More Americans expect to work until they die

April 16, 2009

If you were wondering what two years of wealth destruction have done to the American psyche, the Employee Benefit Research Institute has your answer.

Green shoots, Easy Rider edition

April 16, 2009

OK, so a nearly 10 percent drop in U.S. sales is nothing to crow about, but it sure beats a 19.6 percent fall. Harley-Davidson’s stock is jumping today — and has more than doubled since March — because of stronger-than-expected earnings and a much smaller sales decline in its biggest market.

Of beige shoots and broken branches

April 15, 2009

Ben Bernanke has taken some flack for his argument that “green shoots” of economic activity might lurk around the corner. In one such swipe, Justin Fox of Time Magazine argued that the metaphor is flawed because what we’re really talking about is a moderation of contraction, not growth.

from Shop Talk:

Check Out Line: “Bipolar” sales could signal better April

April 13, 2009

Check out this deeper look at March's same-store sales results.

BLACKFRIDAY/Last week, retailers reported monthly sales that declined less than expected, a possible sign that shoppers may be regaining confidence to open their wallets after more than a year of recession.

Canada dresses up for bears

April 8, 2009

For all the designer drinks and gourmet foods – from raw oysters to sushi, and the sea of men in expensive suits and bejeweled women in elegant gowns, the setting seemed fit only for celebration.

from UK News:

Ghost of past failure haunts G20

March 28, 2009

Stopping off in New York during a marathon, 18,000-mile diplomatic offensive before next week’s G20 summit in London next week, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown recalled a conference held in eerily similar circumstances in London 76 years ago.

from Mark Felsenthal:

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Collapsing Economy

March 13, 2009

"I think, Watson," Sherlock Holmes tells Watson in "The Five Orange Pips,"  "that of all our cases we have had none more fantastic than this."

Welcome to “The Great Recession”

March 12, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a name. We are living through “The Great Recession”. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, used the term to describe our current angst on a trip to Africa this week. He may not have been the first to use it — we have found other citations, including JPMorgan — but the guessing here is that it may  stick with him because of his role.

from Mark Felsenthal:

Greenspan slammed

March 11, 2009

Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan isn't getting the respect he used to.

Greenspan's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal drew withering criticism from High Frequency Economics' Ian Shepherdson, who was unimpressed with the Maestro's denial of any Fed contribution to the country' worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Need a job? Try Wyoming

March 11, 2009

It’s no surprise that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report on state unemployment is grim reading. Unemployment is up in 49 of 50 states (go Louisiana!).