Based in Las Vegas, Douglas french writes about the  economy and book reviews. 

We're Here for the Party, Not to Gamble

We're Here for the Party, Not to Gamble

UNLV's economics department has come out with its year-end 2016 numbers and all arrows are pointing skyward, except, well, Sin City's most important industry, tourism. McCarran passengers were up 1% in December (y-to-y), hotel occupancy was up 1.2%, but Gross Gaming win was down 4.1%.  Las Vegas has turned into a big party with more low-rollers thinking its BYOB. They don't have the money to gamble, so they club it a bit, then trash their cheap hotel room for kicks. "What happen here, stays here," indeed.

Southern Nevada's leading index was up 2% in December lead by construction, of course. "Both housing permits and commercial permits experienced double-digit growth, up by 23.2 and 24.3 percent, respectively, compared to last month."


So while tourism grinds slowly ahead, its real estate development that gooses the numbers. Employment and population are both up and nearly 5,300 new residents turned in their driver's licenses in December, a respectable number but not quite the 7,000 that handed in their licenses in August. The question is, where are these folks going to work. As far as those Faraday Future jobs, "Regarding FF’s goal to achieve mass-production in 2018, Jia said, 'Everything is ready, and we are eyeing funding results now. Whether funding is in place or not will determine the progress of the entire plant and its construction.'”  Jia just needs a little cash and he's good to build "a car [that] is no longer a mere travel tool, but an internet transport ecosystem." Your tax dollars at work (with vision). 

Irrational Central Banking: Bubbles, Bunds and Beanie Babies

The Fed: Bully With No Stick