Keeping up with the Joneses used to mean having the fastest BMW on the block. But in this economy, neighborhood bragging rights go to the family that got the most rolls of Charmin for $5.99. The rich have gone from shouting “look how much I have”, to “look how much I saved.”
Norwegian economist Thorstein Veblen theorized in 1899 that the richer you get the more splashy spending you'll do. Sorry Thorstein but that’s not exactly true.
The rich may have money but they're not dumb. With gas prices at levels never seen before that person you're racing to the 6am sale might have just stepped out of the Mercedes or Lexus parked near the door. (It’s hard to tell with so many luxury cars in the lot.)
Oh, and please don’t call Target by that oh, so adorable pet name “Tar-zhey” anymore. In these tough times, no one wants an uppity, French brand moniker.
It seems even the affluent are pinching their pennies. And that makes us wonder, where's the fast money as the comfortable class begins clipping coupons?
Wal-Mart is the yang to the economy's yin, says Jeff Macke. I also like Costco and you can buy the dip on BJ’s. It was downgraded on Tuesday but I say step in.
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Trader disclosure: On June 24, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (BTU), (NUE), (MSFT); Macke Owns (DIS), (WMT), (MSFT); Najarian Owns (AAPL), (HD), (NOK), (TSO), (XLF); Najarian Owns (WFMI) Puts, (MER) Puts, (DHI) Puts; Najarian Owns (YHOO) Calls, (EK) Calls, (UBS) Calls; Finerman Owns (GS)
Finerman's Firm Owns (AXP), (MSFT), (NYX), (PZN), (TSO), (VLO), (PPH); Finerman's Firm Owns SPX Index Puts; Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (C) And (C) Leaps; Finerman's Firm Is Short (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (IWM), (SPY); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (HD) And (HD) Puts