Earnings season is now in high gear, and as I predicted last week, the numbers are coming in stronger than the pundits expected.
That was definitely the case with the big banks last week; Goldman Sachs blew the doors off Wall Street's expectations, posting earnings of $5.81 versus the $4.89 analysts had on the board. JPMorgan posted earnings of $2.82 versus estimates of $2.50.
JPMorgan's CEO, Jamie Dimon, noted "positive momentum with the U.S. consumer - healthy confidence levels, solid job creation, and rising wages."
Now, it's certainly true the consumer is stronger than the headlines suggest. That's a truth we talk about frequently.
But that's not the real story...
The truth is something you and I and just about every American know deep down: There are some significant challenges facing U.S. consumers right now.
I'm talking about very real inflation - the existence of which the Fed has denied for years now - and the ever-increasing levels of consumer debt out there.
The two are related, despite what you might hear coming out of Washington and Wall Street.