Thoughts About Energy – Part II

Last July we blogged about the outlook for energy in general and natural gas more specifically, particularly with regard to the potential for significant exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Now we have Japan’s Prime Minister meeting with our President to seek his support for shale gas imports to Japan. This is going to be … Continued

‘To our US Government: You can’t cut 10%? C’mon!”

Front page headline, February 12, 2013 Wall Street Journal– “Millions Improperly Used Phone Program”. . Business front page headline, February 12, 2013 New York Times– “Waste Is Seen in Program to Give Internet Access to Rural U.S.” Opposite ends of the political spectrum, but same conclusion. How much more is wasted by the US government … Continued

An Ounce of Prevention

This week’s Sunday New York Times carried an editorial about some shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act (Read article here). In particular, it cites a recent interpretation of a particular clause of the law made by the Internal Revenue Service which results in more modest subsidies for health insurance coverage than it feels is appropriate. … Continued

Will Interest Rates Ever Go Up?

Yes, but perhaps not as soon as many expect. It is well-established that many of the world’s governments, including our own, are printing money and, historically, this has proven to be inflationary which usually leads to higher interest rates. However, up to now, money printing has not led to significant, broadly-based inflation. The Fed has … Continued

Interest Rates and Fuel Economy

These two high-profile issues have been receiving a great deal of attention and can materially affect personal finances. However, in both cases, more important issues, critical to the decision process, are getting less attention. Consider interest rates. Many investors are disappointed in returns hovering around 2-3%, compared to historical expectations in the 4-6% range. As … Continued

Fair Share?

Phil Mickelson, one of the world’s leading golfers, reportedly sent shock waves at last weekend’s golf tournament when he said “there are going to be some serious changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state. And, you know, it doesn’t work for … Continued

Let’s Hope

I hope on this day, the second inauguration of President Obama, that he and the republicans in Congress hold it in their hearts to compromise where needed to advance the cause of ALL Americans. Comments or questions welcomed. Bob Bilkie, CFA

When Will It All End?

In 1977, the US Government passed the Community Reinvestment Act. According to Wikipedia, the purpose of the law was to compel banks and other lenders (at the risk of losing their charters) to “…reduce discriminatory credit practices against low-income neighborhoods, a practice known as redlining.” Flash forward to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer … Continued

Is the President Still Running for Office?

Short answer: Of course not, he is restricted to two terms. Longer answer: He wants to see Nancy Pelosi reelected as Speaker of the House. It is clear that he enjoyed the first two years of his first term more than the second two years. He is now faced with another two years of disputes … Continued

2012 Was a Good Year for the Auto Industry

Industry sales of light vehicles increased 13.4% to 14.5 million units compared to 12.8 million in 2011. By any measure, this represented another year of strong recovery and was certainly a key factor in providing additional employment at both the OEM and supplier levels. Industry observers are expecting further gains in 2013. Rising sales also … Continued

Credit to Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman, columnist for the New York Times, wrote an outstanding editorial, “More Risk-Taking, Less Poll-Taking”, in yesterday’s paper. The concluding paragraph, cited below, sums up the gist of the article and is worth reading and contemplating at length. Much wisdom regarding the improvement in our country’s fortunes rests in these words. ‘Obama has spent … Continued