Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: Business

Bi Partisan Corporatism

“Left and Right alike are partly or wholly captive to the fantasies of managerial progressivism and neo-mercantilism, with the Left imagining that Washington can intelligently direct energy and labor markets and much of the Right falling in behind protectionism, “managed trade,” and corporate welfare for everybody from Boeing to Foxconn.”

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The Real Purpose of a Bailout

Pouring money into a problem without fixing the underlying problem accomplishes the political task of surviving an election cycle.  The people who voted for this nonsense are long gone and no longer held to account.

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The Longest Bull

The tariffs and the growing debt are threats, but bull markets do not require perfection. They just require sound fundamentals and a dearth of alternative investments.  

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Internet Sales Tax Ruling

Many small businesses that ship online will be hurt by this ruling. Complying with the tax codes for 48 states that charge sales tax will be crippling for many of them.  There will be a need for a third party to manage the sales tax issue for thousands of small online businesses. This will likely serve to make Amazon and other large online retailers bigger and more powerful in the internet sales arena. 

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Humble Capitalism- Observation on the Berkshire Hathaway Meeting

Patience is a virtue and a vice for Americans.  We can be suckers for simplistic formulas, excess leverage, and delusions of certainty. Buffet and Munger avoid these traps.  Our obsession with finance distracts from the effective and efficient production of goods and services, engagement with the customer, and the patience and faith to adhere to sound principles.

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The Limits of Rent Seeking

from Garry, Patrick M.. The False Promise of Big Government: How Washington Helps the Rich and Hurts the Poor (Kindle Locations 336-343). Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Kindle Edition. In 2015 the Capital Research Center reported that GE had spent more than $300…

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Passive Aggressive Investing

from Barron’s and Randall Forsyth, Is It Time to Return to Active Stock-Picking? What’s needed, say some outspoken active investors, is a return to old-fashioned Houseman–Smith Barney securities selection, rather than the tide of passive investing washing over the financial…

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Focus on Growth not Trade Balance

From the Wall Street Journal Editorials,  About That Obama Boom: A closing word to Trumpians who will point to the fourth-quarter decline in net exports that subtracted 1.7% from GDP. Part of the explanation is that a bumper crop of soybean…

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Prosperity and Inflation

from Steve Forbes, The Fed Needs A New Leader–And New Policies, Too: Yellen openly and unapologetically made clear that our central bank still hews to the discredited theory that prosperity causes inflation. “The economy is operating relatively close to full…

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The True Function of the Corporate Income Tax

From Holman Jenkins at The WSJ, Harmonize this Eurocrats,  What about the undoubted problem of companies like Apple shielding their globally earned profits behind a small country’s friendly tax regime? There’s a remarkably sanitary solution: Get rid of the corporate…

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The New Trusts

from The Great Regression in The National Review by Victor Davis Hanson As a result of liberal hyper-wealth, the new trusts are given veritable media and political passes on their embrace of practices once seen as illiberal and self-serving, like excessive electronic…

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The True Cost of Low Rates

From Barron’s Stephanie Pomboy: A Grim Outlook for the Economy, Stocks by Leslie Norton In the past rates that were too high were the trigger (for a financial crisis). Not this time. No. 1, we have basically bankrupted corporate and state and…

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Stifling Inflation and Productivity

From The Reasons Behind the Obama Non-Recovery by Robert Barro in The Wall Street Journal The main U.S. policy used to counter the Great Recession was increased government transfer payments. Federal social benefits to persons as a ratio to GDP…

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Known and Unknown Risks

No government policy can remove the risk of investment; the best they can do is not add to the risks by adding uncertainty to the environment. The reason that strangers from all over the country will congregate to a blackjack…

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The Home Ownership Myth

from The Wall Street Journal, The Housing Non Crisis The home ownership rate is a largely meaningless statistic that has more to do with politics than economics. For starters, it promotes the myth that owning a home is the key…

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A Thousand Course Smorgasboard

from The Clinton Plan’s Growth Deficit by John Cochrane in The Wall Street Journal The rest of Mrs. Clinton’s economic agenda is a thousand-course smorgasbord of government expansions, with the same deficiencies. A random sample: Higher taxes on capital gains and corporations.…

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Hillary’s World

From John Cochrane at The Grumpy Economist,  Clinton Plan: There are no numbers here anywhere. The $275 billion is clearly just a made up number that sounds sort of big but not so big as to attract tax-and-spend criticism. Because…

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Inventory Growth

From Barron’s Stephanie Pomboy: A Grim Outlook for the Economy, Stocks by Leslie Norton What’s caused this growth in inventories? It isn’t because companies ramped up production. Companies aren’t using cheap capital to increase production and capital expenditures, but are lavishing money…

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Ass Backwards Policy

From Barron’s Stephanie Pomboy: A Grim Outlook for the Economy, Stocks by Leslie Norton The statistics bear this out. Over the last four years, U.S. nominal GDP growth has gone from 4.3% to 4.1% to 3% to 2.4%. The deflator, the inflation…

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Power and Blockchain

from Richard Fernandez at PJ Media, The End of the Memory Hole But just to illustrate how things have changed for the State we now know that Orwell was wrong.  The mathematically dominant method for recording transactions, whether they involve the transfer of financial assets, intellectual…

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