“Take This Job and Shove It”

This is a country music song written by David Allan Coe and popularized by Johnny Paycheck.  Perhaps you should be careful what you ask for. Between the increasing use of automation and rising minimum wages, the potential for reduced employment opportunities may make it increasingly important to hang on to the job you have. There … Continued

She Who Controls the Money Supply of a Nation…

Money not only talks, but it sings and dances.  Therefore, when the Federal Reserve Bank talk’s people not only listen, but they analyze, strategize, speculate, and more.  The Fed’s power has significant influence over global financial markets and the world, making their words and actions of the utmost importance to us all. Given the recent … Continued

Subsidies and Risk

Investing in industries that enjoy significant subsidies may carry additional risks.  Subsidies, typically granted by government to support desired public policy, can also be revoked or materially altered. For example, home solar panel systems have seen considerable growth, particularly in states that have mandated large payouts to residents who generate more renewable energy than they … Continued

Saber Rattling

According to Wikipedia, the term saber-rattling, was based on an incident in Chilean history that took place on September 3, 1924, when a group of young military officers protested against the political class and the postponement of social measures by rattling their sabers within their scabbards. The term is now applied generally to cover an … Continued

Irresponsible Borrowing

The world is awash in irresponsible borrowing.  Governments, companies and individuals borrow money without a clear path to repayment.  In addition, governments and companies commit to long-term obligations, primarily in the areas of retirement and health care, without appropriate funding.  Unfunded liabilities are, for all practical purposes, debt. This tendency has been exacerbated by unusually … Continued

Markets and Predictions

Attempting to predict the stock market can be hazardous at best and usually unsuccessful.  However, there is an old, and frequently accurate, adage that suggests that the market tends to fool most of the people, most of the time. In that regard, data recently published by LPL Research, suggests that there are fewer bulls today … Continued

Cheaper Gasoline and the Environment

Most consumers’ interest in better vehicle fuel economy is limited to saving money at the gas pump and the environmental damage associated with burning fossil fuels.  With significantly cheaper gasoline, the economic incentive to reduce fuel consumption is materially diminished.  The environmental issues remain the same. With average U.S. fleet fuel efficiency approximating 25 miles … Continued


The administration has proposed a $10 per barrel tax on oil producers to fund a sweeping set of green transportation initiatives.  The tax would be phased in over a period of five years and is being billed as part of the fight against climate change. Investors should note that this is, in effect, a $0.25 … Continued

California Water Update

California’s drought conditions continue to reflect the effectiveness of conservation measures and increased precipitation.  The state’s second snow survey indicated that the snow pack was at 130% of average at the measurement point in the Sierra Nevada.  Reservoir levels are up, but still well below desired levels.  El Niño-fueled storms have delivered January rainfall at … Continued

Unknown Unknowns

The following phrase is taken from then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s response to a question during a news briefing on February 12, 2002. “Reports that say something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know.  We also know that there … Continued

Water, Water Everywhere…But Not A Drop To Drink

This excerpt from S. T. Coleridge’s “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner”, while generally an apt description of coastal areas like California, doesn’t have to be true. California’s water shortages have made the national news with increasingly severe restrictions on water usage.  The State’s problems stem from increasing population, natural fluctuations in precipitation and other factors. … Continued

Big $ and the Auto Industry

Investors would be well served by carefully considering dollar announcements relating to auto industry results and activities in the context of the industry’s size. For example, GM and Lyft recently announced an alliance and a $500 million investment by GM.  Lyft management has stated that the partnership reflects a common view on a number of … Continued