Guest Post: How QE2 Helped Main Street, Example 1: High-End Diamond Retailers

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by The World Complex

How QE2 Helped Main Street, Example 1: High-End Diamond Retailers

One justification for bailing out Wall Street was that it would ultimately help Main Street.  Last time we looked at the diamond price index for 1-ct diamonds. Today we investigate the effects of QE2 on that most Main Street of businesses--the high-end diamond retailer.

Below is a chart for the price of 3-carat diamonds (the RAPI index, based on the price of the best 25 diamonds of a given size, clarity, and colour).

At the prices quoted, a single diamond of this size would set you back about $110,000. Hopefully she's worth it.

There are two significant periods of rising prices--early 2010, and November 2010 to June 2011, during which time prices rose about 30%. The official CPI (excluding food and energy) was 1-2% over the same interval. We note that this last interval corresponds approximately with the timing of QE2, and congratulate the Federal Reserve for aiding Main Street business.

In a related chart, we see that jewellry prices and sales rose through the first half of 2011.

In our next installment we will compile the caviar index and the well-known 100-year-old-port index to see how these Main Street retailers have been affected by QE2.

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NoneOfTheAbove's picture


Dear Ben,


Please steal granny's purse for us, so we can keep pretending we don't live in her 






Lloyd and Jamie

aka Beavis & Butthead



JW n FL's picture

Gold Wars: Paper Empire Strikes Back

sgt_doom's picture

From the "It's all connected" department, I chanced upon an audio documentary on the horrible memories of the survivors of the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11/01, but what is really interesting is to note that on 9/10/01, the Pentagon's comptroller mentions that $2.3 trillion is unaccounted for and on the morning of 9/11/01, especially thanks to a last-minute scheduled meeting of all financial managers, including their offsite managers, at the Pentagon,

almost the entire financial management of the Defense Intelligence Agency is killed!!!!


JW n FL's picture



I got one for ya..

were are the monies collected for all of the public lands sold in America?

were are the monies collected for mineral rights sales?

were is the income that America Generates thru the sale of anything?

You wont find any of those lines of revenue or any other.

Now on to your point of America being fleeced by the millitary.. sure, all day every day.

You see.. there is this Big Fucking Club.. and you and I are NOT! in this Big Fucking Club!

We are the suckers who pay for this Big Fucking Club!

Piranhanoia's picture

But diamonds are good for sandpaper and cutting.  What else do they do?

Cthonic's picture

Part legs, albeit temporarily.

Cash_is_Trash's picture

Diamonds in bank vaults are merely "tradition".

Nice chart of malinvestment performance.

A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000's picture

I heard that they used to buy you 15 more minutes of life at Aushwitz.

Dave Thomas's picture

Why do people buy diamonds? They're as abundant as hell.

Construct's picture

not really. supply is low due to destruction of over supply.

MarketTruth's picture

Whomever told you that is an idiot. Russia and many countries have an abundance of diamonds. Only 'rare' if they are 5 carats or higher with top rated clarity.

Construct's picture

yes ofcourse but by keeping them of the market or destroying that supply you end up with a under supply that drives prices up.

MarketTruth's picture

Ahh, manipulation akin to why DeBeers was prosecuted in the USA. Yes, that is true. Go to any pawn shop and the truth about gold, silver... and no-value diamonds will become self-evident.

Construct's picture

you mean to tell me that the same is being done with gold and silver?

monopoly's picture

Damn, I am really upset now. I sent Tyler my DOW 10,000 hat thinking I would never need it again and now he refuses to give it back.


erik's picture

Does anyone know an ETF for Euro banks that trades on Euro exchanges?  Preferably a leveraged ETF like FAS/FAS or SKF/UYG.

CheapPanderingCrony's picture

While obviously it's not the safe haven of the poor masses. What are the chances that the increase in diamond prices are linked to people looking for somewhere safe to put their money besides the precious metals?

Flakmeister's picture


It's pretty hard to schlep $1,000,000 in gold even in todays dollars....

Shameful's picture

Clearly you need to hit the gym.  I might not be the strongest guy in the world but I could haul around 38lbs of gold on my back and have quite the spring in my step :)

malikai's picture

I'd rather have the gold. It just looks and feels better to me.

Flakmeister's picture

Yeah, and if I had $10,000,000 or so, it would not be all in gold.

