Mark Thoma points to San Francisco Fed research on the lasting effects of the past decade's run-up in consumer debt and current "deleveraging" on the U.S. economy and American consumers.
While many restaurants and restaurant chains are getting killed by the economic downturn, P.F. Chang's is up, up, up according to Slate's Dan Gross: "P.F. Chang's China Bistro, whose two restaurant chains--P.F. Chang's and Pei Wei Asian Diner--are staples of upscale malls and mixed-use developments, said that same-store sales fell a bit but profits produced at its 350 outlets rose 38 percent from the first quarter of 2008. Operating margins--the holy grail of any business--at P.F. Chang's 190 stores rose from 12.8 percent to 14 percent, largely because of 'incremental operational improvement opportunities.' The stock has doubled since November."
Investment in single family homes has done some serious cliff diving.
Rebecca Wilder calculates housing bubbles - measured in terms of the price-to-rent ratio - for the UK, Ireland, Spain, and Germany as well as the U.S. (pointer via MarkThoma). America's bubble looks downright mild compared to Ireland, the UK, and Spain.
Felix Salmon points to Michael Lewis' review of the new Warren Buffet biography by Alice Schroeder.
Economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers identify one (pointer via Mark Thoma)...
Tyler Cowen points to a new NBER study that concludes that the shadow banking system is misnamed: it's part of the real banking system and at the heart of the financial crisis: