Explaining Southern California's economy

It's Black Friday versus the eurozone crisis

Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Black Friday at Macy's in Manhattan: Shoppers lined up.

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. In fact, it appears as though many of you did enjoy the holiday — enough to hit the malls in force on Black Friday. According to the LA Times, retail activity was up 16 percent over last year. And the markets are responding: all the major stock indexes have climbed this morning. 

Meanwhile, the neverending eurozone crisis appears to have entered a new phase. We keep waiting for an endgame here, with the likely demise of the euro single currency. But then Germany and France get together to pull the eurozone back from the brink. This dynamic has caused predictable volatility in world markets for months now. But in the U.S., there's at least some improving news, giving markets the chance to rally on their own and somewhat ignore Europe.

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U.S. GDP growth is revised lower, but that's no reason to panic — yet

Should have gotten to this yesterday, but better late than never. And just in time for Black Friday, the traditional kickoff for the holiday shopping season!

The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised down its data for U.S. GDP growth in the third quarter. What was 2.5 percent, which was pleasantly surprising when it was announced, became 2 percent. So the economy grew in the third quarter, just not as much as was originally thought.

This isn't really a good thing — that 2.5 percent figure caught observers off guard and gave economists firm reason to believe that the economy isn't going to fall into another recession. But under the circumstances, 2 percent isn't terrible. And losing half a percentage point of GDP doesn't mean that we have to gird ourselves for a double-dip. In fact, it means that the economy continues to grow, a sign that if nothing else, unemployment won't climb higher than 9 percent.

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Storify: The latest grim news for the eurozone

My continuing effort to track the eurozone crisis via Storify continues. And the outlook for the single currency just gets worse and worse. Greece, Italy, and Spain have joined Ireland and Portugal in the basket-case category. France is under threat as its borrowing costs rise, and now even Germany is having trouble getting investors to buy its bonds.

On the plus side, I think we're running out of countries in Europe to see infected by this.

Follow Matthew DeBord and the DeBord Report on Twitter.

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LA Auto Show: The glorious gullwing Mercedes SLS AMG

Perhaps thankfully, I'm nearing the end of the videos I shot while at the press days for the LA Auto Show last week. 

But here's a last one, because...well, because I love the British racing green cars. You just don't see them that often anymore. And in this case, I think the Mercedes SLS AMG looks pretty sharp in that storied tone. The gullwing doors don't hurt, either.

The show runs through through Nov. 27, so you've got plenty of time to go down and check out this ride — which has quite a history — in the flesh.

Follow Matthew DeBord and the DeBord Report on Twitter.

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Innovative Occupy LA deal to move from City Hall under fire

Occupy LA March - November 17

Eric Richardson / blogdowntown

A protester is arrested during a Thursday afternoon Occupy LA march that did not have police permits.

Well, that didn't take long. Just as an innovative deal between the City of LA and Occupy LA protesters — a deal that would have gotten the protesters off City Hall's lawn and into 10,000 square feet if office space — was floated, it was criticized. 

But it may still be in play. And if it is, it's consistent with the very enlightened stance LA has taken toward the Occupy Movement since it set up camp at City Hall almost two months ago.

This is from the LA Times:

Images of cops in riot gear rousting Occupy encampments across the nation have become ubiquitous in recent weeks, as many cities try to prevent the tent gatherings from becoming troublesome permanent fixtures. But Los Angeles has taken a different tack.

Officials have been quietly searching for common ground with Occupy representatives for several weeks, culminating in a highly unusual offer announced by protesters Monday: If the campers move off the City Hall lawn, the city will lease them work space for $1 a year, as well as provide land for protesters to garden.

As political blow back to the proposal mounted Tuesday, city officials backed away slightly from the offer, according to Scott Shuster, a protester who said he has been present at the meetings, which are headed by Villaraigosa's deputy chief of staff, Matt Szabo. Shuster said it was unclear whether that offer was still on the table.

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