The Rule of Law

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted of corruption yesterday. There was widespread speculation that a jury of his peers might acquit in spite of compelling evidence to the contrary. This would have been a blow to the rule of law and the fortunes of cities with a culture of corruption that were/are attempting recovery. … Continued

Fair Share?

Phil Mickelson, one of the world’s leading golfers, reportedly sent shock waves at last weekend’s golf tournament when he said “there are going to be some serious changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state. And, you know, it doesn’t work for … Continued

Let’s Hope

I hope on this day, the second inauguration of President Obama, that he and the republicans in Congress hold it in their hearts to compromise where needed to advance the cause of ALL Americans. Comments or questions welcomed. Bob Bilkie, CFA

2012 Was a Good Year for the Auto Industry

Industry sales of light vehicles increased 13.4% to 14.5 million units compared to 12.8 million in 2011. By any measure, this represented another year of strong recovery and was certainly a key factor in providing additional employment at both the OEM and supplier levels. Industry observers are expecting further gains in 2013. Rising sales also … Continued

Are You Supporting Your Employer?

If you work for Ford or GM and drive a Toyota, you are not supporting your employer. If you work for a municipality but live and shop in a different community, you are not supporting your employer. Fortunately, we live in a country with many freedoms. No one is going to force you to buy … Continued

How Do You Value a Painting like The Scream?

Edvar Munch’s The Scream achieved the highest price ever for a painting at auction this week when the bidding closed at nearly $120 million.  It is one of the most famous paintings in the world, featured on posters hanging in college dorm rooms around the world (I had one in mine) and featured in movies such as … Continued

Risks of ”Curbing Speculation”

President Obama announced today that his administration is interested in “curbing speculation” in the oil markets.  Is this a laudable goal?  We have to remember how speculation fits into the overall transactional marketplace.  Many businesses rely on speculators speculating to reduce their risk.  For example, a farmer has to commit to purchasing seeds, fertilizer, equipment … Continued