Edit: The market for Rubies and Emeralds, not to menton colored semi-precious stones is rocketing...

malikai's picture

If I was talking 10 Mil, I think I would be happy to diversify into rubies, emeralds, and particularly productive land with a good hill to build on. :)

Flakmeister's picture

That is my point.... the uber-wealthy aren't worried about things at the level we are... Silver, while cute, is looked upon the same way that some of us here look at Cu pennies and Nickels....Do you want to hoard 5000 lbs of copper???

Hell, anyone with a liquid net worth greater than a few million would be foolish not to have a very portable store of wealth. Even more portable than gold.

malikai's picture

You have exposed my plebian roots. Now how am I supposed to pick up chicks here? They all know I'm just a loser serf now. Thanks.

Flakmeister's picture

Sorry.... didn't mean to out you.... ;-)

NotApplicable's picture

What are you taliking about? I haven't spent a nickel or penny in years. Those suckers are the silver dimes of the future.

They make for nice walls in my bunker, as well.

Flakmeister's picture

Yeah.... the pennies are good for the Faraday cage.

But seriously, I do save the old pennies and when I think of it nickels, but I don't think that I will be able get anything useful for them even in the event that the dollar goes tits up...

Flakmeister's picture

I used to hike through the rainforest with 55 lbs on my back....(check out where Cape Fife is) BFD....

Now do it on the run...with a checkpoint or two thrown in...

Shameful's picture

If one had millions in net assets why on God's green earth would they expose themselves to political risk?  Don't know about you but I would be parked out in Switzerland, not the US or some other police state.  They have a good record of not being invaded and welcoming guys with mounds of cash.  The rich don't need to run unless they are also retarded, and my guess is the retarded rich are not sitting with mounds of gold in their basement safe.



And if not super rich and just the million could spread it around in "safe" places.  But I'm not cursed with that problem, I'm just a debt slave in the USSA.  But really who is going to be trying to get past check points these days?  They will just feel you up at the airports.

Flakmeister's picture

There have been other checkpoints besides TSA in the last 100 years, and they nabbed a lot of rich people.

No real argument from me... Swissyland is good place, as would be Bermuda with a 80' sail boat. Since I am also just a poor schlub, I don't really have to worry about this stuff.

FWIW, I used to work with a guy that built the equivalent of the "FuhrerBunker" underneath his place in New Caanan.

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

With a professional courtesy from a plastic surgeon, doctors can have up to a 4 carat marquis sewn into their abdominal cavity, which doesn't have to be removed until their arrival in Buenos Aires.

dalkrin's picture

How much of the jewelry store statistics are due to changes in PM prices and availability, rather than that of simply diamonds?

john39's picture

have heard from inside sources that many doctors have been buying diamonds as a hedge for economic collapse/dollar collapse.   I couldn't help but chuckle wondering who, in the event of real collapse, would trade anything valuable for diamonds...  especially considering the fact that there are literally billions of unsold diamonds socked away by the ungodly diamond monopoly...   unlike gold, the scarcity of diamonds could reverse overnight, destroying the "market" for these little rocks.

Crime of the Century's picture

Not to mention that in order to be valuable, they can't be perfect, for only artificial diamonds can be perfect. 180 degrees out from gold, and the reason gold is money.

Esso's picture

Criminy. Doctors - Retards with stethescopes & scalpels.

Sabibaby's picture

Tyler, Main Street doesn't buy diamonds very often (hopefully only once when we get married) and then 100-year old port and caviar? Am I missing /sarc?


What about the milk, eggs, and bread index?


time to re-read, I'm missing the sarcasm...

SheepDog-One's picture

100 year old port? Bah. For who....the servants?

caerus's picture

that's a bottle i can believe in

Lower Class Elite's picture

And it's ribbed, for her pleasure.

malikai's picture

Dude high life is the biggest hangover inducer I've ever had!

NotApplicable's picture

Is that the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch?

mickeyman's picture

Unfortunately there is no cognac index.

I may be able to check out the high-end champagne index.

Apocalicious's picture

It's dripping with sarcasm, bud. You need to recalibrate...


Apocalicious's picture

It's dripping with sarcasm, bud. You need to recalibrate...


gaoptimize's picture

Flawless diamonds of any color can be produced for ~$20 to ~100 / carat.  Enough said.  Let the deep-Earthers be impoverished by their romanticism and cruelty.

hungarianboy's picture

I'd sell everything and like Robo said, go cash or short.