Turbulence Over Sex and the City

It’s been the talk of the town for weeks. And it’s not about whether the credit market crises is slowly coming to an end.

It’s the opening of the film of the “Sex and the City” series that’s fueled speculation with the question: Will Carrie Bradshaw really marry Mr. Big? Series leading ladies Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda have long been cult figures – and have now become a profitable money-making machine.

U.S. retailers are trying to lure consumers into their stores with everything from keychains, pink mousepads with the “SATC” logo, mascara, stilettos, and flip-flops, to a purse for $3,000 adorned with Swarovski crystals. Macy’s, for example, is offering a special gift package featuring products emblazed with the name of series star Sarah Jessica Parker. For $69.50, you get perfumes, body lotion, and two free tickets to the film. Time Warner is betting on the attractiveness of the four ladies and expects to bring in $100 million from this weekend alone.

U.S. retailers can use a bit of a boost. Consumer sentiment is at its lowest since 1992. The real estate crisis, high price of gas, and job concerns have put the general mood in the cellar. In a survey, two-thirds of Americans are worried that they have too little savings. Their anxiety isn’t high enough to change general behavior though.

The average savings rate across the country is about one percent. Instead of saving, some Americans are looking for other ways to find it – and are unscrupulous in ways to get it. The number of tips received by police has risen approximately 40% in the past few months. To fill their tank with the reward money, people have ratted out their neighbors, acquaintances, and grandchildren to the police. That’s just not very ladylike.

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