The Nordic countries score very well on honesty. Cities in Ontario have three of the four highest percentages of immigrant populations in the world. It’s not the cheeseburgers. And self-righteous morons. In Financial Ructions: A look at how passive funds are driving stock markets higher. Fund flows in the US: Passive vs. Active…

Run of the mill luxury continues to suffer. Burberry imploding. Watch sales are also falling. And a bit of history on Swatch. Used luxury watch prices have come back down to earth. Another example of consumers cutting back on discretionary purchases. This time Helen of Troy. PM: I was trying to come up with a pun for this one but troy as I might… Florida has the highest car insurance premiums. In Financial Ructions: Some feel that soaring federal debt in the US is not a concern as wealth for consumers is growing even faster. It’s not…

One quarter of pubs in the UK disappeared since 2000. Olive oil prices have soared. Spain produces more olive oil than the next six countries combined. Credit card delinquency rates are still rising. US inflation is ticking down but still a full percentage point above their ridiculous 2% target (there should be no target). But wholesale prices have ticked up five straight months. Mortgage rates in the Canada and the US are still a little lower than “normal.” In Financial Ructions: Business insolvencies in Canada are soaring. Canada has been in a manufacturing recession for some time…

Another housing rant. Cruise line operators are hitting records in terms of bookings and pricing. Inflation robbing you as you improve your job skills. Denny’s sales are falling. And a quick history. Inflation in Canada is rising again…

Resuscitation Hardware comeback? Plus a repeat post of a bit about their business: it’s pretty cool. Tesla car deliveries rebound from previous quarter. But down from last year. Air travel continues to grow globally. But declining in Japan. Shopping in the US is getting expensive for Japanese. Used car prices are falling, but still around 30% higher than pre-COVID. New cars are also up around the same amount. 60% of US homes were built before 1980. New home sales still benefiting from low existing home sales. US job growth is slowing: Jobs created over the last 12 months: Full-time jobs: 1.5 million lost. Part-time jobs: 1.8 million gained. Unemployment is slowly rising. Canada jobs situation deteriorating markedly…

Mortgage growth in the US has slowed significantly. Canada’s housing crisis: a mini rant. Nike sales growth has fallen significantly over the last year. The ageing US population will add to the US debt pile. In Financial Ructions: The US stock market is very expensive. Almost a quarter of US government revenue is going to interest expense on the gargantuan debt pile. Another establishment hack lets Americans know that they’re too stupid to know how great the economy is…

Many people moved further away from their office during COVID. The mortgage rate situation in the US might make it difficult for some to come back into the office. The Bee Gees help save lives. Inflation in fast-food prices is forcing more people to eat at home. Boeing, SpaceX and Peter, Paul and Mary. Jobs in the US are either increasing or decreasing depending on the survey. But government jobs continue to soar. In Financial Ructions: The Bank of Canada lowered its key interest rate. Good for some, but not for many others and not for the economy longer-term. The soft-landing policymakers target is for asset prices and final spending. At the expense of the long-term health of the economy. The US dollar is not strong, but less weak…

Canada’s prime minister will do whatever he can to keep housing prices expensive, which serves to: 1) Keep younger people priced-out of the housing market. 2) Protect the unearned wealth of baby boomers. PM: I go on a bit of a rant here. The house featured in the movie Home Alone is for sale: It ain’t cheap. Many consumer related companies that sell discretionary items are experiencing steady declines in sales: Best Buy; Foot Locker; Mattel; Kohl’s. Dell’s consumer division saw sales decline 15%; Although The Gap may be turning things around. In Financial Ructions: Another example of how government economists make the inflation number look a lot lower than it really is…

The hotel industry in the US is slowing down. Particularly for lower priced hotels. Marriott International owns a lot of hotel brands: a bit of history. Its share price performance has been excellent. A breakdown of concert tickets and fees: who gets what. Some strange choices for best albums of all time. Dark Side of the Moon doesn’t even make the top 20. Turbulence is scary but not dangerous, if you are wearing your seatbelt. Walmart sales are up, Target sales are down. Both are reducing prices. The amount of stuff UK shoppers are buying is falling. Home buying intentions in Ontario are falling. In Financial Ructions: Japan: GDP per capita in USD has been falling. Wage inflation in Europe is strong and rising…

