“What Fools These Mortals Be.”

This is a line spoken by Puck in Shakespeare’s play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  Argentina recently announced its ninth sovereign debt default. That Argentina defaulted should not have been a surprise, but that the country had an opportunity to default a ninth time makes one wonder just who lends money to a serial defaulter after … Continued

China Has a Bad Debt Problem

China has lent billions to poor countries, and now they can’t pay it back.  Perhaps China should have heeded J. Paul Getty’s observation, “If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem, if you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” China’s global lending spree, which, over the last two decades, showered less … Continued

The Victor

Bob Bilkie, my husband and co-conspirator in both my home and work life, wrote a blog in late March regarding my mom’s health and her fighting spirit.  As a recap, my mom was admitted to St. Joseph Mercy hospital in Ann Arbor in early February.  She fought her way through five abdominal surgeries and a … Continued

Is America One Country?

Yes, but it is also a country comprising 50 states.  States’ rights is a complicated issue, but sufficed to say, state Governors have considerable powers, specifically enumerated in the U.S. Constitution, and do not have to always march in lock step to edicts from Washington.  This may prove to be a good thing in assessing … Continued

Social Isolation

Much is being written on the potential psychological effects of social isolation.  This is not the place for an extensive review of all of the possible impacts of a lack of normal social interaction.  However, it is important to recognize that we have evolved to be social creatures.  For all of history, people have been … Continued

Universal Basic Income: Is the Vatican On Board?

We have previously discussed proposals by economists and political scientists that would substitute universal basic income (UBI) policies as credible alternatives to existing social programs such as unemployment insurance. (See blogs titled Universal Basic Income, Universal Basic Income Revisited, Universal Basic Income – A Setback?, Universal Basic Income: Now India? and Universal Basic Income for America?). … Continued

Does U.S. Government Debt Carry the Risk of Default?

No!  Yes, the U.S. Treasury is in the process of borrowing $3 trillion to pay for the coronavirus response.  It is not surprising that this unprecedented increase in the national debt has given rise to the issue of default.  But the short and simple answer is, no, because the government can print money.  If you borrow … Continued

Smart Investing

There is smart investing and not so smart investing. Smart investors work with a trusted advisor(s) to develop a long term strategy that reflects their resources, risk profile, and other factors that are relevant to their specific circumstances.  Smart investors avoid impulse transactions, understand their portfolios and remember that investing, as contrasted with speculating, is … Continued

Necessity Is the Mother of Invention

“Necessity is the mother of invention” is a proverb that means, roughly, the primary driving force for most new inventions is a need. Now, with the world in the throes of dealing with the health and economic impact of Covid-19, the need for solutions could not be higher. While it is essentially impossible to describe … Continued

Predictive Modelling

  Predictive modelling uses statistics to predict outcomes.  It is important to recognize that models are only as good as the modeler, who is only as good as the available data.  Modelling is essentially an exercise in collecting and combining available information and, to some extent, estimates by the modeler.  Some, but not all, of … Continued

Black Swan Theory

According to Wikipedia, a black swan event is a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight.  In other words, a black swan event is being blindsided, followed by finger pointing, based on 20/20 hindsight. Black … Continued