Home Prices vs. Rents

Home Prices vs. Rents

  This week’s featured chart shows a reason why we probably won’t see inflation come crashing down any time soon. The chart, shown above, shows the ratio between home prices and rents. When it’s rising, it means home prices are growing faster than rents; when it...
Can’t Afford It

Can’t Afford It

  It’s getting a lot harder for the average American family to afford a house these days. As shown on our featured chart above, the Housing Affordability Index (blue line, top clip) has fallen off a cliff. Compared to last year, the index has dropped 44 points...
Great Expectations

Great Expectations

  This week’s big news was the Fed’s announcement that it’s raising its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points (0.75 percentage points). That was the Fed’s biggest interest-rate increase since 1994. This surprise move was in direct response to the...
Zombie Companies

Zombie Companies

  What do you get when you combine dirt-cheap funding with a preference to invest in companies heavy on intangible assets? Two words: zombie companies. According to a new research paper by the University of Minnesota, the percentage of U.S. public firms with zero...
Sitting Idle

Sitting Idle

  There’s a saying in economics that the cure for high prices is… high prices. In other words, as the price of a commodity increases, it incentivizes producers to produce more of that commodity, but the increased supply then leads to lower prices. That’s the...
Losing Streak

Losing Streak

  The U.S. stock market has had a rough couple of weeks. Well, more than just a couple. Our Chart of the Week above shows the weekly returns for the S&P 500 this year. The index has now closed lower for its seventh week in a row. You would have to go all the...