Profits Soar, Employment lags
(items gleaned from the New York Times)
The nation’s workers may be struggling, but American companies just had their best quarter ever.
American businesses earned profits at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion in the third quarter, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday. That is the highest figure recorded since the government began keeping track over 60 years ago, at least in nominal or noninflation-adjusted terms.
Return of Conspicuous Consumption
But when it comes to personal indulgences, there are signs that the wallets are beginning to open up. Traders and executives say that jobs seem much more secure. Businesses whose fortunes ebb and flow with the financial markets are thriving again.
“Wall Street is back spending as much if not more than before,” said the New York cosmetic surgeon Dr. Francesca J. Fusco, whose business is booming again after a difficult few years.
Christie’s auction house says investors from the financial world who fell out of the bidding market during the 2008 credit crisis are “pouring” back in.
Expensive restaurants report a pickup in bookings. At the Porter House restaurant in the Time Warner Center across from Central Park, the head chef, Michael Lomonaco, says business is up about 10 percent over a year ago and “people are starting to shake off what happened.” The restaurant is a favorite of A-list Wall Street executives, including Goldman Sachs’s chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein.
Real estate agents say Wall Street executives have already begun lining up rentals in the Hamptons for next summer. Dolly Lenz of Prudential Douglas Elliman said the bidding this year was “hotter and heavier” than previous years. “There is a passion now in the market I haven’t seen in a while,” she said.
She said her clients, almost exclusively from Wall Street, were afraid to lose out. Just recently, Ms. Lenz said, she had three people bidding more than $400,000 for a summer rental in Southampton.
And the new Congress wants to extend tax cuts of these people!