Talking Points: June 3, 2019

June 3, 2019

Of the 469 recessions in 194 countries since 1988, only four were predicted by economists at the International Monetary Fund by the spring of the year before the downturn. Private-sector economists are not much better. One study found that of 153 downturns in 63 countries between 1992 and 2014, just five had been anticipated by the preceding April.  Bloomberg, March 28, 2019

Analysts say, because of the 25% tariffs on $40 billion worth of goods purchased by consumers like clothing, furniture, handbags, and luggage, retailers will have to raise prices 2.3% to maintain current margins, and if they don’t raise prices, retail earnings will be squashed by 39%. The Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2019

Amazon is buying dozens of machines that could eliminate the difficult and physically taxing  job of packing boxes in its fulfillment centers. The CartonWrap packs 600 to 700 boxes per hour, which is about four to five times the rate a human can. Reuters, May 13, 2019

Amazon was responsible for about 44% of all U.S. e-commerce sales last year, or about 4% of the country’s total retail sales- which is a smaller share than Walmart The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2019

“People don’t buy because what you do is awesome. People buy because you make them feel awesome.” Tara Gentile

Even though Berkshire Hathaway shares have fallen behind the S&P 500 the past decade, its stock has outperformed the index by 2,472,627% . That’s roughly 165 times the benchmark over the past 55 years. Bloomberg, May 3, 2019

“It’s my belief we develop language because of our deep inner need to complain.” Lily Tomlin

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Image:Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

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