Posts filed under “Data Analysis”

The Increasing Pressure on the Middle Class

In yesterday’s RM column, I referenced a chart from the Sunday NYT (below).

click for larger graphic


Courtesy of the New York Times


The key takeaway from this is the ongoing increasing pressure on the middle class; Dan Gross called this the cram down decade.

Since the theme of the column was "Ignore Statistical Oddities at Your Peril," here is one to mull over: How much of an economic aberration is a large middle class?

For most of history, there has been landed gentry and working knaves. The middle was relatively narrow slice — larger in numbers than the wealthy, but obviously less numerous than the poor.

During the Roman Empire, the merchant class fully developed, including soldiers, traders, and all manner of craftsmen. The Middle Ages saw the rise of Guilds, as Coopers, Smiths, Innkeepers all rose above the indentured servants and free field hands. Perhaps some of our more knowledgable readers with a better grasp of histpory than I can address this in comments.

Following WWII, the United States saw an explosion in the number of people moving into the Middle Class. Those numbers may now be slowly reversing.

The funny thing to me is how your perspective can get easily skewed by your surroundings. To be in the top 1% of earners in the U.S., you need an annual wages/income of $237,000. Here in NYC, where there is an enormous concentration of wealth, you are (barely) upper middle income at that salary level — certianly not wealthy. And on Wall Street, half the people I personally know earn at least that much — and complain about it.    

How this wealth distribution plays out may have significant repercussions on a variety of sectors — especially the balance between luxury and discount goods.

It is definitely worth keeping an eye on this in the near future . . .


Economic View: Income Inequality, and Its Cost
NYTimes,  June 25, 2006

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment

New Real Money Column: Ignore Statistical Oddities at Your Peril

Category: Data Analysis, Economy

CPI Null Set (via The Economist)

Category: Data Analysis, Federal Reserve, Financial Press, Inflation

Read it here first: The Cost of Sarbanes-Oxley

Category: Corporate Management, Data Analysis, Financial Press, Markets, Politics

James Altucher: “The Underlevered American Household”

Lets just look at what’s wrong with a few items in Jim Altucher’s column yesterday, “The Underlevered American Household.” I may have to address the rest of the erroneous analysis in a full column — but for now, let’s stick with the first chart in the article. Jim believes the following chart is “mostly useless.”…Read More

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Retail

A Deceptively Simple Timing System

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Data Analysis, Earnings, Fixed Income/Interest Rates, Markets, Technical Analysis

Major Internet Site Web Traffic

Category: Data Analysis, Web/Tech

Stock Prices Adjusted for Inflation

Category: Data Analysis, Technical Analysis, Valuation

What Happens if Inflation Is Overstated?

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Federal Reserve, Inflation, Markets, Real Estate

When Statistical Measures Fail to Capture Reality

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Inflation, Psychology