Musings & Insights

Common Cents for July 6, 2018

July 6, 2018, by John Norris

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend of mine about Canada legalizing marijuana at its Federal level. Ultimately, the discussion got around to whether the stuff would ever be legal in Alabama. My thoughts were/are simply this: “at some point, it will be impossible for our state to effectively enforce its cannabis laws, and it will become legal as a matter of course if not a matter of law.” My buddy looked at me as...

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Common Cents for June 29, 2018

June 29, 2018, by John Norris

This past Wednesday night, I made a presentation down in Mobile. During the Q&A, one person asked whether the growing economy has already made back the money the Federal government ‘lost’ due to the “tax cuts.” The pure black & white, straight accounting answer, the one the opposition will use during the mid-term elections, is quite simply: no. There will be no getting around the issue, and plenty of GOP candidates will hem, haw, and...

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Common Cents for May 25, 2018

May 25, 2018, by John Norris

Back in early 2003, the finance committee of the City of Birmingham summoned me to explain the negative performance for 2002 in the account it had entrusted to my then employer’s care. To be sure, given the roughly 60% weight to stocks, it would have been a real magic trick to have generated a positive return in that portfolio for the year. What’s more, we had done much better than most, much, although I completely...

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Some Quick & Easy Common Cents for May 18th

May 18, 2018, by John Norris

There is an old expression: “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” We all know this, and have all forgotten it at least once in our lives. Something for nothing (or with very little effort) is powerful catnip indeed, even if we all know there really aren’t many good substitutes for hard work, preparation, and a willingness to fail. This is what makes the recent economic data somewhat concerning to me....

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A Small (and Short) Amount of Common Cents for May 4, 2018

May 4, 2018, by John Norris

This past Monday afternoon, I told a group of Oakworth associates the major stories this week would be the FOMC meeting/statement on Wednesday and today’s Employment Situation report. Although neither so-called big event was terribly surprising, sometimes simply ‘getting it over with,’ whatever it may be, is more important than anything else. As I type here on Friday, May 04, 2018, much is as it was and has been for a while. The Fed will...

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Common Cents (?) on the 2018 Governor’s Race

April 20, 2018, by John Norris

First things first…we hope to have our ‘podcast,’ for lack of a better term, fully operational by the end of June (if not a little sooner). As with most things in life, the devil is in the details if you want to do things correctly, which we do. I WILL say, the microphone I ordered is one of the higher rated for ‘podcasts,’ and the sound quality is phenomenal. So, stay tuned….bad pun, I know....

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Oakworth in the Community

April 19, 2018, by Lindsey Owens Krausen

On March 13th 2018, Oakworth Capital Bank associate, Sarah Singleton, led a group of Oakworth team members in assisting the Birmingham Education Foundation to facilitate a program called Educate Local.  The Birmingham Education Foundation, a non-profit 501c3, is dedicated to increasing the number of students in the Birmingham City school system that graduate from college and are career ready upon high school graduation.  Educate Local, an interlocking web of direct-programming for high school students, is focused...

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Common Cents for Friday the 13th (April 2018)

April 13, 2018, by John Norris

Yesterday, a co-worker told me they really like my weekly newsletter. They complimented me on my alleged ability to make boring economic commentary slightly less boring (at least I think they meant it as a compliment). However, they also told me the following: “I don’t read it every week like I did in the past…it has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with how I now consume news. I like to listen...

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Dear John

April 12, 2018, by John Norris

Chief Economist, John Norris, answers the most commonly asked questions of the first quarter of the year. Q:  Dear John, President Trump has recently been publicly attacking Amazon. What does this mean for the company? What could it mean for the economy? A:  Amazon is the posterchild for the nation’s changing retail landscape, but it is unfair to blame it for the problems at the post office and the so-called retail apocalypse. Just about every...

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1st Quarter Economic Update from John Norris

, by John Norris

The roller coaster ride in the markets we predicted for 2017 finally happened during the 1st Quarter of 2018. So which is the more appropriate? The easy money of January or the tribulations of February and March? What if the answer is neither? As I have told just about anyone who will listen, there is nothing in the economic data, tea leaves, or crystal ball to suggest a noticeable slowdown in the economy is imminent....

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