Taxes, Social Spending and Recessions

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the September 27, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259There’s a demon looming on the horizon. It hasn’t been around for a long, long time, but it’s there. People have been talking about it for a few years, though it remains just beyond the edge of our view. Some folks have even said it’s been seen, yet only by limited regions of the country and only for a short time.

Nobody knows how bad this demon will be. Nobody’s even sure if the demon will show its face. Still others will argue the demon stands in our midst now.

The evil has an evil aura about it. People fear the very thought of it, even those who Continue Reading “Taxes, Social Spending and Recessions”

The Amazing FETA!

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the April 5, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259From our nation’s capital we hear many discouraging words on the American economy. A plethora of ideas have sprouted from the mouths of elected officials. Some have been good, some have been bad. All have been aimed more at solving personal political problems than at curing any one economic ill.

All parties clearly point to the nation’s low savings rate as one of the primary causes of our weakened economy. They suggest if individuals would save more and consume less, more money could be used to Continue Reading “The Amazing FETA!”

Japan Inc. Buys the Moon

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the February 1, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

 

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259Born in the 1960s, I might be called an Apollo Child. The term, of course, has nothing to do with any astrological myth. It aptly describes that first generation which fully expected to read of space travel as history, not as science fiction.

The intricacies and loftiness of heavenly flight glorify the post war success of America. NASA drove into our psyche the thirst for reaching ever upward. No problem – no matter how complex, no matter how new, no matter how large – lacked a solution.

Please don’t misjudge this zest for youthful idealism. While one can almost always solve a problem, one must recognize all solutions have a cost. Sometimes we simply cannot Continue Reading “Japan Inc. Buys the Moon”

Can America Compete? (Part II)

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the September 21, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

Part Two – A Living Example of the Risk-Return Tradeoff

This is the second of two commentaries aimed at exploring a novel approach to determining our nations’ true standing in the world economy. Last week we looked at the risk-return tradeoff, the idea that risky investments are more likely to have higher returns (and larger losses) than safer investments.

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259Earlier this year, a Siberian valley explodes suddenly. The cause – a leaky gas pipeline. Low safety standards lead to a faulty job. People die. Property is destroyed.

You read about it all the time. Not-so-old bridges collapse, sending trainloads of passengers plummeting to an early demise. Third World ferries, overloaded with holiday travelers, capsize again and again. Athens and Frankfurt sport airports which appear to openly invite terrorists.

Across the globe, we see examples of why we are happy to be Americans. Not only do Continue Reading “Can America Compete? (Part II)”

Can America Compete? (Part I)

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the September 14, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

Part One – The Risk-Return Tradeoff

The following is the first in series of two commentaries aimed at presenting a unique approach to determining our nation’s position within the world’s economy. This week is expository, meaning some readers will already be familiar with the concept of the risk-return tradeoff. In the spirit of all mini-series, we save the real interesting part for next week.

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259Finance professors, like all other professors, find they can enhance their employment options (i.e., get tenured) by coming up with all these fancy dancy theories to describe the real world. They write scholarly articles and intricate textbooks (most of which end up on the “Required Reading” list of the courses they teach). Many of these theories remain in the academic realm (where they can take on a life of their own). Every once in a while, though, a really neat idea escapes the verbosity of pedantic journals and appears in the vernacular of the newsweeklies. (When this happens, the professor generally writes a book for the casual reader, appears on several talk shows and becomes a highly paid consultant.)

One of the more significant investment models developed by the academic industry goes by the name, in generic terms, Modern Portfolio Theory. It attempts to provide a Continue Reading “Can America Compete? (Part I)”