Home No So Sweet Home

Home No So Sweet Home

Many consumers still have mortgage/home ownership PTSD after the unprecedented pain felt during the financial crisis. The decades of rising rates of homeownership, induced in large part by federal policies and legislation, has mostly been wiped out. This data illustrates how the generations most affected by the financial crisis have shifted to a more asset-light lifestyle. This shift is a tailwind to those companies providing goods and/or services consistent the sharing economy.

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Auto Loans and Household Income – Time for a Reality Check!

Auto Loans and Household Income – Time for a Reality Check!

In general, I tend to be a very positive person. I’m decidedly in the glass-is-half-full camp and even though no one would accuse of me being a morning person, I love watching the sunrise, large cup of joe in hand of course, with a smile on my face as I contemplate what mischief I may […]

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More Margin Pressure Ahead

More Margin Pressure Ahead

The era of low-to-zero interest rates on top of struggling household income levels led to the proliferation of zero-rate financing on everything from cars to hot tubs to luggage and electronics. With the Federal Reserve raising rates amidst less than robust retail sales, rising credit card balances and weak income growth, retailers will be pressured to […]

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Americans Spend more on Taxes than Food, Clothing and Shelter

Americans Spend more on Taxes than Food, Clothing and Shelter

Wondering why Americans are so angry with D.C. despite the headlines insisting that the employment situation is fantastic? Just look at incomes and taxes. According to a recent Pew Research Center Report shows, while median household income has shrunk by 13% from 2004, expenditures have risen by nearly 14%, driven almost entirely by the cost […]

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Obama Claims Country Better Off Today?

Obama Claims Country Better Off Today?

Obama claims the country is better off?  Uh, what? Last week President Obama told a small group of wealthy donors that by almost every metric, the U.S. is significantly better off under his leadership than under Bush’s. Oh dear God this is just getting embarrassing! Can we please have a little reality check here?   The […]

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Unintended Consequence of Raising the Minimum Wage

Unintended Consequence of Raising the Minimum Wage

This morning I had the great pleasure of being on The Sam Sorbo radio show.  One of the things we discussed is the push to increase the minimum wage. A while back I first introduced the concept of BUC (see below) which is proven true again with the unintended consequences of raising the minimum wage. […]

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Economic Recovery with a Booming Job Market?

The headlines keep telling us that we are in an economic recovery with a booming job market.  It is just that Joe Consumer is too dumb to know how good he has it.  Or maybe not.  Maybe there is more to the headlines.  I spoke with Rick Amato about just how weak this recovery has […]

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State of the Economy

State of the Economy

The flattening of the yield curve as interest rates fall is bad news for banks that make money by borrowing short-term and lending long, yet another sector that under current conditions is a headwind for the economy. Frustratingly, the yield curve isn’t the only headwind to banks as last week, Morgan Stanley (MS) was the […]

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With Stuart Varney on the Housing Market

With Stuart Varney on the Housing Market

I always seek to look below the headlines, assessing the underlying data in a more rigorous manner than you often see in the popular media and with a longer term perspective. Earlier this week I spoke with Stuart Varney on the Housing Market.  The topic warrants a thorough discussion as it is such an impactful part of the […]

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Unemployment Problems Persist

Unemployment Problems Persist

Perhaps the reason so few are saving is because the job situation isn’t exactly rosy, nor are income levels. According to the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistic, the unemployment rate has dropped to 6.7% which looks on the surface to be good news. However, if you look a bit deeper, the […]

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