RETAIL DEATH RATTLE GROWS LOUDER

141 comments

Posted on 25th May 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The definition of death rattle is a sound often produced by someone who is near death when fluids such as saliva and bronchial secretions accumulate in the throat and upper chest. The person can’t swallow and emits a deepening wheezing sound as they gasp for breath. This can go on for two or three days before death relieves them of their misery. The American retail industry is emitting an unmistakable wheezing sound as a long slow painful death approaches.

It was exactly four months ago when I wrote THE RETAIL DEATH RATTLE. Here are a few terse anecdotes from that article:

The absolute collapse in retail visitor counts is the warning siren that this country is about to collide with the reality Americans have run out of time, money, jobs, and illusions. The exponential growth model, built upon a never ending flow of consumer credit and an endless supply of cheap fuel, has reached its limit of growth. The titans of Wall Street and their puppets in Washington D.C. have wrung every drop of faux wealth from the dying middle class. There are nothing left but withering carcasses and bleached bones.

Once the Wall Street created fraud collapsed and the waves of delusion subsided, retailers have been revealed to be swimming naked. Their relentless expansion, based on exponential growth, cannibalized itself, new store construction ground to a halt, sales and profits have declined, and the inevitable closing of thousands of stores has begun.

The implications of this long and winding road to ruin are far reaching. Store closings so far have only been a ripple compared to the tsunami coming to right size the industry for a future of declining spending. Over the next five to ten years, tens of thousands of stores will be shuttered. Companies like JC Penney, Sears and Radio Shack will go bankrupt and become historical footnotes. Considering retail employment is lower today than it was in 2002 before the massive retail expansion, the future will see in excess of 1 million retail workers lose their jobs. Bernanke and the Feds have allowed real estate mall owners to roll over non-performing loans and pretend they are generating enough rental income to cover their loan obligations. As more stores go dark, this little game of extend and pretend will come to an end.

Retail store results for the 1st quarter of 2014 have been rolling in over the last week. It seems the hideous government reported retail sales results over the last six months are being confirmed by the dying bricks and mortar mega-chains. In case you missed the corporate mainstream media not reporting the facts and doing their usual positive spin, here are the absolutely dreadful headlines:

Wal-Mart Profit Plunges By $220 Million as US Store Traffic Declines by 1.4%

Target Profit Plunges by $80 Million, 16% Lower Than 2013, as Store Traffic Declines by 2.3%

Sears Loses $358 Million in First Quarter as Comparable Store Sales at Sears Plunge by 7.8% and Sales at Kmart Plunge by 5.1%

JC Penney Thrilled With Loss of Only $358 Million For the Quarter

Kohl’s Operating Income Plunges by 17% as Comparable Sales Decline by 3.4%

Costco Profit Declines by $84 Million as Comp Store Sales Only Increase by 2%

Staples Profit Plunges by 44% as Sales Collapse and Closing Hundreds of Stores

Gap Income Drops 22% as Same Store Sales Fall

Ann Taylor Profit Crashes by 75% as Same Store Sales Fall

American Eagle Profits Tumble 86%, Will Close 150 Stores

Aeropostale Losses $77 Million as Sales Collapse by 12%

Big Lots Profit Tumbles by 90% as Sales Flat & Exiting Canadian Market

Best Buy Sales Decline by $300 Million as Margins Decline and Comparable Store Sales Decline by 1.3%

Macy’s Profit Flat as Comparable Store Sales decline by 1.4%

Dollar General Profit Plummets by 40% as Comp Store Sales Decline by 3.8%

Urban Outfitters Earnings Collapse by 20% as Sales Stagnate

McDonalds Earnings Fall by $66 Million as US Comp Sales Fall by 1.7%

Darden Profit Collapses by 30% as Same Restaurant Sales Plunge by 5.6% and Company Selling Red Lobster

TJX Misses Earnings Expectations as Sales & Earnings Flat

Dick’s Misses Earnings Expectations as Golf Store Sales Plummet

Home Depot Misses Earnings Expectations as Customer Traffic Only Rises by 2.2%

Lowes Misses Earnings Expectations as Customer Traffic was Flat

Of course, those headlines were never reported. I went to each earnings report and gathered the info that should have been reported by the CNBC bimbos and hacks. Anything you heard surely had a Wall Street spin attached, like the standard BETTER THAN EXPECTED. I love that one. At the start of the quarter the Wall Street shysters post earnings expectations. As the quarter progresses, the company whispers the bad news to Wall Street and the earnings expectations are lowered. Then the company beats the lowered earnings expectation by a penny and the Wall Street scum hail it as a great achievement.  The muppets must be sacrificed to sustain the Wall Street bonus pool. Wall Street investment bank geniuses rated JC Penney a buy from $85 per share in 2007 all the way down to $5 a share in 2013. No more needs to be said about Wall Street “analysis”.

It seems even the lowered expectation scam hasn’t worked this time. U.S. retailer profits have missed lowered expectations by the most in 13 years. They generally “beat” expectations by 3% when the game is being played properly. They’ve missed expectations in the 1st quarter by 3.2%, the worst miss since the fourth quarter of 2000. If my memory serves me right, I believe the economy entered recession shortly thereafter. The brilliant Ivy League trained Wall Street MBAs, earning high six digit salaries on Wall Street, predicted a 13% increase in retailer profits for the first quarter. A monkey with a magic 8 ball could do a better job than these Wall Street big swinging dicks.

