Austerity Still Taking a Bite Out of Europe

By: Wednesday December 5, 2012 8:30 am

While debating how much austerity outside of the magic no-budgetary-impact spending on the Pentagonto enact, the United States could take a lesson from, well, from the rest of the developed world. The relative lack of austerity in the US compared to Britain and the rest of Europe led to better economic performance (and it’s important [...]

My Walmart Black Friday Experience, and the Productivity/Wage Gap

By: Monday November 26, 2012 6:16 am

Walmart workers staged their historic strike on Black Friday. Management tried to downplay it, and given how massive Walmart is, the relative strength of the strike was small in real terms compared to the company’s 1.4 million workers. But it would be silly to just leave it at that without the context of the company [...]

Bernanke: Economy Still Weak, No Time for Austerity

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 12:55 pm

Ben Bernanke’s speech on the economy today offered no new information. It was more of an overview on the state of the economy, and it hit on many very familiar themes which Bernanke has expressed for a long time now, including the need to loosen lending standards in a type of reinflation of the housing [...]

Retail Wage Increases Would Benefit Entire Economy and Additional Retail Sales, With Negligible Price Increase

By: Monday November 19, 2012 10:00 am

Walmart executives worried about the recent spate of labor activity against the retailer would probably tell you that they cannot possibly offer higher wages to their employees while maintaining their brand identifier of low prices. They offer what the market will bear in terms of wages, they would say, and anything more would represent a [...]

Walmart Sued Over Wage and Hour Violations

By: Tuesday October 23, 2012 10:00 am

Temporary workers at Walmart filed a class action lawsuit against the company and two staffing agencies yesterday, arguing that the retailer forced the temps to work longer hours without a lunch break. The suit alleges violations of federal minimum wage and overtime laws. The lawsuit is a class action, but because it’s tied specifically to [...]

The Importance of the Walmart Strikes

By: Thursday October 11, 2012 12:16 pm

Bryce Covert has a helpful primer for why we should pay attention to these wildcat strikes carried out by a non-union coalition of Walmart associates. It does threaten to upend the status quo for labor relations in an age that heralds a rising service sector and weakened union density. While not a union making formal [...]

Brave New Retailing World: Merchants Can Charge Extra for Payment By Credit Card

By: Monday July 16, 2012 11:43 am

The important element of this multi-billion dollar settlement with MasterCard and Visa on an antitrust lawsuit is not the total amount, though retailers stand to gain about $6 billion in damages. It’s the new regime of pricing that will affect all our lives: Retailers will be able to charge their customers more for paying with [...]

Troubling Data on Retail Sales Suggests Economic Slowdown

By: Monday July 16, 2012 8:15 am

Retail sales fell for the third straight month in June, a rare event that usually happens during recessions. With 70% of the US economy coming from consumer spending, it’s almost axiomatic that slower retail sales correlates with economic contraction.  Chart is from Calculated Risk. U.S. retail sales fell for a third straight month in June [...]

Consumer Spending Stalls in November

By: Friday December 23, 2011 10:55 am

At the beginning of the holiday shopping season, there was a surge of stories about how Black Friday sales went through the roof, that consumers had austerity fatigue, that they were ready to spend again, and that this would boost economic growth. Certainly some economic indicators showed that over the past month or so. However, [...]

Dow Falling Off The Cliff

By: Thursday May 6, 2010 11:54 am

I think part of this is worries about the Greek debt crisis, part of it worries about a bad retail sales number confirming some irrational exuberance about the recovery, maybe part of it worries about a newfound intensity against the big banks, but the Dow is completely falling off the cliff today. It was 900 [...]

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