Empty Suits

An empty suit is generally defined as an executive, manager or official regarded as ineffectual, incompetent, or lacking in leadership qualities such as creativity and empathy. Companies can also be empty suits if they lack a clearly defined purpose or a viable business model.  Just as judging a potential employee’s potential is difficult, and prone … Continued

Coal Versus Climate, Now Versus Sometime

The world is in the middle of a major energy dilemma.   Rising prices and reduced availability of natural gas have forced a shift to increased dependence on coal generated electricity. Even before the war in Ukraine, many countries were turning to coal, probably the dirtiest fossil fuel, to meet the increasing demand for electric power.  … Continued

Does America Need a Bigger Navy?

It seems that depends on who you ask.  The Wall Street Journal, in a recent editorial, made a strong case for the importance of naval power in an increasingly dangerous world.  On the other side, Congresswoman Rashida Talib, in a response to President Biden’s State of the Union address, said “we can’t seek peace by … Continued

Is Ukraine the Next DMZ?

Readers may recall the establishment of a demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea as part of the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement.  You might also recall the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis, in which Russia sought to deploy ballistic missiles in Cuba.  These two events suggest that a buffer zone can be helpful and, … Continued

Drill, Baby, Drill

Drill, baby, drill was a 2008 Republican campaign slogan, that may have made sense at the time, but it’s too late now.  Sky rocketing energy prices, due to a combination of causes, including increases in demand, the war in Ukraine and political and environmental pressure on producers, are becoming a significant problem.  Unfortunately, there are … Continued

Has Putin Led Russia Into a Quagmire?

No one really knows how the current conflict in Ukraine is going to end.  However, in the interim, it might be helpful to consider some of the possibilities.  The war is clearly going very badly for Ukraine’s civilians, as Russia appears to have embarked on a ruthless, scorched earth strategy.  Based on limited reports from … Continued

Don’t be a Financial Hypochondriac

Wikipedia defines hypochondria as a condition in which a person is excessively and unduly worried about having a serious illness.  Hypochondriacs become unduly alarmed about any physical or psychological symptom they detect, no matter how minor the symptom may be, and are convinced that they have, or are about to be diagnosed with, a serious … Continued

Guns or Butter

The phrase, guns or butter, sometimes stated as guns and butter, refers to the political dynamics in a federal government’s allocation to defense versus social programs, when deciding on a budget.  Both areas can be critically important to a nation’s economy and election outcomes.  Historically, the electorate has tended to favor social programs.  However, this … Continued

War In Ukraine

The horrors of war can never be understated.  Loss of life, grave injury, and the trauma of mortal threats never leaves ones soul.  We pray for the well-being of all Ukrainians. While sobering, as investment professionals we are called at all times to weigh the investment climate with an eye towards our fiduciary obligation to … Continued

More Expensive, Less Convenient?

Perhaps not the best slogan for an advertising campaign, but may reflect the current, and perhaps near term, status of electric vehicles (EVs) compared to internal combustion engines (ICE).  This may continue to be an issue as the world’s vehicle industry begins to roll out a significant number of new EVs.  Initial demand, based on … Continued

Climate Progress?

John Kerry, the U.S. special envoy on climate change, recently said, “We’re in trouble, I hope everyone understands that.” He went on to say, “The world is not on a good track to meet a global goal to avoid the worst impacts of climate change”.  Actually, we may be going in the wrong direction.  Both … Continued

If You Can Find a Better Job, Take It.

To paraphrase Lee Iacocca’s sales pitch, “If you can find a better car, buy it”.  This is how the economy works.  There has been considerable media focus on the so called “Great Resignation”, a term created to describe the large number of people who are quitting their current jobs. The important thing for investors to … Continued