oil, one would think we Americans would be cheering since we love driving big cars. Unfortunately lower crude prices (and prices at the pump) are also indicators of a struggling domestic and world economy. U.S. companies need strong international economies […]

Uncertainty, regulation and taxes taint the year for investors

| December 16, 2015

The relatively flat year for stocks reflects the sentiment of many Americans who instinctively know the long and slow economic recovery has been unnecessarily hindered by politicians. The United States is certainly capable of stronger grow overall and in my opinion the blame lands heavily on the burdensome regulation, high corporate taxes and bloated government […]

Crude oil falls below $37 per barrel – a 7 year low

| December 8, 2015

Warmer forecasts, no production cut by OPEC and inventory surplus is keeping energy prices low and crude oil has moved to seven year lows. The impact is being felt by small leveraged U.S. oil companies who are on the brink of bankrupcy and even creating waves throughout the economy. As I tweeted… Oil prices fell […]

How are you doing in the Obama economy?

| September 23, 2015

No doubt the American Dream is slipping away from the middle class, but a quick look a few graphs below depicts an even more dismal image of a nation in decline. Is it too late to turn our country around? Let’s hope not!   Unfortunately too many regulations, thousands of laws, taxes on taxes and […]

How low can we go — stocks, commodities, oil, economy, etc?

| August 21, 2015

We often hear the “firing on all cylinders” comment when talking about fiscal execution in managing companies … well the U.S. and World economy is not currently firing on many cylinders. Countries in Asia have been taking their lead from the 2008 model enacted by the US Fed which devalues currency in relation to other […]

Jobs report: 280,000 jobs in May with 5.5% unemployment

| June 5, 2015

The jobs numbers were relatively positive considering the weak growth earlier this year, but still concerning in that the post-recession job growth is not was is normally expected after a recession. Still, one positive is that we are not facing inflation or seeing numbers that would indicate the U.S. is slipping back into a recession. […]

Job openings are up … but hirings are down

| April 8, 2015

Very confusing numbers in a recent Wall Street Journal graph noting that the number of job openings being posted are way up (green line) … up to the highest level in 14 years. That’s good news right? Unfortunately a look at the red line shows the number of hiring. Hmm, that trend has moved down, […]

Positive Jobs Report as US economy continues to recover

| February 6, 2015

While watching my Twitter feed and tuning into Squawkbox on CBNC (my usual morning routine), the excitement was notable particularly since partisans on both sides of the political spectrum spar to take credit for improving numbers. We do seem to be on a trajectory of adding jobs consistently which should eventually put pressure on employers […]

The Swiss Bank surprise has investors rushing into Gold

| January 15, 2015

While watching the stock market decline and gold prices rise this week (Swiss franc against the euro decoupling) and listening to economists suggest deflation is likely, it is becoming clear that the slowdown overseas will be impacting earning for large cap companies and international funds. The U.S. economy seems to be holding up, but pension […]

The average Jane and John has a few more dollars to spend

| December 29, 2014

As the year draws to a close, we can be thankful for economic boost coming from cheaper gasoline.  The chart above show just how rapid the decline in the price of Crude Oil changed. It illustrates the unbelievable shift in the cost of energy for all of us. It is partially due to demand, but […]

Chinese economy #1–thanks for the leadership President Obama

| December 5, 2014

It’s not entirely fair to blame President Obama for American decline and China’s rise in economic prominence, but his lack of inspiring American Exceptionalism and worldwide apology tour hasn’t helped. Words and attitude aside, his policies slowing our economic recovery are most to blame as we watch industry evaluate the best place to invest capital; […]

Enough playing politics with the minimum wage

| November 4, 2014

There is a populous push coming from Democrats and the Obama administration to increase the Federal minimum wage … instead of letting markets to set the proper levels. It’s understandable with all the negatives facing the Whitehouse and failing policies being pushed by Democrats to create jobs, that politicians resort to simpleton tactics that appeal […]

Equities rally, dollar stronger and precious metals decline

| October 31, 2014

A big morning for stocks as global markets celebrate Japan expands their stimulus. The DOW hit an all-time intraday high as giddy investors bought blue chip equities expecting the economy to continue to grow. The good news of better corporate profits and the Federal Reserve’s finalizing their stimulus makes Wall Street feel good … BUT […]

The Way Forward: Who has the right idea? Paul Ryan?

| August 24, 2014

The stock market roars to new highs as the summer comes to an end, but investors continue pouring money into higher risk equities as if they have forgot what can happen. This is in part due to the low yield in fixed income assets and the new indice highs have more than a few economy […]

The Big Lie. Stocks are up, so the economy must be better

| August 4, 2014

While reading President Obama’s comments in The Economist, the same class-warfare ire continues to be flamed for those who believe those living in the United States are against each other: Poor vs. wealthy, CEO vs. employee, ambitious vs. entitled, black vs. white, Democrat vs. Republican, etc. Isn’t it possible that those CEOs and corporations being […]

