Must Read Money Stories, Monday, Dec. 15

by December 15, 2014

MRMSJames Bond is the latest Sony email casualty. Those hacked Sony emails have featured everyone from Angelina Jolie to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd to CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter. And now, James Bond is involved. On Sunday, NBC News reported that an early version of the next Bond movie, Spectre, apparently has been stolen. The producers are fearful someone may publish it. Eon Productions said it would take all legal steps to protect MGM Studios and Danjac LLC, which hold the rights to Bond material on screen. There is speculation the hack is related to North Korea, which is not happy about the upcoming Seth Rogan film, “The Interview” for which you may have seen a trailer. But North Korean officials have denied that.

Consumer confidence is strong. The latest measurement of consumer sentiment was a surprising 93.8, the highest since January 2007, according to Thompson Reuters and the University of Michigan. That’s a jump from 88.8 in November, and it’s buoying hopes for a strong holiday retail season. Six months of falling gasoline prices, allowing people to set aside money for holiday spending, plus hiring and wage growth are leading people to feel better about the economy, says Bloomberg.

The hottest thing in London: socks. London has royalty, private men’s clubs and bespoke tailors. It now boasts a secret sock society. According to the CBC, the Sock Club London’s motto is “no apologies, no regrets.” The members are only known by their colorful socks. Member 001 emphasized that it was a sense of community that led to the creation of Sock Club London. “We’re guys. We like to belong. We also like to believe that we bring a certain individualness to this as well, but there’s also a sense of belonging. That’s why we started a members’ club for socks, because there’s a lot of like-minded people that are interested in this.” Membership in the UK costs $31.43 (at Sunday’s exchange rate) and a U.S. membership will run about $40. Socks start at about $30, but there’s a discount with a membership.

L.L. Bean can’t keep up. In other retail news, the legendary American outfitter, L.L. Bean, is being overwhelmed with demand for its iconic Bean Boots. According to NENC, the company’s factory in Brunswick, Maine, has added a third shift. But some customers are finding they can’t get their boots until the end of January. Why? Bad weather and hipsters. The early snow storms on the East Coast sent demand soaring. Meanwhile, Bean Boots are now considered trendy. Here’s a look at how they are made.