Inflation is a problem
Double-digit inflation is back for the first time since the “bad old days of 1981,” says Irwin Kellner in MarketWatch, so “why are most pundits silent?” For some, maybe it’s because oil prices, seen as behind the recent inflationary spike, are falling; perhaps others think that the slowing economy will stop businesses from raising prices. “Whatever the reasons, those who profess not to be worried that inflation is getting worse are looking at the wrong data, are cockeyed optimists, or are simply keeping their fingers crossed.” Inflation is a problem, and the cause? “Too much money chasing too few goods.” The Federal Reserve needs to tighten supply, but it won’t, so get used to high inflation for a while.
Finding the elusive online travel deal
Consumers can still find online travel deals, says Sarah Nassauer in The Wall Street Journal, “if they are willing to spend the time looking.” Online travel agencies lost their dominance after they started charging booking fees, and “suppliers”—the airlines and hotels themselves—picked up the slack, accounting for 61 percent of travel purchases last year, from 50 percent in 2003. But the online agencies, such as Expedia and Travelocity, “are regaining some ground by offering aggressive deals.” This is a good opportunity for travelers, but for the best deal, check multiple sites and the supplier itself. Some companies in each camp, such as Orbitz and Delta, even pledge to guarantee the best fare.