Joseph Y. Calhoun

A Prudent Man (Person)

Prudence: noun 1. The ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason 2. Sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs 3. Skill and good judgment in the use of resources 4. Caution or circumspection as to danger or risk Synonyms: alertness, care, carefulness, cautiousness, chariness, circumspection, gingerliness, guardedness, heedfulness, caution, wariness…

Bi-Weekly Economic Review

When I wrote the update two weeks ago I said that we might be nearing the point of maximum optimism. Apparently, there is another gear for optimism in this market as stocks have just continued to slowly but surely reach for the sky. Which is fine I suppose since we own the devils (although not…

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: Maximum Optimism?

The economic reports of the last two weeks were generally of a more positive tone. The majority of reports were better than expected although it must be noted that many of those reports were of the sentiment variety, reflecting optimism about the future that may or may not prove warranted. Markets have certainly responded to…

Bi-Weekly Economic Review: As Good As It Gets

The incoming economic data hasn’t changed its tone all that much in the last several years. The US economy is growing but more slowly than it once did and we hope it does again. It is frustrating for economic bulls and bears, never fully satisfying either. Probably more important is the frustration of the average…

Bi-Weekly Economic Review:

The economic reports released since the last update were slightly more upbeat than the previous period. The economic surprises have largely been on the positive side but there were some major disappointments as well. The economy has been doing this for several years now, one part of the economy waxing while another wanes and the…

More Noise Than Signal

A number of people have forwarded this Bloomberg article – Wall Street Banks Warn Downturn Is Coming –  to me over the last couple of days. That fact alone is probably a good argument to ignore it but I can’t help but read articles like this if for no other reason than to know what…

Questions

Why are profit margins persistently high? With decent earnings this quarter, corporate profits as a % of GDP will approach (maybe exceed) 10% again. That is abnormally high compared to the period 1960 to 2000.  Margins actually started to rise in the mid-80s but really accelerated after 2000 and outside of the 2008 crisis have remained…