Circling the block repeatedly hunting for a free parking spot is for peons, apparently. If you really want to be burning cash, what you need is a parking spot that comes with a hefty price tag. Say, $1 million for an indoor spot in New York City? That sounds about right, if you’ve already got a bank vault full of gold to swim in.
Consumer Reports is out with the latest edition of its economic-health tracker, the CR Index, and the news is generally positive, with gains in jobs and consumer spending, and declines in stress. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to break out the bubbly: “We are seeing modest improvements across our indices since April, which demonstrate that consumers are starting the long slog out of this historic recession,” said Ed Farrell, a director of the Consumer Reports National Research Center. “But a full recovery will require a substantial period of growth for consumer confidence to fully take hold.”
Back in the early days of the recession, circa 2008, people were nervous about the future, and decided to start saving more of their money instead of just spending it. That brought personal savings rates up to over 5% by last year. But after hearing for months that the recession is over, consumers are apparently starting to believe it — especially when numbers show the economy growing by 3.2%. Savings rates are down to about 2.7%, and consumer spending is up by 0.6% as of March. Unfortunately, incomes are only up 0.3%, so plenty of people may be helping the economy grow by spending more than they earn. Thanks, guys!
Retailers around the country may be shuttering branches and going out of business, but New York’s Fifth Avenue is apparently recession-proof. Setting a record for a New York retail lease, Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo will pay $300 million over 15 years for a spot on Fifth Avenue and 53rd street.
Remember all of those banks that were “too big to fail” and had to be bailed out? Newsweek’s Niall Ferguson is out with a report today pointing out that a year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers signaled the start of the bailout boom, they’re still big, and thanks to the safety net you tossed them, they’re “back to making serious money and paying million-dollar bonuses. Meanwhile, every month, hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans face foreclosure or unemployment because of a crisis caused by … a few Wall Street giants.”