Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Monday, September 12, 2011

How QE2 helped Main Street, example 1: High-end diamond retailers

One justification for bailing out Wall Street was that it would ultimately help Main Street.  Last time we looked at the diamond price index for 1-ct diamonds. Today we investigate the effects of QE2 on that most Main Street of businesses--the high-end diamond retailer.

Below is a chart for the price of 3-carat diamonds (the RAPI index, based on the price of the best 25 diamonds of a given size, clarity, and colour).

At the prices quoted, a single diamond of this size would set you back about $110,000. Hopefully she's worth it.

There are two significant periods of rising prices--early 2010 (at the tail of the first QE), and November 2010 to June 2011, during which time prices rose about 30%. The official CPI (excluding food and energy) was 1-2% over the same interval. We note that this last interval corresponds approximately with the timing of QE2, and congratulate the Federal Reserve for aiding Main Street business.

In a related chart, we see that jewellry prices and sales rose through the first half of 2011.

In our next installment we will compile the caviar index and the well-known 100-year-old-port index to see how these Main Street retailers have been affected by QE2.

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