The highly compensated flunkies who sit in the corner CEO office of the mega-retail chains trotted out the usual drivel about cold and snowy winter weather and looking forward to tremendous success over the remainder of the year. How do these excuse machine CEO’s explain the success of many high end retailers during the first quarter? Doesn’t weather impact stores that cater to the .01%? The continued unrelenting decline in profits of retailers, dependent upon the working class, couldn’t have anything to do with this chart? It seems only the oligarchs have made much progress over the last four decades.

Screen-Shot-2014-03-29-at-9.23.25-PM.png

Retail CEO gurus all think they have a master plan to revive sales. I’ll let you in on a secret. They don’t really have a plan. They have no idea why they experienced tremendous success from 2000 through 2007, and why their businesses have not revived since the 2008 financial collapse. Retail CEOs are not the sharpest tools in the shed. They were born on third base and thought they hit a triple. Now they are stranded there, with no hope of getting home. They should be figuring out how to position themselves for the multi-year contraction in sales, but their egos and hubris will keep them from taking the actions necessary to keep their companies afloat in the next decade. Bankruptcy awaits. The front line workers will be shit canned and the CEO will get a golden parachute. It’s the American way.

The secret to retail success before 2007 was: create or copy a successful concept; get Wall Street financing and go public ASAP; source all your inventory from Far East slave labor factories; hire thousands of minimum wage level workers to process transactions; build hundreds of new stores every year to cover up the fact the existing stores had deteriorating performance; convince millions of gullible dupes to buy cheap Chinese shit they didn’t need with money they didn’t have; and pretend this didn’t solely rely upon cheap easy debt pumped into the veins of American consumers by the Federal Reserve and their Wall Street bank owners. The financial crisis in 2008 revealed everyone was swimming naked, when the tide of easy credit subsided.

The pundits, politicians and delusional retail CEOs continue to await the revival of retail sales as if reality doesn’t exist. The 1 million retail stores, 109,000 shopping centers, and nearly 15 billion square feet of retail space for an aging, increasingly impoverished, and savings poor populace might be a tad too much and will require a slight downsizing – say 3 or 4 billion square feet. Considering the debt fueled frenzy from 2000 through 2008 added 2.7 billion square feet to our suburban sprawl concrete landscape, a divestiture of that foolish investment will be the floor. If you think there are a lot of SPACE AVAILABLE signs dotting the countryside, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The mega-chains have already halted all expansion. That was the first step. The weaker players like Radio Shack, Sears, Family Dollar, Coldwater Creek, Staples, Barnes & Noble, Blockbuster and dozens of others are already closing stores by the hundreds. Thousands more will follow.

This isn’t some doom and gloom prediction based on nothing but my opinion. This is the inevitable result of demographic certainties, unequivocal data, and the consequences of a retailer herd mentality and lemming like behavior of consumers. The open and shut case for further shuttering of 3 to 4 billion square feet of retail is as follows:

  • There is 47 square feet of retail space per person in America. This is 8 times as much as any other country on earth. This is up from 38 square feet in 2005; 30 square feet in 2000; 19 square feet in 1990; and 4 square feet in 1960. If we just revert to 2005 levels, 3 billion square feet would need to go dark. Does that sound outrageous?

  • Annual consumer expenditures by those over 65 years old drop by 40% from their highest spending years from 45 to 54 years old. The number of Americans turning 65 will increase by 10,000 per day for the next 16 years. There were 35 million Americans over 65 in 2000, accounting for 12% of the total population. By 2030 there will be 70 million Americans over 65, accounting for 20% of the total population. Do you think that bodes well for retailers?

  • Half of Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 have no retirement savings. The other half has accumulated $52,000 or less. It seems the debt financed consumer product orgy of the last two decades has left most people nearly penniless. More than 50% of workers aged 25 to 44 report they have less than $10,000 of total savings.

  • The lack of retirement and general savings is reflected in the historically low personal savings rate of a miniscule 3.8%. Before the materialistic frenzy of the last couple decades, rational Americans used to save 10% or more of their personal income. With virtually no savings as they approach their retirement years and an already extremely low savings rate, do retail CEOs really see a spending revival on the horizon?

  • If you thought the savings rate was so low because consumers are flush with cash and so optimistic about their job prospects they are unconcerned about the need to save for a rainy day, you would be wrong. It has been raining for the last 14 years. Real median household income is 7.5% lower today than it was in 2001. Retailers added 2.7 billion square feet of retail space as real household income fell. Sounds rational.

  • This decline in household income may have something to do with the labor participation rate plummeting to the lowest level since 1978. There are 247.4 million working age Americans and only 145.7 million of them employed (19 million part-time; 9 million self-employed; 20 million employed by the government). There are 92 million Americans, who according to the government have willingly left the workforce, up by 13.3 million since 2007 when over 146 million Americans were employed. You’d have to be a brainless twit to believe the unemployment rate is really 6.3% today. Retail sales would be booming if the unemployment rate was really that low.

  • With a 16.5% increase in working age Americans since 2000 and only a 6.5% increase in employed Americans, along with declining real household income, an inquisitive person might wonder how retail sales were able to grow from $3.3 trillion in 2000 to $5.1 trillion in 2013 – a 55% increase. You need to look no further than your friendly Too Big To Trust Wall Street banks for the answer. In the olden days of the 1970s and early 1980s Americans put 10% to 20% down to buy a house and then systematically built up equity by making their monthly payments. The Ivy League financial engineers created “exotic” (toxic) mortgage products requiring no money down, no principal payments, and no proof you could make a payment, in their control fraud scheme to fleece the American sheeple. Their propaganda machine convinced millions more to use their homes as an ATM, because home prices never drop. Just ask Ben Bernanke. Even after the Bernanke/Blackrock fake housing recovery (actual mortgage originations now at 1978 levels) household real estate percent equity is barely above 50%, well below the 70% levels before the Wall Street induced debt debacle. With the housing market about to head south again, the home equity ATM will have an Out of Order sign on it.

  • We hear the endless drivel from disingenuous Keynesian nitwits about government and consumer austerity being the cause of our stagnating economy. My definition of austerity would be an actual reduction in spending and debt accumulation. It seems during this time of austerity total credit market debt has RISEN from $53.5 trillion in 2009 to $59 trillion today. Not exactly austere, as the Federal government adds $2.2 billion PER DAY to the national debt, saddling future generations with the bill for our inability to confront reality. The American consumer has not retrenched, as the CNBC bimbos and bozos would have you believe. Consumer credit reached an all-time high of $3.14 trillion in March, up from $2.52 trillion in 2010. That doesn’t sound too austere to me. Of course, this increase is solely due to Obamanomics and Bernanke’s $3 trillion gift to his Wall Street owners. The doling out of $645 billion to subprime college “students” and subprime auto “buyers” since 2010 accounts for more than 100% of the increase. The losses on these asinine loans will be epic. Credit card debt has actually fallen as people realize it is their last lifeline. They are using credit cards to pay income taxes, real estate taxes, higher energy costs, higher food costs, and the other necessities of life.

The entire engineered “recovery” since 2009 has been nothing but a Federal Reserve/U.S. Treasury conceived, debt manufactured scam. These highly educated lackeys for the establishment have been tasked with keeping the U.S. Titanic afloat until the oligarchs can safely depart on the lifeboats with all the ship’s jewels safely stowed in their pockets. There has been no housing recovery. There has been no jobs recovery. There has been no auto sales recovery. Giving a vehicle to someone with a 580 credit score with a 0% seven year loan is not a sale. It’s a repossession in waiting. The government supplied student loans are going to functional illiterates who are majoring in texting, facebooking and twittering. Do you think these indebted University of Phoenix dropouts living in their parents’ basements are going to spur a housing and retail sales recovery? This Keynesian “solution” was designed to produce the appearance of recovery, convince the masses to resume their debt based consumption, and add more treasure into the vaults of the Wall Street banks.

The master plan has failed miserably in reviving the economy. Savings, capital investment, and debt reduction are the necessary ingredients for a sustained healthy economic system. Debt based personal consumption of cheap foreign produced baubles & gadgets, $1 trillion government deficits to sustain the warfare/welfare state, along with a corrupt political and rigged financial system are the explosive concoction which will blow our economic system sky high. Facts can be ignored. Media propaganda can convince the willfully ignorant to remain so. The Federal Reserve can buy every Treasury bond issued to fund an out of control government. But eventually reality will shatter the delusions of millions as the debt based Ponzi scheme will run out of dupes and collapse in a flaming heap.

The inevitable shuttering of at least 3 billion square feet of retail space is a certainty. The aging demographics of the U.S. population, dire economic situation of both young and old, and sheer lunacy of the retail expansion since 2000, guarantee a future of ghost malls, decaying weed infested empty parking lots, retailer bankruptcies, real estate developer bankruptcies, massive loan losses for the banking industry, and the loss of millions of retail jobs. Since I always look for a silver lining in a black cloud, I predict a bright future for the SPACE AVAILABLE and GOING OUT OF BUSINESS sign making companies.

141 Comments
  1. jay says:

    when i saw the article i was like oh shit here he goes again. boots will shake.

    u wield a dangerous pen my friend

    25th May 2014 at 4:50 pm

  2. Djdog says:

    Brilliant, absolutely brilliant… Terrified, yes, but not frozen and unable to act,. The real curse is the whores on msm, wall street and the banks. The idea they can continue ad infinitum this dance is the lie they live by. They don’t know it but as you so aptly pointed out, the music has stopped playing and they are about to witness a real big can of Whoop Ass open up and rain on their parade….. Thanks for taking the time to put this in print, dj

    25th May 2014 at 5:50 pm

  3. Stephanie Shepard says:

    I always love the retail death rattle articles. The retail collapse is getting worse. I hear about it all the time from my friends working in the service sector. Businesses are getting desperate and throwing employees and customers under the bus. Trying to stretch out the last dollar.

    25th May 2014 at 6:13 pm

  4. Kill Bill says:

    Screw Costco, I went in the other day to buy ONE package of Turkey breakfast sausage [Nine bucks] and they refused me, they wanted a 55$ membership fee.

    I left my purchase on the counter and will not be back.

