America's holiday shopping season, which officially opens today, is expected to yield sales 4 percent higher than last year. This growth is not likely to be seen at discount stores; their customers are feeling the credit crunch. But a big increase is predicted in sales of luxury-brand products like Burberry handbags, Prada scarves and Gucci ties, with prices high enough to make a difference.
Those prices are worth it, we are told, because these goods are handmade in Europe by artisans. In fact, that is not always the case — as we learned from the recent news reports on the activities of Norman Hsu, the Democratic political fund-raiser indicted on charges of investment fraud.… Seguir leyendo »