Home Depot has experienced declining sales since the fall of 2022. US inflation is proving stubborn and seems to be settling in the mid-3% range: Car insurance and sporting event prices up sharply. Smartphone and TV prices down almost 10%. Fast food prices in the US are up. And customer visits are falling. The retirement savings of renters has been falling while those of owners have been rising. This is what happens when rents soar. In Financial Ructions: Real GDP per capita in Canada is falling. Americans are 45% wealthier!! (on average). A quick look at what’s going on…

McDonald’s delivers good news. But it’s really bad news. General Mills points to a positive trend, but sales are falling. Uber is still growing like gangbusters. Americans are consuming less Greek yogurt. To purchase the average priced home in Toronto you need to earn over $250,000 a year. The monthly mortgage payment on that average house is over $7,000. Guess who’s to blame for Canada’s housing crisis. The Canadian economy created good job growth last month. But the Canadian government increased the labour force three times faster. The financial system in Canada “remains resilient.” But mortgage payments are ballooning higher as mortgages renew. Office property prices are down over 50% since COVID…

Red Lobster may be filing for bankruptcy protection. Starbucks sales are falling. Peloton device sales are down sharply: Letting go 15% of their employees. Gucci sales decline accelerates, but it’s OK, it’s “normal.” Southwest Airlines traffic growing but not as fast as wages. What to do when iPhone sales are down 10%.. Announce a record share buyback. Business bankruptcies in Canada are soaring. Stellantis (Jeep, Maserati etc.) shipments declined sharply. Hershey continues to increase prices. In Financial Ructions: 1) US job growth slowing. 2) Real rates in the US are around 4% higher than those in Japan…

The US economy seems to be slowing. While prices are rising again. US savings rates continue to fall. Credit card spending continues to rise. Pepsi continues to sacrifice volumes on the altar of price increases. Volume falling the most in North America. JetBlue ticket prices are nowhere near as low as its share price. Hilton Worldwide: A little history. Luxury hotels: Growing. Discount hotels: Falling Hasbro sales continue to fall. Americans continue to rack up credit card debt (just when interest rates on credit card balances are at all-time highs). Shipping volumes with UPS and Federal Express are still falling…

Big layoffs from Tesla. The share price is down 64% from its high. Procter and Gamble has not grown volume for eight straight quarters. This is what happens when you constantly raise prices. People simply can’t afford to buy as much as they used to. Netflix: Diminishing the customer value proposition to drive sales higher. They’re not alone. The growth in the number of government employees in Canada is out of control. The number of “people” who are delinquent on credit card payments in the US is more than three times the delinquency “rate”…

Air travel is growing rapidly. But still far below the trend growth pre-COVID. More evidence of consumers pulling back on discretionary items. This time Roots Canada. China, we have a problem. Office properties: prices plummeting. Shoppers trading down. Despite US government spending driving GDP higher. More evidence that the private sector is weak. In Financial Ructions: A speech from the Bank of Canada. Rightly points out Canada’s abysmal performance on productivity…

Credit card delinquencies at smaller banks have hit all-time highs. So far it looks like inflation in the US bottomed last June. It has increased for the second month in a row. And Up often means Down once government analysts get their hands on the data. Good news: Juries are granting car accident victims record payouts. Bad news: You’re paying for it. US job numbers were strong in March. But more than 1.7 million full-time jobs have been lost since November. The gains were all in part-time work…

The size of new homes in the US is shrinking. Luxury furniture sales are still falling. More evidence that the sales of consumer products companies are slowing. Tesla car deliveries are falling. Meanwhile, Ford’s electric vehicle sales are soaring. New car inventories in the US look to be back to normal. More evidence that consumers are cutting back on discretionary and big-ticket items so that they can still afford to buy essentials. Small businesses in the US employ almost half of the total workers. Inflation in Europe is ticking down. And so are house prices…

A bit of fun with names. Traffic to fast food restaurants is falling. A fair bit of stuff on the potential retirement crisis heading our way. And how a court ruling over 30 years ago may have contributed to it. The US national savings rate (personal, corporate, government, foreigners) has been declining since the 1970s. It’s now negative. That’s a really bad thing for productivity growth. Guess who the main culprit is. In Financial Ructions: The US stock market is overvalued. Revisiting GDP vs. GDI. The Fed’s preferred inflation measure ticked up in February…