ESG?  Who Decides?

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Investopedia defines environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria as a set of standards for a company’s behavior to be used by socially conscious investors to screen potential investments.  S&P has developed an index that purports to align investment objectives with ESG values.  This is all well and good, but investors should be sure that the … Continued

The Electric Utility Dilemma

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American electric utilities are currently faced with a need to make significant investments in an ageing grid, prepare for electric vehicle power demand, and transition to renewable energy sources while addressing increasing pressure from consumer advocates relating to residential electricity affordability. It’s supposed to be relatively straightforward.  Typically, regulated utilities determine what they will need to charge … Continued

The cure for inflation is more inflation?

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There may be some truth to this.  Along with almost everything else, the causes of, and potential solutions to, the U.S. inflation problem, are being politicized.  Depending on who you ask, our current inflation problem is caused by; Covid-19, supply-chain disruptions, wages, corporate greed, the American Rescue plan, and the war in Ukraine, to mention … Continued

Buy Now, “Regret” Later

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Americans seem to be increasing their use of buy now, pay later (BNPL) financing and some are coming to regret it.  There is nothing new about buying something and paying for it later.  BNPL is just another, more modern iteration, with the new part the ease of access and the lack of regulation, compared to … Continued

Guts and Gold

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Investors, quite naturally, are very interested in the possible course of events in Ukraine.  History suggests that in the case of perceived mismatches in military strength, courage and a robust, external supply chain, food, medical and armaments, can be surprisingly helpful to the smaller combatant.  At this time, it is clear that the people of … Continued

The Student Loan Dilemma

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At the end of 2021, the outstanding U.S. student debt stood at $1.75 trillion.  This is a problem.  Efforts to collect on this debt have proven to be complicated, largely unsuccessful, and problematic.  Proposals to forgive some or all of this debt appear to be currently, politically impossible.  The administration, stuck with campaign promises to … Continued

Keep on Truckin’

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Apparently Walmart is all in on this with the recent announcement of an increase in pay for in-house truck drivers and an expansion of a program to train existing workers to become drivers.  Walmart will be offering some of its current employees an opportunity to participate in a 12-week course to become a certified truck … Continued

Affordable Housing

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The definition of affordable housing may change, depending on the country and context.  As a practical matter, in most instances, affordable really means subsidized.  The critical issue for investors is, who is providing the subsidy and how will that affect expected returns? The pursuit of affordable housing can take many forms.  There do not appear … Continued

Catching Up

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By now you may have noticed that both stock and bond markets have been weak and that this may have affected your portfolio.  Naturally, you are probably thinking about how to orchestrate a recovery to the higher values you were enjoying before the recent decline in the financial markets.  You may also understand the math of … Continued

What Are They Thinking?

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According to the USDA, more than 38 million people, including 12 million children, in the United States are food insecure. The Administration has visited Iowa to announce a proposal to expand the use of ethanol. Do we really have to use food to attempt to reduce the price of gasoline?  All comments and suggestions are … Continued

Land Grabbing

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Wikipedia defines land grabbing as the contentious issue of large-scale land acquisitions: the buying or leasing of large pieces of land by domestic and transnational companies, governments, and individuals.  Russia appears to be taking this concept a step further by using military force. Prior to Russia’s invasion, Ukraine has not been all that visible in … Continued

Pain at the Pump

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By now nearly everyone is aware of the sharp increase in the retail price of motor fuels, following significant increases in the price of oil.  It shouldn’t be a surprise that this has caught the attention of politicians whose interest may be heightened by concerns relating to the mid-term elections scheduled for November 8.  This … Continued