Past Midway Ramblings on Business & Life

AuthorAndy Jones

The Imminent Transformation: How AI Will Revolutionize Industries and Reshape the Workforce

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all the buzz lately, and rightly so. I suspect it’s a bigger deal than you think. AI isn’t just some fringe, hypothetical Star Trek tech for geeks and nerds to drool over. Not any longer. Prediction – AI technology will creep into every facet of modern culture and will completely transform vast industries such that we will not recognize them in 10 years, perhaps 5...

Inflation and Where I Think It’s Going

I bought a 50 lbs. bag of rice at Sam’s six months ago for $20. I know, that’s a lot of rice. But it was cheap! This week, I was shopping at Sam’s again and saw the same rice product, priced at $26 per bag. That’s 30% inflation over 6 months! How does this square with the reported 12-month Consumer Price Index inflation rate of 6.0% (9.5% for food)? See chart below. I discussed this, in part, in...

Physics and Life

I needed to test a new microphone. So, just to have something to say for the audio test, I began discussing potential & kinetic energy as a analogy to life… a thought I have been contemplating for more than a decade. I expected the idea would eventually be a written blog post, but I thought the initial rambling in the video was decent, so I just kept talking… for nearly 10 minutes. A...

Gold. Lots of Gold.

The U.S. Treasury (plus the Fed) holds a lot of gold. I was curious about this, so I looked into it… so you don’t have to. How Much is a Lot? The U.S. Treasury currently holds 261 million Fine Troy Ounces of Gold (261,498,926 to be exact). The book value for this gold is recorded as $11 billion. If you’re not familiar with accounting, book value is NOT market value. Dividing $11 billion by the...

My Father’s Eulogy

It is a strange thing to miss your own father’s funeral. Today is the second anniversary of my father’s death. He passed away while my family and I were in transit to visit family in Sweden. Mom waited until we had completed our first flight and were about to board our trans-Atlantic flight before telling me that Dad was nearing the end. Mom knew I would have stayed, had I known, and she wanted...

Why Inflation Feels Like It’s More Than Reported

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) came out for May 2022, showing 8.6% inflation over May 2021. “Experts” claimed this was higher than expected. For the rest of us, inflation feels higher than 8.6%, when we visit the grocery store, go to lunch, or fill up at the pump. In fact, it’s difficult to name a product we regularly purchase that’s ONLY up 8.6%. So, where’s the disconnect between what leaves...

Playing to Win

The kids and I used to wrestle on the living room floor when they were younger – when I was younger. All three were afforded the same wrestling opportunities, but Soren (my son) seemed to enjoy it more than his sisters. Boys sometimes have extra physical energy demanding an outlet. Because Soren was smaller than me, I wrestled with him down on my hands and knees. This enabled Soren to develop his...

Social Security Status

Although Covid, money printing, inflation, and geopolitical complexities dominate the media and our collective conversation, we seem to have lost focus on the Social Security Program. Why? Because it’s boring, in comparison. Nevertheless, a Social Security implosion looms on the near horizon. Consequently, I thought we should resurface this conversation, between panics. The main problem, Social...

Precious Time

Years ago, I was on the phone with a customer. During the conversation, we spoke briefly about our families, as sometimes happens, especially with long-term customers. “Do you have kids?” he asked. “I do. Three,” I replied. “How old are they?” “10, 7 & 4… girl, girl, boy.” “I remember when my son was four…,” his sentence trailed off as he began to reminisce of things that once were. Nostalgic...

Mistletoe

In November 2004, my wife (Sofie) and I were driving back to Austin after visiting family for the Thanksgiving holidays in Oklahoma. “You can really see all the mistletoe, now the leaves have fallen,” Sofie commented from the passenger seat, looking around and basically chilling out because, well, she wasn’t driving. “Maybe we should sell it online,” she continued, knowing the tradition of being...

More Than a Book

When we say an object is in the same place it was before, we mean, it hasn’t moved relative to some other things, but it is definitely not in the same exact place. In fact, nothing is ever in the same place it once was, including you. For Example, Let’s Find My Book Suppose I ask my lovely wife (Sofie), “Have you seen my book?” A seemingly simple question, to which she might reply, “It’s on the...

Dislocated Jaw

I play a pick-up soccer game with the neighborhood guys a few days per week. It’s one of my favorite activities and helps keep me in shape. A few months back, I kicked the ball to make a pass, but the ball ricocheted off another player’s knee and smacked me square on the chin. You might say I kicked the soccer ball into my own face. After a few seconds of brain fog, I recovered and continued to...

The Expanding Federal Reserve – Part 3

This is Part 3, the final part, in my series on the Fed. Review In Part 1, we discussed the Fed’s massive financial intervention into the mortgage-backed security market during the 2008+ recession. During this time, the Fed pumped ~22% of a single-year’s GDP into the market, spread across six years. Keep this figure in the back of your mind because we’ll revisit this enormous, unprecedented slug...

The Expanding Federal Reserve – Part 2

This is Part 2 of my three-part series on the Federal Reserve. Review In Part 1, I discussed the Fed’s massive financial intervention into the mortgage-backed security market during the last recession (2008+). This event provides a good benchmark to compare subsequent Fed interventions, notably 2020. I also analyzed the outcomes of the Fed’s mortgage-backed security purchases. Although I expected...

The Expanding Federal Reserve – Part 1

The Federal Reserve plays an ever-increasing, complex role in the U.S. economy. By significantly expanding its scope, the Fed is now the single most important economic factor influencing the financial markets. The Federal Reserve is, no doubt, a complex topic, perhaps one of the most challenging areas within finance. Few people know the Fed’s mandates. Fewer still understand how the Fed executes...

Refugees & Kindness to Strangers in Our Land

In the mid-1970’s, my mom helped care for a Cambodian refugee family in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The family had narrowly escaped the genocide of the communist Khmer Rouge regime, fleeing to the United States with the assistance of a Tulsa-based missionary couple returning from Cambodia. Almost 158,000 Cambodians entered the United States between 1975 and 1994. This family was part of the first wave...

Steps to Setup a Blog

I originally thought I was writing a book but found my topics too disparate and unrelated to collapse into a sequence of chapters within a single bound, cohesive structure. Consequently, a blog seemed the better format for my musings. The problem – I had no idea how to setup a blog from scratch with a unique domain and host it on a server. So, I learned the hard way… by figuring it out myself. As...

A Children’s Story for Adults

Imagine a world where money is nearly free. In this make-believe world, the citizens planted a magical tree whose fruit is money. Sure, the citizens needed to water the money tree, prune it and generally care for it. They also, of course, had to pick the money from the tree as it bloomed. So, it required some work, but generally, the tree produced money proportional to the care provided, with...

COVID-19 and Sweden – an Inside Look

If we are to believe the media, Sweden’s response to the Coronavirus differs from the rest of the world. Certainly, there are no shortages of articles and opinions about Sweden’s approach, spawning much discussion and speculation on its merits or ultimate demise. Time magazine published an eye-catching title: Sweden’s Relaxed Approach to the Coronavirus Could Already Be Backfiring Euronews...

Past Midway Ramblings on Business & Life

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