    25th May 2014 at 6:52 pm

  5. tumbleweed says:

    I was out amongst the plebs for a brief period today. Tourists were reveling in the excuse to eat more than usual and consume even more alcohol than usual. I overheard some lamenting that they had already blown their drinking budget on Night #1 of the long weekend. They were also worried about the cost of frozen pizza needed to feed their hungry travelers. I couldn’t partake in the endless baaaaing of the collective sheep. Someone how I knew this website would have a new article while the rest of the country is on weekend hiatus.

    The anecdotal evidence does not match the propaganda. The masses are barely hanging on. The new middle class (government workers & contractors) are doing better but they do not have the intelligence to match their money, so it is squandered as quickly as it is deposited in their accounts. The rich are doing better than ever but will not stop gorging until they have completely destroyed the system. Retail CEOs, lawyers, judges, politicians, Ivy League economists, CNBC pundits.. all are playing the same game. Steal as much as you can before the music stops. There is only one rule to said game: don’t ever admit that anything is wrong. They must continue to spew bullshit and denials ad naseum or the game is up. When the music finally ends, the masses will rush to their Telescreens and the talking heads will explain how “no one saw this coming” and “drastic action is being taken by the administration.” Maybe sometime in the future historians will look back on websites like these and realize that some people indeed knew the ship was sinking but were powerless to stop it..

    25th May 2014 at 7:12 pm

  6. Hope@ZeroKelvin says:

    I can only speak to Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes as I never go to any of those other stores.

    (But our Conroe Olive Garden is very good and always full of customers.)

    Walmart, IMHO, is the canary in the coal mine for the true state of the Middle (and Lower) economic classes. That it is struggling with same store sales and overall revenue is very very ominious

    Our local store has had widening aisles and less stuff on the shelves for the last 2 years. I used to go to Walmart fairly regularly for med preps like triple abx ointment, 1% hydrocortisone cream, 1% clotrimazole cream, MVI stocks, gauze, bandaids, etc. I would buy like 10 of these items at a time. Now there is maybe 3-4 on the shelf and the department manager tells me there isn’t any in the back.

    The other “news” about Walmart is how dependent they are on EBT purchases and about how their same store sales have plummeted.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-26/walmart-admits-profits-depend-heavily-corporate-welfare

    As to Home Depot and Lowes, their store doesn’t have the variety or amount of stuff they had 1-2 years ago. Most everything in these stores is made in China anyhoo. Their poor sales reflect the ongoing collapse in the housing market.

    Another eloquent and cogent article of how truly fucked we are, thanks Admin for throwing some Doom on what is otherwise a pretty good Memorial Day weekend.

    25th May 2014 at 7:14 pm

  7. Steve Hogan says:

    Since the grand reset is inevitable, I can only hope that it occurs on President Teleprompter’s watch. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    How will the media spin the debacle? What will Janet Yellen do? How will Paul Krugman react?

    It is going to be painful for most Americans, but we’ve brought it on ourselves: too much spending, too much borrowing, too much money-printing – all to fund useless wars, a police state, and the FSA.

    25th May 2014 at 7:15 pm

  8. ZombieDawg says:

    Same in every country now. It’s all falling apart, retail is DEAD, businesses shedding staff or cutting their hours, closing down citing no customers as the cause.
    I’m in a city in a multi-faceted retail industry and have tracked sales on spreadsheet for the past 6 years. As of 2014 they’re down BY by 80%. Yes down BY 80%, NOT down TO 80%.
    We do a lot of government work too but even that’s disappeared.
    Frightening…not long to go before this place closes down.
    The more the sheeple learn, the more discretionary spending disappears ,further accelerating the inevitable collapse. Catch 22.

    At least China will get to pay the price for destroying the Western economies/manufacturing…

    25th May 2014 at 8:04 pm

  9. Sensetti says:

    Excellent work Admin, well done.

    I have been finding a few good sales. Time to stock up.

    5b42efaf5244787127510520b8cbcee9_zps822ff0b8.jpg

    25th May 2014 at 8:09 pm

  10. Kill Bill says:

    The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life.
    Henry Ford

    25th May 2014 at 8:24 pm

  11. FRANZPICK says:

    Our desert cities CA town of 40,000 is about to lose our only large grocery store within 4 miles, as well as our Ace Hardware, having already lost Fresh and Easy and several retail shops. 5 miles away our largest shopping center contains a failing walmart, and next door, the biggest defunct retail store anyone has ever seen – an empty Sam’s Club which died 4 years ago. Best Buy and Staples across the highway, also failing big box models, will soon join the ghost façade.

    But our senior center is adding a 5000 sq ft exercise weight room using $2 MIL of fed ‘matching funds’ for the $4 MIL expansion: our city hall leaders still suffer the ‘edifice complex’, believing government funding for traffic roundabouts and civic building is ‘free money’ well spent.

    Ask them about the upcoming 10-plus year credit and debt contraction resulting from the collapse of the country’s 100 year, or 70 year, or 32 year fed-sponsored debt, credit and spending binges, and their eyes glaze over…

    25th May 2014 at 8:33 pm

  12. llpoh says:

    Admin – you did a lot of research. I appreciate your hard work. Some fascinating bits in there. I was specially surprised by the square feet per person info – that was indeed something I did not know.

    I was thinking of investing in some commercial real estate. I gather you think that may be a bad idea?

    One of the things I thought about in reading the article was how beneficial it will be to the retailers when the minimum wage levels go up. That should really help them out.

    I bet Obamacare will be a boon, too.

