So having spent some ‘research’ time in the US recently what new facts have we learned from our travels?
Well firstly, and most surprisingly, we have discovered that American men wear pants under their swimming shorts. *1
The Americans are potentially making the same economic mistakes as us Brits. *2
It is possible to lose weight at Disney World but requires the patience of Job. *3
*1 We actually only have the word of a few Californians as evidence for this. We did not conduct any research in Florida and may be caught up in their or our own confirmation bias but either way if true it is as weird as the French forcing men to wear speedos at public swimming pools (this we do have first hand experience of).
*2 Whilst we were away Janet Yellen chair of the Federal Reserve looked to be spooked by some mildly deteriorating economic data and softened her stance on interest rates. The markets took her announcement as an indication that a normalisation of interest rates would be imposed more gradually. As a result US equity markets rose and found new historic highs. The economic folly of keeping interest rates this low for this long is that when rates rise back to normal, which they will have to at some point, the markets which have become dependent on this sort of government intervention will likely fall and possibly hard. (With thanks to Rowan Dartington for the prompt).
*3 Just in case anyone is interested, it involves lots of salads at Wolfgang Puck, taking cashews in bulk and very few ice creams.
So in summary; pack pants, make sure you diversify your US holdings to provide some protection against equities and take nuts.