Lending leaders and laggards

first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The New York Fed’s quarterly release of consumer lending data received more attention than usual this cycle thanks to a certain milestone. For the first time, overall U.S. consumer debt of $12.7 trillion exceeded the previous high established in late 2008, just as the extent of the Great Recession was becoming apparent.Even at a high level, this statistic provides an opportunity to separate the “glass half full” types from the Negative Nellies. Does it mean our economy has finally recovered—or that we’ve simply created a new bubble for ourselves?Probably neither, although a closer look at the data could provide pockets of support for either argument. If you like numbers nearly as much as I do, I encourage you to download the New York Fed’s deck and easy-to-navigate spreadsheet, both of which contain plenty of worthwhile nuggets.Here’s my take on the high points.Of the six underlying consumer debt categories, four remain well off their highs while two have grown—and one of those is a doozy. continue reading »last_img read more

Venice has introduced entrance fees for tourists

first_imgThe goal of this measure is for tourists to bear the high costs of maintaining a popular tourist destination built on water as well as one of the responses to mass tourism that is literally destroying Venice. Also, this measure mostly applies to tourists who come for one day and do not pay the sojourn tax because they do not spend the night, which is most true for guests from cruise ships. The City Council of Venice on Saturday made a decision on charging the entrance to Venice for tourists, for all tourists, both for day tourists and for those who spend the night.  By the way, over 30 million tourists visit Venice every yearcenter_img The ticket will cost from 2,50 to 10 euros per person, depending on the travel season and with some exceptions such as a ticket for students, people who travel briefly to Venice, etc.last_img read more