Does a generous welfare benefit create a work disincentive?

| July 10, 2014

I listened to a debate on CNBC on Wednesday morning featuring Princeton economics professor Alan Krueger discussing the problems of long term unemployment which lead to Joe Kernen suggesting there are financial disincentives to taking entry level jobs … the kind of work the unemployed need to gain experience. Krueger discounted that people weigh the […]

Inflation: Prices are higher, but are they out of proportion?

| July 2, 2014

  I’ve been doing some reading lately from those concerned about an uptick in inflation. Since many of the writers are the same people who have been warning for years about inflation, it is easy to take their analysis with a yawn and a bit of skepticism. Still, my commonsense indicator has also kicked in […]

How much farther can Americans stretch their dollars?

| June 18, 2014

Ukraine continues to be under siege, SE Asia and Africa have unstable countries, Afghanistan will most likely go back to Taliban control, Iraq is imploding … but European markets are said to be in “recovery” and U.S. stock indices continue setting new highs and generating overly inflated annual returns for those “fully” invested (since when […]

Wondering if the stock market and DOW will keep climbing?

| June 6, 2014

While closing the first full week of June on a rather high note (all time high!), the financial markets and Dow Jones Industrial Average pushed ever closer to 17K — DJIA closed at 16,923.77 up 87.66 (0.52%). I’m probably not the only one wondering how companies can keep performing when consumers have fewer dollars leftover […]

Lower U.S. corporate tax rates will grow jobs and the economy

| May 6, 2014

Outspoken President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Richard Fisher, talked with Maria Bartiromo on her new Sunday Morning Futures program this weekend and laid out a good case lower tax rates. His point is that money and investment flows to where it is treated the best and in turn jobs and […]

Michael Bloomberg on the Feds actions and wealth inequality

| May 2, 2014

Love him or hate him, billionaire “business magnate, politician and philanthropist” Michael Bloomberg clearly understands the effect the Federal Reserve has when it comes to pumping money into the economy. So simple and so true when it comes to who benefits the most from government trying to solve business and wealth inequity problems. He is […]

Bullish money managers picking stocks on CNBC Squawk Box

| April 11, 2014

Those who spend any time watching financial markets and attempt to analyze a mix of investments the future, understand that there are mix signals coming from economist, financial analysts and those hired to manage investments (or pick for TV). I follow both the bullish and the bearish thinkers, yet end up being more conflicted about […]

If you hate paying taxes, move to Wyoming or Alaska

| March 23, 2014

Wallethub compared how average families from each state when it comes to paying taxes … how does your state look? According to their color coded map, the brighter red your state, the more you pay; conversely, the greener your state, the lower your taxes, and brown puts you somewhere in the middle. If you hate […]

Paying attention to Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen

| March 19, 2014

It’s a big day for Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen as she took the stage and continued a third wave of tapering of the Federal Reserve’s bond buying program. Not that any of this was unexpected, but it an indication that the Fed sees the economy improving and is slowly removing the nation’s fiscal training wheels […]

Are we doing what we need to stimulate growth and create jobs?

| February 4, 2014

If business growth is the medicine for job creation and a healthy economy … how does the U.S., or more specifically, each state, encourage business growth and incentivize expansion? Companies need to have an attractive tax climate in order to put capital at risk (or at less competitive), although it is not the only criteria […]

Understanding How the Economic Machine Works–Ray Dalio

| January 23, 2014

Would you like to have an "aha moment" in understanding why and how we attempt to manage our economy? Then watch this 30 minute YouTube video by Ray Dalio, founder of the largest hedge fund in the world, Bridgewater Associates. If you prefer reading, visit economicprinciples.org and download the research paper … the light bulb […]

Federal Reserve policies and inflation concerns

| November 4, 2013

Frequent guest and St. Louis Federal Reserve President Jim Bullard discussed making “decisions by the numbers” on CNBC’s Squawkbox this morning. He offered an opinion that current low inflation and a sluggish economy is keeping the Fed’s “loose money policy” in place and that conditions are not signaling a need to taper. I’m probably not […]

Bernanke-care is creating liquidity addicts

| October 25, 2013

As a student of economics, a business manager and as a hesitant investor, I’m concern about what is going to happen when the Federal Reserve finally pulls the stimulus intravenous therapy? It is likely that Fed Chairman Bernanke is worried about weaning the stimulus too, by the fact he hasn’t started to taper. It is […]

Can the stock market continue to rise this summer?

| June 4, 2013

There sure seems to be a disconnect between what my gut tells me about the economy and what the financial markets have been doing … and I know I’m not the only one growing concerned as evident by the growing number of articles. Europe is clearly in recession, China is slowing, U.S. consumer spending and […]

Stock market indices are in record territory

| April 29, 2013

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.