NEW YORKER cover for Jan. 2 shows a bearded Father Time, with scythe and “2011” sash, glumly beholds the chubby, scampering Baby New Year: a diapered Newt Gingrich, wearing a “1994” sash as he doffs his top hat and hoists a champagne flute. http://nyr.kr/ujkldS THE NARRATIVE – AL HUNT COLUMN on Bloomberg, “Republicans May Be Dealing Obama a Winning Hand”: “The last four times an insurgent party has captured the presidency -- 1980, 1992, 2000 and 2008 -- it had a positive approval rating a year before Election Day that usually was better than the incumbent party’s. … Today, a plethora of polls shows both parties are held in low regard by the electorate, but the Republicans consistently do worse. … The White House staff seems spent, their message is confusing and contradictory. They brought in an able chief of staff, Bill Daley, and then tried to cut him off at the knees. Yet the Obama campaign remains first class when … [Read more...] about State of Union to focus on saving middle class from decline – Heilemann: Romney may win Iowa – Romney: Obama will run on ‘envy and divisiveness’ – Doris Kearns Goodwin, Noelle Clemente b’day
Middle class emerging markets
NEW FROM THE CAMPAIGNS – CRAIG ROMNEY, one of the five sons, is featured in the campaign’s eight Spanish-language ad since January, “Los Invito” (“I invite you”). At end, the candidate says: “Soy Mitt Romney.” Per the campaign: “The release of the ad, which will air in target markets across the country, coincided with the launch of the campaign’s new Spanish-language website, www.JuntosConRomney.com.” YouTube http://bit.ly/PQ9ICV –Obama video, “Why Would Mitt Romney Invest Millions in the Cayman Islands?” YouTube http://bit.ly/S2gS4b Story Continued Below FIRST LOOK -- Republican insiders are very #pumped about this American Crossroads video, which may become a key ad -- “Obama’s War on Women … There is a war on women: it's called the Obama economy.” YouTube http://bit.ly/MYR2iu AP’S DAY AHEAD: “Romney scheduled to address NAACP convention at 10:30 a.m. … … [Read more...] about 118 days to election — MRS. OBAMA HELPS POTUS RELATE TO MIDDLE CLASS — Obama bet: young vets — Behind the curtain: POLITICO livestream, noon — Josh Wachs bday — Garrett Graff is 3-0
Last Updated Jul 28, 2009 9:58 AM EDT Although a lot off attention has been paid to affluent consumers turning to private label products in the recession, an analysis of the available data by Todd Hale, senior vice president, consumer and shopper insights at The Nielsen Co., demonstrates that it's really the middle-consumer that is increasing purchases of store brands. Wal-Mart's recent private label initiatives suggest it recognizes the trend. Hale noted that the two highest two income brackets in his analysis of private label purchasing, those with incomes of $70,000 to $99,999 and those with incomes of over $100,000, did demonstrate the biggest increase in store brand dollar sales, accounting for 32 percent of the total in 2004 and 35 percent in 2008. Yet, when looked at in demographic terms, it turns out that the gain is a function of population growth in those demographics not an increased demand, Hale asserted. Dollar sales growth generated by the most affluent households was … [Read more...] about Wal-Mart Moves Reflect Recognition of Middle Class Private Label Shift
NEW YORK Visa (V) beat Wall Street's expectations for the latest quarter as it sought out business overseas. The payments processing company made $1.7 billion for the fiscal fourth quarter, which covered July through September, or $2.47 per share. That was nearly double the $880 million, or $1.27, that it made in the same period a year ago. Lowest cost cards for carrying a balance MasterCard income up on international growth How to maximize credit card rewards at restaurants After adjusting for one-time items, earnings were $1.54. That beat the predictions of analysts polled by FactSet, who had expected $1.50. Revenue was $2.73 billion for the quarter, up 15 percent. That was also better than the $2.68 billion that analysts had predicted. Visa makes money by processing card transactions. Its results provide insight into how consumers are spending. Revenue from data processing, international transactions and service were all up. Volume for all credit and debit use … [Read more...] about Visa beats estimates, helped by emerging markets
(Moneywatch) Nearly three years after the end of the Great Recession, many Americans are still struggling to survive as a rapidly shifting economy makes their skills are increasingly obsolete. Almost half of middle-class households today live paycheck-to-paycheck, according to a recent survey by financial services firm NestWise. Some 45 percent of households earning between $50,000 and $150,000 per year spend all or more of their monthly earnings each month. Most of those households also have insufficient savings to deal with the loss of a job or other financial emergency. Sequester cuts already hurting small businesses Survey: Private sector added 158k jobs in March Most companies don't expect to hire next quarter More than half of respondents to the survey expressed uncertainty about the economy. A third said they were concerned about losing their job and not finding another one, while 47 percent were worried about their retirement savings. One reason for that anxiety -- the … [Read more...] about A vanishing middle-class — the new normal?