Abolish the Electoral College? Be careful for what you wish

Harold Black, PhDBlog

In Loving Memory of my Mother, Harriet Barfield Black, August 6, 1918-April 20, 2020 I am having COVID-19 fatigue. It’s appropriate that the first three letters and the last two letters of pandemic spell panic because it seems that every action and reaction to the virus is knee jerk. Our leaders, on virtually every level, medical experts, modelers, politicians, academics and pundits all give the impression that no one knows what they are doing. That is why I have decided on taking a leave of absence from the COVID-19 panic and opine on another subject entirely: the Electoral College. There … Read More

A letter to the class of 2020

David MoonBlog

Congratulations. Now your work really starts. If you are leaving high school and headed to college, do not listen to the people who tell you that college will be the best time of your life. I certainly hope that isn’t true for you. Living mostly independently for the first time can be the most important time of your life, but I hope your life doesn’t peak at 20. Right now, you are developing the habits that will serve you for the remainder of your life.  Don’t leave that to chance. Decide what habits you want to have when you are … Read More

Don’t close economy to save it

David MoonBlog

There are reasons to continue certain business restrictions in the fight against the coronavirus, but the economy is not one of them. Be wary of those advising that we must close the economy in order to save it. That argument fails the smell test and is based on faulty logic. A recent headline warned, “Economist urges continuation of social distancing to avoid recession.” I have news for this economist: we are going to have a recession. And the longer Americans remain non-producing, the worse it will be. A March 27 policy brief from some different economists (these at the University … Read More

Open your statement

David MoonBlog

Open your statement. As tempting as it may be to stick your head in the sand, look at your March 31 401(k) statement. There is a possibility that your actual account value decline is less than you think. It’s not likely, but it’s possible. With the prospect of 25 percent or more unemployment and history’s steepest quarterly GDP decline, your poor first quarter investment return may be less horrible than you imagine. You also need to see what a bad quarter looks like, especially if you’re young. If you’re in your 20s, your 401(k) may have declined 30 percent, but … Read More

The Great Suppression

David MoonBlog

Our country has survived a Great Depression and a Great Recession. I have confidence that we will survive this economic calamity. When we do, I suggest we name this period the Great Suppression. Never has a country been intentionally thrust into a recession by its leaders. In a matter of weeks, the process has been repeated by every developed economy, almost simultaneously. The Great Suppression. We don’t have any historical precedent or model for this. An economy isn’t like a television that responds immediately to the pressing of an on/off switch. Well, we’ve learned that an economy does respond pretty instantly when you turn it off. But we can be … Read More

David Moon and Hallerin Hilton Hill

David MoonBlog

David and Hallerin Hilton Hill discuss the possible medium-to-long term economic implications of our public policy decisions in the fight against COVID-19. (Hallerin Hilton Hill show, NewsTalk 98.7, March 24, 2020) Listen:

Crisis criminals deserve special hell

David MoonBlog

A crisis brings out the good in people. In some people, that is. In others, it brings out their worst – whether it is elected officials in Washington selling their personal hotel stocks before Congress destroys the hotel industry or someone trying to hack into your bank account. We recently had a client who was the target of a very sophisticated attempt at wire fraud – an attempt that included the perpetrator actually registering a domain name almost identical to that of an organization on which our client is a board member. Would-be criminals are using people’s natural good intentions and desire for … Read More

Pandemic people watching

David MoonBlog

The coronavirus has taught us quite a bit in the past month, even if all of it isn’t true. We’ve learned about flattening the curve and social distancing. And although the primary purpose of Facebook is to propagate misinformation and feed narcissists’ egos, the social media platform can actually be used for good when some kids don’t have ready replacements for their lost school lunches. I’ve learned quite a bit about people. After my third email message within about 10 days to our clients, one of them texted me, telling me that my communiques were appreciated, but a waste of … Read More

Coronavirus economic fallout continues

David MoonBlog

In the wake of continued stock market mayhem, some observations seem appropriate. In the four weeks following February 12, the U.S. stock market declined 17 percent, while the price of gold increased seven percent. If you own gold, congratulations. Gold has finally recovered to where it was in August 2011. The U.S. stock market is up more than 100 percent since then, even after recent declines. If the price of gold eventually sets a new high ($1,895 per ounce), I’m still not sure what good it does gold hoarders. You could sell an ounce of gold and buy 2,200 rolls … Read More

Thoughts on the Coronavirus Correction

David MoonBlog

In the last seven days of February, the S&P 500 declined 13 percent, culminating in the worst weekly performance for the U.S. stock market since 2008. The Coronavirus Correction shaved $3.1 trillion of market value off the U.S. stock market and another $2 trillion outside the U.S. As horrible as that sounds, stock prices are about back to where they were in October 2019 – only four months ago. A 4,000-point decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) can make for a scary headline, but a 13 percent drop is just not catastrophic, especially on the heels of a … Read More