If you’re a newbie to the Wall Street Daily Nation, you’re in for a treat.
Each Friday, I try my darndest to zip my lips and let some carefully selected graphics do the talking for me.
This week, I’m dishing on 1) the oddest, yet most instructive chart on wage growth, 2) one trend the polar vortex can’t disrupt, and 3) another ticking time bomb in the credit markets.
Pictorial enlightenment begins in three, two, one…
Show Me the Money!
We all know corporate incomes keep climbing, but what about personal incomes? Not so much.
Monthly wage growth checked in at an all-time low of 1.28% in October 2012.
Granted, it’s been trending higher ever since. (The latest reading came in at 2.21%.)
However, if we also take into account the year-over-year growth rate (shown on the y-axis), forget a clear trend. We essentially get a scatter plot that more closely resembles a preschooler’s art project.
I hate to be the bearer of such nightmarish news. But even though the labor market is on the mend, the gains aren’t showing up where they matter most – in workers’ paychecks.
Until that happens, the U.S. economy won’t truly be on solid footing, which means the Fed might be providing “support” for much longer than anyone anticipates.
Yet another historic winter storm is wreaking havoc across the country, making air travel impossible.
So far, more than 10,000 flights have been cancelled.
While it might be hard to look on the bright side of things if you’re one of those stranded travelers, a silver lining definitely exists…
It’s never been cheaper to fly.
On a per-mile basis, air travel is about 50% cheaper than it was three decades ago. So the next time someone starts griping about how expensive it’s gotten to travel, set him or her straight.
Big Problem in Little China
Earlier this week, I alluded to a potential credit crisis in China. And today, I’m sharing a single chart to help put the threat into perspective, courtesy of Jim Grant of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer.
From the end of 2008 through the third quarter of 2013, China’s banks took on $15.1 trillion in new debt.
As a percentage of global GDP, that’s an epic credit frenzy, the likes of which the world has never seen.
Forget the United States (and Japan). If the world is going to endure another financial collapse, it’s going to be China’s fault. And now you know why everyone is keeping such a close eye on what’s going on in the country.
That’s it for today. Before you go, though, let us know what you think of this weekly column – or any of our recent work at Wall Street Daily – by going here.
Ahead of the tape,