April Retail Sales

Retail Sales were rather unimpressive: Gasoline, Groceries, Food & Beverage were up, while pretty much everything else was flat to down. 

If you want to get rid of the Easter factor, compare March/April 2007 with March/April 2008.

Perhaps some chart porn might be instructive:

click for larger charts

Retail Sales vs. March CPI

(sales versus inflation)


courtesy of Jake

Retail Sales vs. Consumer Discretionary Sector

courtesy of Bespoke Group


Retail Sales Versus Past Recessions
courtesy of CEO Economic Update

Category: Commodities, Consumer Spending, Retail

Inflation Ex-Inflation Ex-Inflation

Category: Data Analysis, Inflation, Psychology

Whitney On Citi’s Pandit

I tried embedding a Windows Media version of several recent Bloomberg Videos yesterday, but somehow, we ended up with the autorun feature on, regardless of the setting.

This morning, I will embed it into a page after the jump to prevent that from autorun reoccurring:

Click for video

Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit faces an "impossible feat” in turning around the biggest U.S. bank as it faces “seismic” costs to restructure, Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Meredith Whitney said.

Citigroup will be forced to announce the sale of major businesses toward the end of this year or in early 2009, Whitney, who recommends investors sell the shares, said in a Bloomberg TV interview today. One of the units could be Banamex, the company’s Mexican branch, she said.

Whitney, 38, correctly predicted on Oct. 31 that New York- based Citigroup would cut its dividend to shore up capital after mortgage-related writedowns. Pandit on May 9 outlined plans to sell $400 billion in assets at the bank, which has booked more than $40 billion of credit losses and writedowns since the subprime mortgage market collapsed last year.

Citi’s Pandit Faces `Impossible Feat,’ Whitney Says
Margaret Popper and Josh Fineman
Bloomberg, May 12 2008

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Category: Credit, Video

Ben Bernanke, Improvisor

Category: Credit, Federal Reserve, Inflation, Markets

Lowest NYSE Volume of the Year

Category: Markets, Technical Analysis, Trading

NYPost: $15 Million Hamptons Foreclosure

Category: Finance, Real Estate

Baltic Dry Index Approaching Old Highs

Category: Commodities, Technical Analysis

What Does Boating Tell Us About the Economy?

Category: Commodities, Consumer Spending, Credit, Retail

T. Boone Pickens on Oil Prices, Trading, Wind Power

On Bloomberg (via Paul), comes this  very good video interview with T. Boone Pickens on Oil, Natural Gas, Trading — and Wind Power.


Boone at 2008 Milken Conference
(click for video)


Good stuff.


Boone Pickens Says He Is Ready to Bet on Wind Power
Bloomberg, April 29 2008

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Category: Energy, Video

Cognitive Surplus, Part II

A few weeks ago, we discussed the Clay Shirky’s concept of cognitive surplus.

Here’s the original video of that discussion:

Category: Psychology, Video