DID YOU KNOW? It's working! The Fed's aggressive and delayed interest rate hikes have started to take effect: aside from layoffs across industries - especially anything related to real estate - Core PCE inflation, the Fed’s preferred measure, rose 4.4% from a year ago, its smallest annual increase since October 2021. Consumer spending, however, dropped 0.2%, pointing to economic slowdown as 2022 closed. Personal income increased 0.2% for the month, as expected. Now let's hope they have not gone too far, too fast as many suspect...... (CNBC)
DID YOU KNOW? When America's richest woman Marjorie Merriweather Post built a 54-room penthouse atop a new Fifth Avenue luxury tower in 1925, the top federal tax rate was just 25%. In 1940, the federal tax rate on income over $200,000 started at 66% and by 1944 during World War 2, the top tax rate on all income over $200,000 (about $3.4 million in today’s dollars) had jumped to 94%! No-one wanted this huge place in this new high-tax era and it was left vacant all through the 1940s. In the 1950s, with the US’s top tax rate still above 90%, the palace penthouse was broken up into 6 separate units.
DID YOU KNOW? There has been a sharp decline in the savings rate—2.9% in the 4th quarter compared to 7.3% a year earlier—suggesting that consumers may be running up credit cards to make ends meet or take the vacation they couldn’t during the pandemic. But as savings decline, so too may consumer spending, the biggest driver of GDP. The AVERAGE savings of American consumers is relatively high, but like all averages this one too can be very deceptive: the vast majority of these saved dollars are in the hands of the top 5-10% of the wealthiest. The lower 90% have depleted their savings and are most at risk of job losses and defaults. If they stop spending, we should expect a recession. SecureSave, an emergency-savings account company, published a survey that finds that 67% of workers cannot afford to pay for an emergency $400 expense and that 74% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
DID YOU KNOW? If the FED's mission is job losses, who will pick up the tab for those who have lost their jobs? ANSWER: You and I will, via government assistance.....with money borrowed at far higher rates..... 🙄
DID YOU KNOW? There are more grandparents around than ever before: almost 1.5 BILLION of them! Two big demographic trends show their rising importance. First, people are living longer. Since 1960 global life expectancy has risen from 51 to 72 years. Second, families are shrinking, which means the ratio of living grandparents to children is steadily rising. The growing roles of the elderly matter in varied and surprising ways. (THE ECONOMIST) Steve and I are grandparents to 3 scrumptious boys.
DID YOU KNOW? The world seems obsessed with the 3,381 global billionaires, but there is another group just below this bunch - Centi-millionaires - yes, in the US alone there are 9,730 centi-millionaires, those who have at least US$100 million in investable assets, about 38% of the world’s total of 25,490. The top 10 holiday destinations for centi-millionaires included The Hamptons, N.Y.; Aspen and Vail, Colo., and Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Palm Beach and Miami Beach; Florida the Algarve of Portugal, especially the Golden Triangle; the French Riviera; Lake Como of Italy; Ski towns in Switzerland; the Italian Riviera; African wildlife safaris, and Tuscany, Italy. Golf, art collecting, and cycling and mountain biking ranked the top three pursuits of the world’s centi-millionaires, according to the report. Classic car collecting, which ranked 7th, is on the rise. Globally, classic car prices have risen 84% over the past decade (2012 to 2022) Grandparents are often a pathway to homeownership for younger generations. (Henley & Partners/New World Wealth)