Pew Study: American Middle Class is Steadily Shrinking
1. Pew Research: American Middle Class is Steadily Shrinking 2. Pew’s 5 Takeaways About the American Middle Class 3. American Middle Class Also Losing Ground Financially 4. Wealth Gap Between Upper, Middle & Lower Incomes 5. Political Implications of the Shrinking Middle Class
CEOs More Negative on the Economy & Jobs
Consumer spending accounts for apprx. 70% of GDP, so the fact that the confidence index remained very low once again this month does not bode well for a significant upturn in the economy in the 3Q. Doug Short of Advisor Perspectives created another very interesting table in his latest report: Using historical data from the Conference Board, Doug illustrates the average levels of the Consumer Confidence Index during each of the last five recessions. As you can see, consumer confidence in the recession and financial crisis of 2007-2009 was the lowest of any time in the last 30 years.
The Latest (Secret) Rescue Plan For Europe
Europe is preparing to go down a similar path as the US took in 2008 huge bailouts and a possible Euro-TARP to restructure its ailing banks. I hope it turns out better for Europe, but I am not optimistic. The possibility of a controlled default by Greece on 50% of its debt has numerous potentially disturbing ramifications. For example, what does that mean for Ireland and Portugal? Or Spain and Italy for that matter? Think unintended consequences. All of this suggests that October could be another very rough environment for the global equities markets. Keep your seatbelts fastened!