Are China’s Climate Promises Feasible?

China’s economy is heavily dependent on coal powered electric energy.  We have previously discussed China’s dependence on coal. (See our blogs titled Climate, Coal and China and Coal).  In order to meaningfully reduce China’s dependence on coal, solutions to two primary roadblocks will have to be found.  Specifically, the availability of scalable and economically practical … Continued

Real Signs of Inflation?

A theme seems to be emerging as we monitor the release of information made by public companies’ earnings reports and shared forward looking guidance – the decision to increase prices on their products and services. A company’s decision to increase prices can be made based on current or anticipated increased costs of production. The time … Continued

Employees are a Valuable Asset

That should be obvious.  While current unemployment data is confusing at best, and may be obscuring the probability that the U.S. is looking at a longer term labor shortage, employers should be recognizing the long-term importance of being an employer of choice. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, one of the country’s largest private employers, … Continued

Voluntary Taxes

With the current atmosphere in Washington, it might be a good time to recognize that some federal, state and local taxes are partially or substantially voluntary, and/or deferrable depending on personal choices. For example, capital gains tax liabilities are currently triggered by the sale of an asset at a profit.  Any liability can be entirely or … Continued

How Many Raisins in a Box of Raisin Bran?

That depends on how you define raisin. There has been a significant increase in the number of exchange traded funds (ETFs) offering a focused emphasis on current fashionable investment themes.  While a diverse portfolio may offer the best long term results, many investors, at least with part of their portfolios, are seeking opportunities to concentrate … Continued

Who Pays Corporate Taxes?

With the increasing probability that the federal corporate income tax rate is going up, we are seeing the usual, politically based projections, as to who will pay the higher rates.  Some are saying that it will be investors and others are saying that it will be labor. It may well be everyone.  All taxes charged … Continued

Know-nothing Investing

Over the last several quarters we have seen an increase in market activity by individuals who seem to take pride in how much they don’t know about the stocks they are trading.  This is not investing.  Perhaps it is trading, wagering or just plain “rolling the dice.” Over the short run, this may not be … Continued

International Travel and Covid-19

With the development and gradual deployment of effective vaccines, travelers, the hospitality industry and investors are thinking about what should be required before a restart for widespread international travel.  Any attempt to look forward must, at least for now, recognize that border crossing requirements vary widely for most countries.  Travelers should also realize that it … Continued


Kanban, also known as just-in-time manufacturing, is a methodology aimed primarily at reducing times within the production system, as well as response times from suppliers and to customers.  The origin and development of this system is generally attributed to Japan, largely in the 1960s and 1970s, and to Toyota in particular.  More recently, the concepts … Continued

2020: The Year of Asset Appreciation

As recessions go, 2020 was clearly different.  At least in aggregate, household net worth increased, instead of experiencing significant economic stress.  The most recent Federal Reserve data indicates that household net worth increased to $122.9 trillion in the fourth quarter, from $114.2 trillion in the year-ago period.  By comparison, during the previous recession, household net … Continued

Climate, Coal and China

China is putting forth a vision of continuing economic growth in conjunction with a reduction in greenhouse gas pollution.  The plan calls for a peaking in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, and net carbon neutrality before 2060.  This may be difficult.  We have previously discussed China’s dependence on coal.  (See our blog dated 2019-2-13). China’s … Continued

Where are the Babies?

New data for 2020 suggests that there has been a sharp decline in the global birthrate.  Apparently, the combined effects of the pandemic, lockdowns and the global recession that followed, have contributed to a reduction in the world wide fertility rate.  We previously discussed the expected long-term decline in the U.S. birth rate in our … Continued