    Your points re the ever and rapidly increasing age of the population is astute – I mean, just how much denture cleaner can the retailers sell? Old folks simply will not have the money to prop up sales.

    Re car loans – why anyone who cannot pay cash for a car would buy a new car is beyond me ( if you have the money, buy whatever the hell you want). Used cars can be had for a pittance. A small used car with 50k on the clock can be picked up for peanuts, anfd then can be driven, with regular maintenance, for another 150k miles – or say ten or 15 years. I know – I drove an old beater for years and years, even when I was a very senior manager, because I had better things to do with my money. I did not give a shit that folks working for me had nice shiny new cars – I had a plan, and it did not include wasting money on cars.

    Re student loans – if the money is spent studying proper subjects, by folks with the necessary drive, intelligence, and commitment to apply what they learn in the real world, then I see that money as an investment, and it will turn out to be money well spent.

    Unfortunately, only a minority of students fall into that category. The vast majority of money being borrowed and spent is being wasted. That money would be far better used on learning a trade, etc.

    Thanks for a great article.

    25th May 2014 at 8:37 pm

  13. llpoh says:

    Zombiedawg – you said “The more the sheeple learn, the more discretionary spending disappears”.

    Some may be learning, but I think the real reason is that they have less and less discretionary spending. Fact is, most folks have long run out of discretionary spending money – and are now figuring out ways to trim non-discretionary spending.

    25th May 2014 at 8:43 pm

  14. llpoh says:

    I am sure this will help the retailers:

    forrester-retail-sales-fore.jpg

    25th May 2014 at 8:46 pm

  15. AWD says:

    Is admin the man or what? A holiday weekend and he still has time to research and post an article. Well done.

    Retail, housing, they’re going into the toilet. There are 110 million Americans that don’t have jobs, another 110 million that are on the FSA ranks (welfare/disability), the SS geezers, union drone government employees (soft welfare), and millions and millions of retired union government drones getting massive pensions and benefits.

    Let’s face it, we’re in a recession now. GDP was negative, even after the government massaged the data. People incomes keep going down, and prices keep going up. The price of everything is accelerating, and taxes, insurance, utilities, education, food, all skyrocketing. Yet, people around here are all driving new cars, thousands of new cars. Can you say sub-prime auto loans? And a whole generation of kids are in debt up to their eyeballs from student loans.

    The banksters job is done, they’ve indebted every person, business, and the government to the maximum. Now, people are barely able to make their expenses and debt payments. The trade deficit is more than $500 billion a year, money that keeps getting shipped out of the country. How much longer can that go on until we’re broke? The government is broke. The Fed will be insolvent if interest rates rise (and they will sooner or latter). People are broke, no savings, and businesses large and small have loaded up on debt with QE bucks and zero interest rates. It’s a house of cards, and it’s ready to tumble.

    The whole retail system was built on a foundation of debt; credit card purchases, EZ financing, and other bankster-concocted debt instruments. We changed from a production economy to a service/financialization (debt) economy. It only ends one way: bankruptcy. Clear away all the debt and start over. Ooops, too late for that.

    Wal Mart would lose half their business if the FSA didn’t get their free SNAP and EBT cash. How much longer can we afford to keep supporting 110 million welfare and disability deadbeats? Not much longer, I’m guessing.

    People realize we’re in a recession, and when you’re in a recession, you quit spending and try as hard as you can to hold onto your money (and maybe save a little) as people are losing their jobs everywhere. Even HP announced 16,000 more layoffs. It’s going to be a viscous cycle to the bottom. The last to go will be union government drones and their ridiculous pensions. Detroit showed clearly pensions can evaporate in a heartbeat, and union drones are finally going to get what’s coming to them for the laziness and greed.

    It’s kind of difficult to see a positive way out of this mess. I don’t know what’s going to lead us out of the current recession. More debt? More government spending? Nope, the system is rotten to the core. Corporations have pissed away tens of billions buying back their own stock back to improve PE ratios and the illusion of stable profits. They spend little or nothing in CAPEX, and so their businesses have become hollowed out shells.

    Faced with cutting spending, especially for the FSA, the government will start wealth confiscation from your bank accounts and IRA”s. The plans are already in the works. The banksters are more than willing to steal half your money to keep themselves solvent, and the government is willing to steal the other half to fund continued redistribution to the FSA. Obama and the liberal progressive democrats are going to run the socialism game to the very end of the line, unless they are stopped. But they will run out of other people’s money sooner or later. Then the FSA finally get’s cut off, and it’s game over.

    25th May 2014 at 8:58 pm

  16. Ojay says:

    All true, and is directly tied to the timeline when America stopped using real money,and started using FRNs.The scope of destruction from this scam remains to be seen and judged by the posterity.In the eye of an astute observer however, all signs are pointing to the end of it.In a way, I am glad this is happening with the retail,and there is nothing worth holding onto there.
    The miserable pay for the retail worker,the middleman profiteers behind the 70%off signs, these nauseatingly generic,tasteless boudoirs,celled for ages in concrete MALLS of America pushing their crappy slave labor made trinkets.It is breathtaking…pinnacle of anti-culture, celebration of vanity and bad taste… crying loud THIS is WHO you Are… dumb f&@ks!

    25th May 2014 at 9:07 pm

  17. Administrator says:

    Thanks Llpoh. I try to back up everything I write with verifiable facts so the propaganda crowd can’t dismiss my conclusions.

