A look back at the financial markets for today’s #TBT post

| September 15, 2022

As we face another recession (some believe we are already in one – see February 2022 part 1 and part 2), I couldn’t help but notice a post from about this time of the year in 2008 (see chart at left) when we faced a previous self-inflicted recession (banking crisis). The 2007-2008 Financial Crisis was the […]

Stock market pain was felt on Wall Street – 9/13/2022

| September 13, 2022

If you believe the number 13 makes for an unlucky day, you’ll probably point to that as an omen … but the deep, nearly 1300 points, drop in the Dow came as investors and economists were expecting an easing pace of inflation … not continued high inflation.  The CPI report indicated a 8.3% rate compared […]

What’s this political football call the “Inflation Reduction Act?”

| August 7, 2022

While discussing the “will it” or “won’t it” Inflation Reduction Act being pushed by Democratic leadership in Washington DC as a way to replace the failed 2021 Build Back Better spending plan by President Biden last week, I figured digging into the details might prove better than spewing left or right talking points. The bill […]

Summer fill up of the #diesel 2010 BMW 35d in 2022

| July 24, 2022

UGH! Gasoline may have dropped 40 cent per gallon as American consumers cut back on travel and driving due to inflation and the likely coming recession, but diesel prices continue to remain elevated. There are very few options when “you need to get to go, and need to be able to get where you need […]

Stay on your retirement planning track and consider iBonds

| June 25, 2022

It is stomach-churning to follow the often heard “hold tight” and “stick with the plan” advice often given by financial advisors.  If you are currently retired and living off of a fix-income and nest egg, or are trying to prepare for retirement, you are likely worried about times like these. Advisors tell you not to […]

Inflation hits a new FOUR-Decade High, with food and energy increases hurting those who can least afford it

| June 11, 2022

CPI up 8.6% driven by a 35% jump in energy prices and 12% increase in groceries This is what a “sea of red” looks like for investors and stock market traders … and I can only imagine the “red” those living on a fixed income or families struggling to make ends meet must be seeing? […]

Stocks, bonds, crypto all down. What to do, what to do?

| May 13, 2022

FoxBusiness/WSJ graphic For the good or bad, whenever I’m away from my daily routine, it seems like the financial markets lose stability and investors go into crisis mode? The past couple of weeks, those invested in stocks, bonds and crypto know that it has been painful; there have been very few refuges from the sharp […]

Dealing with rising prices and the Fed hitting the brakes

| April 23, 2022

As the Fed finally starts to deal with inflation, the market took note this month and seems to be selling off across the board. The expectation is that the economy will slow and as they say in the investing world, “don’t fight the Fed.” There isn’t a silver bullet that can keep businesses booming, paychecks […]

War, inflation, recession, oil prices and inverted yield curves

| March 26, 2022

The “pain at the pump” is definitely real if you are buying fuel and if you have spend the last decade with gas and diesel at 40+% lower than we are seeing today. That said, in inflation-adjusted dollars, we are still off the highest per barrel prices that we have seen (chart below). Most oil […]

John Steele Gordon and Milton Friedman on Inflation

| March 23, 2022

From a John Steele Gordon lecture at Hillsdale College … “money is just another commodity, no different from petroleum, pork bellies, or pig iron. So money, like all commodities, can rise and fall in price, depending on supply and demand. But because money is, by definition, the one commodity that is universally accepted in exchange […]

Pondering Stagflation in the US after Russia invades Ukraine

| March 2, 2022

I’m not an expert on how the events in Ukraine will impact the world, but I do pay close attention to geopolitical events, the financial markets and the economy … and can’t help but wonder how this will reshape our future. For the past year or so I’ve been grumbling about how the Biden administration’s […]

