Sunday, May 25, 2008

WSJ, May 20, 2008

The Wall Street Journal's May 20th edition contained a lot of fabulous "infoporn," as Barry Ritholtz of the "The Big Picture" blog likes to say. ("Chartporn" is another one of his favorite expressions.) See

1. "Economies in states that produce oil, gas and other commodities are stronger than the rest of the U.S." April 2008 Unemployment rates for Montana: 3.8%; North Dakota: 3.1%; Oklahoma: 3.2%; Texas: 4.1%; Wyoming: 2.6%. Interestingly enough, based on some other information I've seen, South Dakota is apparently doing better overall than North Dakota in terms of bank deposits. Maybe North Dakotans are more optimistic and spending more money instead of saving it like their neighbors down south?

2. For all credit card company investors and lovers of the recent Visa (V) IPO, check this out:

Default Deluge: monthly credit card losses at credit-card companies are at 6%--a three year high. (Page C14). Say it with me: upcoming recession?

3. Nothing, however, topped the article on home prices (D3). Apparently, construction companies went overboard in building condos in Chicago, so you can buy a condo for $85,000 in Bronzeville. The areas with the most supply appear to be Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, and Bucktown (why doesn't San Jose have cool neighborhood nicknames?). With a possible Olympic bid, Bronzeville might be an interesting location. South Side...the "baddest part of town" no more?

Median Single Family Home Prices:

Boston: 357K
Chicago: 249K
L.A.: 459K
NY: 445K
S.F.: 701K

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