    Real estate is always local. An investment in commercial real estate at the right price and solid tenants can still be a good investment. I live in a suburban area that is supposedly well off and the number of vacant retail and office properties is staggering. We are truly in an extend and pretend interlude before the shit hits the fan.

    I believe a huge portion of the student loan debt issued in the last few years have been spent in the economy and not on tuition and books. It’s a massive scam.

    25th May 2014 at 9:07 pm

  18. Administrator says:

    Llpoh

    Even online sales have begun to peeter out. The States started to tax online sales and have reduced the cost benefit tremendously. Online sales declined in March.

    25th May 2014 at 9:09 pm

  19. llpoh says:

    AWD – I am not one that thinks they will confiscate bank accounts. Why would they do that when they can simply print money? For instance, in Cyprus, bank accounts had a percentage confiscated. But Cyprus is in the Euro – they cannot print money. The US can. Anything is possible of course, but to take money from bank accounts is a direct assault, while printing money is indirect. I think they will be sneaky, not direct.

    25th May 2014 at 9:11 pm

  20. Administrator says:

    AWD

    And I wrote it while recovering from one of the worst hangovers of my life yesterday. I may have had one too many at the Shamrock. Poor Avalon did yeowoman work getting me home and dealing with the consequences of my overindulgence.

    Gotta go. Billy Jack goes on at 10:00. I promise to pace myself.

    25th May 2014 at 9:16 pm

  21. AWD says:

    Thanks to banks not having to “mark to market”, they are hiding commercial loan losses that must be mind-boggling. The housing market is tanking also, so more losses for banks. And banks are still holding onto millions of foreclosures that haven’t even hit the market yet. Good thing Bennocchio printed more than $6 trillion and handed it over to banks.

    One can only wonder how much longer the no-volume, no-volatility stock market can continue to make new highs before it rolls over and dies. I suppose it’s just algos trading with other algos anyway. I can’t wait to see companies trying to unload massive amounts of stock they bought back (by borrowing) at the top of the bubble when their stock price is cut in half.

    25th May 2014 at 9:18 pm

  22. llpoh says:

    Admin – I have read stuff that supports what you are saying re student loans being spent in the economy – folks are using loans for household expenses and are not attending school, etc. The get the loan and spend it on anything but education. What a scam.

    It is not going to end well.

    25th May 2014 at 9:20 pm

  23. AWD says:

    Llpoh

    The government (Obama) has already drawn up plans to confiscate wealth (as has England). The British PM has already publicly stated he either has to raise taxes or confiscate wealth.

    We will see taxes continue to rise, especially on the rich. Taxes will be raised and raised, and raised some more. But that offers diminishing returns. Once the recession grinds on, and becomes “official”, tax revenue will fall as people lose jobs and sign up for unemployment and free shit.

    The Fed can keep printing money, but they risk a currency crisis. And as QE has shown, printing money works okay at first, and it’s not working at all now. It’s only creating bubbles and enriching billionaires (not the Yelling cares). They will reach a point of desperation where they will be forced to confiscate wealth. They’ll start by grabbing everything overseas/offshore first, and work their way back. The IRS passed laws, and foreign banks are complying, were now the IRS knows about every account or offshore hiding spot. They’ll steal that money (almost $17 trillion). That will fund the FSA for quite awhile.

    25th May 2014 at 9:26 pm

  24. llpoh says:

    AWD – I agree with you. Just not on the part where they direct confiscate from bank accts. Taxes will rise, etc.

    Re the overseas stuff – they will not be able to get that directly. Not at all. They will be attacking it via people failing to report its existence, for paying taxes on the income they receive, etc. They will be fined – excessively – for that stuff. But they have no power to collect it directly. Their power lies in the ability to toss folks in jail for failure to hand it over.

    But because there are some 6 million folks overseas affected by this, I suspect the shear numbers will limit their ability to be successful collecting that money. They will get some – the amount will be in the billions, maybe tens of billions, but unlikely it will be in the trillions. In my opinion, anyway.

    25th May 2014 at 9:35 pm

  25. douche bag says:

    I remember when people at Home Depot and Wal Mart would fight you for a parking space and a cart. Now, not so much, you can actually walk around without bumping into someone.

    I have been calling a bottom too… but never put a date on it coz people will hold you to it.

    Won’t you tell me… where have all the good jobs gone? where have all the good jobs gone…

    25th May 2014 at 10:09 pm

  26. llpoh says:

    DB – the good jobs were equivalent to having won the lottery after WW2. The US received an enormous lottery windfall at that time. And instead of investing that windfall lottery win, it was squandered. The US people spent the lottery win, and came to believe that their relative standard of living was not as a consequence of having won the lottery, but because they were special, superior, and entitled to that standard of living.

    The windfall was squandered and not properly invested – the “good jobs” were illusions. They existed off the back of the lottery win. Compounding the problem, the US borrowed huge slabs of money trying to maintain the illusion.

    So the good jobs existed but for a fleeting instance, never were sustainable, and are not coming back for the middle class. The better educated and skilled folks with good work ethics and traditional value systems with respect to thrift, etc., will likely still do well. But for the most part, those in the middle class will continue to see their lifestyles erode, until the steady-state position is reached. My rough estimate is that middle class average incomes will fall at another 25 to 30% before that position is reached.