Paper magazines/newspaper delivery woes and shrinkflation

| February 17, 2022

Well, two doses of disappointing news in one week. First, the Bengals lose in Super Bowl 56, and then my Barron’s magazine gets smaller with even smaller type (requires a second pair of readers!). They call it “shrinkflation” in an attempt to save a few dollars and probably force subscribers into a 100% digital subscription. […]

Inflation Hot? (Part 2): Inverted Yield Curve and Recession

| February 12, 2022

Although this is really not a smooth continuation from yesterday’s “Inflation Hot” post, the financial and economic theme remains the same … so it will be considered “part 2.” The post left off with trying to stop inflation in the 1980s and forcing a recession, actually “back to back recessions.” We can all hope that […]

Inflation Hot? Stop it with a recession or two. (Part 1)

| February 11, 2022

It is pretty obvious to most consumers that even with years of the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates low, printing money and Congress spending, inflation remained in check at under 2%. Unfortunately after the last round of easy money policies during the pandemic, business shutdowns and government giving away money, this is no longer true. […]

How long can the U.S. keep bailing before the ship sinks?

| January 25, 2022

So … how’s the economy doing in 2022? Well, if you measure it based on the stock market or maybe finding a job (if you want to work) … then the façade looks ok. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find out that your paycheck doesn’t go that far … IF you can find what […]

We are thinking about retirement … in a few years!

| December 15, 2021

As Christmas cards arrive and the 15th of December hits, it is time to start winding down my business year and thinking about 2022 (BTW, we mailed our cards this week). One thing I have noticed this year is that more cards are from people who are now retired or are retiring. Hm … does […]

Lunch with Jeff, the economy, inflation and more nukes in China

| October 1, 2021

What once was a weekly or at least bi-monthly lunch with my friend Jeff, has shifted to once every 3 months or so since COVID19. It’s not all due to the pandemic as changes in work habits and eating out habits has contributed to neglecting getting together. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable to spend an hour […]

What are you going to invest in if inflation continues to rise?

| September 3, 2021

A friend asked me the other day, “what are you going to do if inflation becomes a bigger problem than it is already?” Good question … the canned answer (safe answer) is to be diversified. The reality is far more challenging. There was a day when the first reply was to own hard assets like […]

The “replacing our driveway project” is finally underway $$

| August 18, 2021

It is a month and a half late, but concrete companies and for that matter most construction companies are very busy this summer. The COVID19pandemic has put most projects behind and perhaps we should be thankful to be on their schedule. Tearing out (video from Canary Security Cam) and re-concreting a driveway is one of […]

The mixed messages on inflation and what does it mean?

| June 23, 2021

Although I’m likely tainted in having lived through a period where inflation was real and uncontrolled, I do worry that people living today either ignore or downplay the negative impact inflation, stagflation or worse … hyperinflation … can make on our country. For those who know me, I’ve likely been the “boy who calls wolf” […]

Mexican lunches, salsa, discussions, reading and a good friend

| June 6, 2021

For years now … no, it is now decades … my buddy Jeff and I have gone out for lunch ever other week and almost exclusively to a Mexican restaurant … primarily for the chips and salsa (and relaxed conversation). Before that, we lived in different cities (he in Florida and then Alabama … and […]

Bought a high efficient HVAC mini split unit for the home office

| May 29, 2021

A separate air conditioning unit has long been on my “want list” for my home office. I’ve contemplated adding a high efficiency minisplit inverter unit for years to better balance the southwest corner upstairs office in our house. It has never really been comfortable in the summer with multiple computers, printers and gadgets, especially in […]

What do MMT economists theorize? "The Deficit Myth" #book

| May 8, 2021

A few times before I’ve thought, and blogged about MMT or Modern Monetary Theory, when it comes to newfangled economics. Personally, I (nor many economists) can accept the thinking or rationalize the large deficits and debt path our country is on. In order to better understand the mind-set, I decided to read Stephanie Kelton’s book […]

Do you build or buy a new house this year or put it off?

| March 18, 2021

Real estate has been on a tear in many markets as the coronavirus has people moving from cities to the suburbs and their own piece of land. In my opinion it is not just COVID19 related, but that fact that cities aren’t as secure or as tax friendly to live in, especially on the east […]

Currently my favorite podcast: Streetwise by Jack Hough

| June 17, 2020

This content is restricted.

