What Is Insurance, and What Is Not

The Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) has triggered a significant increase in discourse on the issue of “health insurance”. This may be something of a misnomer. Wikipedia defines insurance as ”the equitable transfer of the risk of loss, from one entity to another in exchange for payment”. Let’s look at some familiar examples, auto, home and … Continued

Natural Gas, Jobs and the Stock Market

Energy is a key cost consideration for many businesses. Natural gas is generally considered to be the least worst of the widely available fossil fuels. Thanks to new technologies, the U. S. has an abundance of natural gas at very attractive prices. Natural gas can be easily and economically transported by pipeline. However, ocean transport … Continued

Efficient Markets and Norovirus

In finance, the efficient market hypothesis asserts that financial markets are “informationally efficient” and reflect the available information. Sometimes it is difficult to completely discern what the markets actually know. Consider the cruise industry and Norovirus. Norovirus is a very contagious virus, it is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the U. S. … Continued

Choosing Not To Work

There has been a debate of long standing between recognized economists as to whether unemployment benefits and other programs are an essential safety net or an incentive to “choose” not to work. While this remains complicated and controversial, a recent report from the CBO, Congress’s official score keeper, suggests that Obamacare will cause approximately 2.5 … Continued

Wages and Sandwiches

There has recently been a heightened interest in the appropriate level for the minimum wage and whether it should be increased. Clearly, this is a highly political discussion, with strong views on both sides. That is probably healthy, but investors should set aside their opinions and direct their attention to the possible affect on their … Continued