    And that fall will coincide with increased price of goods, increased taxes, etc.

    Welcome to the new reality.

    25th May 2014 at 10:24 pm

  27. ZombieDawg says:

    To Lipoh:
    Well.. I’ve been trying (but why I bothered I don’t know) to warn people re the bleeding obvious since the GFC. It’s the global wake-up call, but the sheeple down here in Oz believed it’s just the USA and Eurozone that can be affected. We’re magically safe by some mystical reasoning.
    I said get out of stock and shares, I said don’t buy real-estate at the peak of the global (collapsing) bubble, I said government cutbacks will be like nothing we’ve seen, I said charities won’t be able to cope, and ALL of the above have now hit and I’ve been vindicated not that I take any pleasure in that.
    So, yes, a lot of people ARE out of money, have to choose between power or food, so discretionary spending for them is moot. The rest DO have money to spend but aren’t, as the official figures show, for they are preparing for worse to come. Either way, retail is dying here too.
    I just wish the whole damn show would collapse right now and stop the slow agonising death spread over the next decade we’re in for.

    25th May 2014 at 11:35 pm

  28. Anonymous says:

    THE USA Economy is going to fully COLLAPSE, and nothing is going to stop it, period. NO wishful thinking, no protesting, no begging for jobs, nothing. THERE is going to be horrible chaos on the streets like you have never scene before. THIS is why Homeland Security has been buying Billions of bullets, hundreds of thousands of guns, Body armor and armored vehicles. THEY have been preparing for over 3 years, using your tax money to buy enough stuff to supply a large army, but they deny it is for civil unrest. SO Billions of dollars in war equipment is sitting for nothing and not going to be used? BULLCRAP. They know it’s coming soon. WHY? Because the people that control HLS caused the collapse on purpose.

    DHS Publicly Denies Preparation for Riots, Civil Unrest
    http://www.infowars.com/dhs-publicly-denies-preparation-for-riots-civil-unrest/

    26th May 2014 at 12:40 am

  29. Birdman66 says:

    Talking about the retail mess, I live in a town of 30,000 people and we have both a Super Target and Walmart and both stores in the last six months have started looking like deserted shopping malls in Detroit. Once these two giants ran the local mom and pops out of town, they raised their prices through the roof.

    My worry is since I live in a town that is the county seat we have everything here; the jail, shrinks offices, SNAP benefit offices, etc, we are a dumping ground for the disability bums who wonder our streets night and day. When this thing goes these people (The SNAP army) will go nuts. Some of them already are with cutback to their benefits. At least a few times a month one of them will go up and down our street and knock on doors looking for cigarettes or money to buy them.

    man this is going to get bad so everybody get ready to bug out of the burbs and the cities and head to the mountains or desert, may be our only chance to survive.

    26th May 2014 at 1:02 am

  30. Anon says:

    I work retail and I can tell ya that sales are off by up to 25% from last year and our hours are way down.

    26th May 2014 at 3:17 am

  31. Econman says:

    Death Rattle. 1 of the most awesome heavy metal bands ever.
    Right up there with “Motorhead”.

    26th May 2014 at 3:54 am

  32. Econman says:

    To stay alive, retailers will automate, robotize, & fire workers, causing the problem to worsen. Add in higher gas prices…1 thing that will not happen is CEOs taking pay cuts or having their golden parachutes taken away.

    26th May 2014 at 4:13 am

  33. Ben says:

    I was so hoping for more time to prep before the SHTF, but this rattling sound is for real I fear. Yet how can it be otherwise, the parasites have finally sucked their host dry. When the host is well and truly finished the parasites will get their comeuppance as well…but poor host, the real economy deserved better.

    26th May 2014 at 4:36 am

  34. Robert Ericksen says:

    I have been retired six years from my business which was one of the top executive search firms in the retail business. My clients included Disney both Parks and Retail, Gap, Best Buy, Bed – Bath & Beyond, Claire’s, Kohls, Meryvn’s, K-Mart and many more. I worked from store mgr. level in 1979 up to CEO level when retiring. I was a consultant for Hedge
    Funds and Investment Bankers. In the 30 years you are the first person who has it absolutely right. I would talk to my wife about the rapid expansion of the retail community in both mall and strip center. The big boxes were the last real infusion and now that strategy will fall victim. By this time next year I think Best
    Buy, Staples, Office Depot, Sports Authority and many others will be in a store closing mode. Best article about the industry I have read in years.

    Bruce Ericksen

    26th May 2014 at 4:42 am

  35. David says:

    Every business listed specializes in selling absolute unadulterated crap as its product and/or service. They DESERVE to be out of business. Mom and Pop will flourish again.

    26th May 2014 at 5:17 am

  36. Dave Mowers says:

    The official employed figures for 2010 according to the I.R.S. were 113 million people. In 2012 it was 115 million. The last figure I saw was 137 million. The nation adds 2-3 million new people to the job market every year with another 400,000+ in H1B visas. So since 2008 we have added a minimum of of 12 million new applicants to as many as 18 million. This completely explains the jump in numbers from 2010 to now but it leaves behind the 9-21 million who gave up looking and are not new college graduates or high school graduates willing to work for less. No new jobs have been added at all, it is all swap-out of existing people and unfilled jobs in low-paying, “no one ever wanted them anyway” type jobs being filled.