Low inflation. Will it continue? It depends on who you ask.

| January 5, 2020

An interesting take on “inflation” and how different generations perceive the possibility of it accelerating in the next decade or so … and perhaps the effect it can or will have on our lives. For example, in the graph below, pick your birth year and note the color bars to determine how many years of […]

What will higher diesel fuel cost mean for the economy? #inflation

| February 5, 2019

The prediction that diesel fuels will rise (“double in price” – note the last minute of the interview) is bound to impact the price of goods. Everything is shipped using diesel fuel, be it on ships, trains or trucks, and with those prices rising significantly, consumers will be paying. On the personal side, those of […]

Wages and prices rise as the economy improves. #inflation

| November 2, 2018

As the positive economy in the U.S. continues to grow America out of the "great recession" and rebound off the slow growth Obama years, we are seeing signs of inflation, hopefully just the right amount. Wages are rising and businesses sense they have pricing power and can raise prices (their cost are up too). Consumers […]

Fed’s Yellen says economy steady .. more hikes, bond wind down

| July 12, 2017

The United States is healthy enough to absorb further gradual rate increases and the slow wind down of the massive bond portfolio accumulated by the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in prepared testimony to be delivered to Congress Wednesday morning. Source: Fed’s Yellen says economy steady enough for more […]

Fed raises rates in June not September as expected

| June 14, 2017

Sort of a surprise to most Fed watchers today as the consensus was for the Federal Reserve to raise rates a 1/4 point in September, not June. Perhaps it won’t make much difference for the whole year, but Chair Janet Yellen obviously wants to stay ahead of the curve. The target inflation rate remain 2% […]

Pressure eases on Federal Reserve to continue rate hikes

| May 1, 2017

The rate of U.S. inflation for March was slower than expected just one month after hitting a five-year peak. The number reflects lower gasoline and consumer goods prices, including automobiles. Thiis could ease pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, even though central banks have telegraphed increases this year. The U.S. economy is […]

How much do babysitters get paid in 2015?

| March 25, 2015

Nationally the pay for babysitters is up in 2015 according to care.com as reported on CNBC this morning. When the reports indicate that wage growth is stagnent and inflation is at bay, they obviously don't have kids to take care of …

VJ Day and what has happened to the dollar since 1946

| August 20, 2014

There were a few articles on VJ day this past weekend marking the anniversary of Victory over Japan and focused on the relief we felt ending World War II. While glancing at the front pages, it made me realize how the dollar has lost value … or if you’re dollar biased, how much goods and […]

Be sure to accurately factor inflation when retirement planning

| July 28, 2014

I regularly eyeball the government’s reported CPI inflation data (although question the applicability for real living in America?), and am concerned for those planning or already retired living on their “conservatively” invested savings. Many that I’ve talked with moved to cash positions after the 2008 recession or moved to much more conservative investments. Others hold […]

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 […]

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 […]

How long will the dollar be worth a dollar?

| September 27, 2012

After three rounds of Federal Reserve quantitative easing and the pumping money into the system, the economy remains depressed and there is growing concern over eventual inflation. The buying power of the U.S. dollar is noticeably weaker for those with stagnate earnings — most of middle-class America. Who knows when government inaction on trade, deficits, […]

Inflation up. Wages and salaries stagnant. (except government)

| October 23, 2011

The new CPI numbers (Consumer Price Index) released by the government verify what most balancing family budgets already know … inflation is taking a bigger bite out of incomes. Most private sector workers feel fortunate just to be employed and have seen their take-home pay and benefits stagnate or retreat. Everyone I know has had […]

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.
My Desultory Blog