While Wall Street has been stalled for a year and a half, Main Street has been bustling.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index is now at levels first reached near Thanksgiving 2014. Since then, 4.1 million new jobs have been created, average hourly earnings for American workers are up 3.9 percent, real personal spending has climbed 3.6 percent and consumer loans outstanding are 8.3 percent higher.
The steady (if belated) improvement in fortunes for the typical U.S. household has come as corporate profits have slipped and investors who feast on them have struggled to muster enthusiasm over stocks.
Corporate profits as a proportion of the total U.S. economy have ebbed from historic highs above 10 percent in late 2014 to 9 percent at the end of 2015. And how's this for a turnabout? Since the real economy started gaining ground on the corporate and financial sectors in late 2014, Goldman Sachs shares have shed 16 percent of their value and the compensation set aside per Goldman employee was down more than 12 percent.