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Universal Basic Income

Over the last several years there have been a number of proposals by economists and political scientists that would substitute universal basic income policies as credible alternatives to existing social programs such as unemployment insurance. The idea is straight forward:  Provide citizens with a minimum allowance, without means-testing, that would give everyone the means to […]

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Volatility – Once and Again!

Within the past week, common stock prices have gyrated widely (again).  The bias has been to the downside.  The cause du jour is high yield bonds and concerns over the solvency of some of the issuers of this low rated debt, and liquidity for buyers and sellers of their debt securities.  In particular, energy companies […]

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Peak Vehicle Sales?

It appears very likely that, in 2016, U.S. sales of motor vehicles will exceed 18.0 million, a new record, handily topping the previous record of 17.35 million vehicles in 2000. This is very good news, supporting an improving economy and providing the background for strong wage gains for auto workers.  Unfortunately, history tells us that […]

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Cost Versus Price

One of the more interesting business conundrums is; are prices set by costs or are costs reflective of prices?  Clearly, there are no easy answers.  Many business contracts are negotiated on a “cost/plus” basis, while others are based on a firm bid price for a specific product or service. Investors should be aware of the […]

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Saving: Good or Bad?

  Over the years, we have all probably been encouraged to save, first by parents and then by assorted financial advisors.  Clearly, saving is important and most of us should have cash reserves to cover several months of expenses and be putting something aside for retirement.  To that extent, saving is good. The big picture […]

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Fed Watching: “One and Done”? Why?

Fed watchers have stepped up speculation regarding possible Fed action in December.  The consensus appears to be moving toward a “one and done” theory, whereby the Fed would introduce a modest increase in interest rates in December and then do nothing further for an extended period. Does this make sense? If the Fed is increasing […]

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