The “beverage of the summer’s” popularity (a frat spent $7,500 on a bulk purchase in Austin) is due partially to our tax laws. Spirits are taxed at a higher rate than beer making it expensive to mix vodka into a cocktail and sell it. White Claw outsmarted the tax code by reinvented the process to a simple sugar fermentation (instead of distillation and mixing) to create an affordable and neutrally flavored (or grapefruit):
” Beer so lite it’s not a beer at all.”Josh Barro
Rates – after steady declines in August, rates sharply increased the first two weeks of September nullifying the improvements of last month.
Loan Performance – foreclosures continue to remain at record low levels nationwide (Zillow estimates only 63% of homes have mortgages) and by most metrics, borrowers continue to make their payments on time. It’s worth noting that 30 day lates did spike up from 3.6% in the last report to 4.0% (still down year over year). I’ll keep an eye on this next month to see if it is a temporary spike due to refinance boom and the payment confusion that can be associated with it.
Jobs – The number of people filing for unemployment for the first time dropped nicely last week showing that employers are holding on to their workers.