Officials for some large U.S. cities are claiming that online travel agencies such as Expedia and Priceline are collecting hotel occupancy taxes from consumers, but not forwarding the full amount to governments. If the OTAs are forced to pass that tax money on, what will it do to their profits?
If stocks are rising, many Wall Street gurus take it as evidence that the economy is improving. Yet even though the S&P 500 has soared 80% from its March 2009 lows, 70% of Americans don't believe the recession is over. Is Main Street's grasp on reality firmer than Wall Street's? Let's look at the data: