The Dismal Science

A New Year begins. At this writing, economic reports indicate that the retail business is somewhat better than last year. That sounds to me like damning with faint praise! The past 12 months have been the most difficult that many of us can remember, particularly in the jewelry business. The so-called luxury business has all but vanished. The main-stream business has changed dramatically as a result of gold hitting the heights of $1,200 per ounce. For the first time, at least in my memory, we see national chain stores like Kay Jewelers advertising emerging brands like LeVian and Pandora. While usually an optimist, I think we are still a long way from getting out of the woods. There are so many structural problems confronting the nation, it is difficult to see the end game. And it appears to me that Washington is not focused on the important priorities. I

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