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The Retired Investor: Crypto Crashes (Again)
By Bill Schmick,
04:24PM / Thursday, January 27, 2022
While investors focus on the losses that are piling up in the stock market, the cryptocurrency space has suffered far more. The bears say it has further to go, but that may depend on what happens to stocks.   Bitcoin, the grandaddy of crypto currencies, is trading around $36,900 per coin as of Jan. 27, 2022. It has suffered a 50 percent decline since its record high in November 2021. Ethereum, the second most popular coin, has dropped from almost $5,000 to $2,498. In total, the combined crypto market has lost $1.4 trillion over the past week.   At one time, crypto speculators argued that coins like Bitcoin danced to their own music and were uncorrelated with the

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The Retired Investor: A New Female Fed
By Bill Schmick,
03:39PM / Friday, January 21, 2022
Just before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President Biden announced three new nominations to the Federal Reserve Bank Board, two of whom are women. If the U.S. Senate approves, women would then account for most of the Federal Reserve Bank's seven-member board.   Lisa Cook and Sarah Bloom Raskin, if confirmed, would join Lael Brainard, who President Biden picked as vice chair, and Michelle Bowman, who is already a board member. In addition, Lisa Cook would be the first Black woman on the board. Women are still in the minority, however, if you include all the Federal Reserve Bank's regional presidents, but the board is where the voting power resides. All-in-all, I say

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The Retired Investor: No-Shows Threaten Economy
By Bill Schmick,
04:18PM / Thursday, January 13, 2022
Last week, economists calculated that almost 5 million workers failed to show up at their jobs. Given the present upsurge in cases of the Omnicom variant, that should come as no surprise. However, it clearly has Wall Street economists reducing their estimates of first quarter 2022 GDP.   Slower economic growth normally has a negative impact on everything from the stock and bond markets, interest rates and employment. How this will ultimately affect the economy in the months ahead is a question worrying every trader and portfolio manager in the financial markets.   The first warning sign that this wave of coronavirus infection was impacting business came during

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The Retired Investor: My Dog's Medical Bills Are Higher Than Mine
By Bill Schmick,
04:23PM / Thursday, January 06, 2022
On the surface, it was a good year if you were in the veterinary business. Year-over-year sales grew by 9.1 percent, while patient visits increased by 3 percent. For pet owners, however, not so much.   Owners found that the cost of keeping their pets healthy jumped by about 10 percent. Some of that price increase was due to higher fees, but consumers were also purchasing more products and services.   My chocolate Labrador Retriever, Titus, is now 13 years old. The rule of thumb: every year of a dog's life equals seven years of my life. That would put Titus' age at 91, versus my age of 73. I won't detail all his health ailments, suffice it to say that

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The Retired Investor: Climate Change Is Costing Billions
By Bill Schmick,
04:04PM / Thursday, December 30, 2021
In 2021, worldwide, the costs of the ten worst disasters caused by climate change totaled more than $170 billion. It was the fourth time in the last five years that we have suffered that level of damages. Scientists expect next year to be even worse.   Insurance companies, like Zurich-based Swiss Re, bear the brunt of the costs of extreme weather. During the last decade, losses have been rising 5-6 percent per year, according to Swiss Re's recent analysis. They expect at least one $10 billion catastrophe, such as severe flooding, a winter storm, or a massive wildfire will be part of the new normal in weather changes.      What is worse, more than

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