Guts and Gold

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

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’

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

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

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?

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

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

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

“It’s Not Easy Being Green” – Kermit the Frog

This is not a good time to be an environmentalist.  The world is dealing with a serious shortage of electric energy, which, together with the war in Ukraine, is forcing an increase in the use of fossil fuels, particularly coal.  Moreover, there does not appear to be any viable short-term solutions in sight, and potential … Continued

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