    151 million earn less than $500.00 a week and that includes social security recipients in the figure AND it is from 2010 so there are (as of 2010) at least 38 million SS recipients. Now there are jobs that pay more than $500.00 a week but by my calculations there cannot be more than 15 million jobs worth having at all left and 6-9 million are government.

    This nation has been ruined by globalization.

    26th May 2014 at 5:28 am

  37. Musings of a Reader says:

    They are looting and plundering America and Americans. When they are done, they will cast her off like a dead carcass into the sea…. BUT WHO ARE THEY?

    26th May 2014 at 5:30 am

  38. StUdio says:

    the costs for those ‘survival food’ cases are finally dropping to reasonable $50-$75 discounts with free-shipping…so I am starting to buy the 1-to-3 month packages for now

    26th May 2014 at 6:04 am

  39. Administrator says:

    “Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence – those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you’d collapse. And while you people are overconsuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster.”

    ― Aldous Huxley, Island

    26th May 2014 at 7:16 am

  40. hardscrabble farmer says:

    When I was a kid my mother and I would watch a program called Million Dollar Movies (isn’t that quaint). One great scene from one of those movies was Jimmy Cagney smashing a grapefruit in some mouthy woman’s face.

    That’s the way I see these articles; Admin is Cagney, MSM/CorpGov is the bitchy ho.

    Kudos for pointing out what should be obvious to anyone with an IQ on the right hand side of the bell curve.

    26th May 2014 at 8:00 am

  41. Sensetti says:

    llpoh says: AWD – I am not one that thinks they will confiscate bank accounts. Why would they do that when they can simply print money?

    LLPOH, the US has limits on its ability to print money. The petro dollar is the mechanism that has allowed the money printing to go forward. China and Russia are signing trade deals and dismantling the petrodollar at a blistering pace, the petro dollar is collapsing along with the United States’s ability to print money. The petrodollar is the reason the United States intervenes in the affairs of oil-rich country’s. Regardless of what Z says intervention in the Middle East is about oil and the petrodollar it has very little to do with the Joos. A major war is the next thing on the horizon, United States will pull out all stops to defend the petrodollar. It’s going to get ugly.
    http://ftmdaily.com/preparing-for-the-collapse-of-the-petrodollar-system/

    When they are not lying Jew Bankers always tell the truth.

    fef868c978e5e937adaf3881a933b84b_zps4ad50855.jpg

    26th May 2014 at 8:16 am

  42. Administrator says:

    Picture Janet Yellen as the woman. I watched Million Dollar Movies too on one of our 7 TV channels. I loved Cagney movies. Mister Roberts is still one of my favorites.

    26th May 2014 at 8:24 am

  43. Yojimbo says:

    Can someone please explain to me to real estate market in greater Boston????

    It is WHITE HOT. There is not much inventory of housing, and lots of demand. In Belmont, people are bidding $100K over the asking price of a house. In Jamaica Plain, people are bidding the condos up $50K over the asking price.

    To buy a house in this market, you have remove the mortgage approval contingency – only cash offers are accepted.

    A two bedroom, two bath 912 square foot home (part of a duplex) just sold for $450,000 in Jamaica Plain! This was tiny, and one the market for less than two weeks!

    Prices of everything are through the roof! If you go onto craigslist to buy anything, people are asking for insane amounts for used goods!

    I have to assume it is because we have the gov supported industries of Education, Healthcare, and Finance. And we also have Bio-tech.

    I know the national economy is collapsing, but it is like we are living on an island here.

    What is going on? Everyone agrees that we are in a bubble, and no one can understand it. It is like a mania.

    26th May 2014 at 8:45 am

  44. solidum says:

    The one sector that is still going strong (at least in TX) Is anything having to do with fracking. Mud disposal, fresh water pumpin, pressure vessel construction, metal buildings designed for ng infrastructure…

    it’s an extremely obvious bubble that is doing a lot of ecological damage, but it’s where to be if making money is a concern

    26th May 2014 at 8:59 am

  45. Administrator says:

    Yojimbo

    Sounds like a blow off top to me. All bubbles end this way. They expand to the breaking point and then pop. Anyone buying today will pay the price for a long time.

    26th May 2014 at 9:02 am

  46. Stucky says:

    This is Mahafarid Amir Khosravi.
    article-2638832-1E2A091900000578-295_634x422.jpg

    He’s from Iran.
    He’s a Billionaire.
    He scammed the Iranian State Bank out of $2.6 billion.
    Now he’s dead …… he was executed last week for the crime.

    Thus endeth the Good News Segment for today.

    26th May 2014 at 9:04 am

  47. Mick says:

    In response to Yojimbo, maybe those with money look upon Boston’s martial-law response to the false-flag marathon bombing as an indication it might be somewhere safe for them to be. Safe for those who have the money, safe from those from whom it was taken.

    26th May 2014 at 9:27 am

  48. Stucky says:

    What happens to Big Retail (not to mention us Little People) when Da Fed raises interest rates?

    “Fed On Target To Raise Interest Rates In Spring 2015″

    ——– http://www.forbes.com/sites/advisor/2014/03/27/fed-on-target-to-raise-interest-rates-in-spring-2015/

    26th May 2014 at 9:38 am

  49. thc0655 says:

    The great majority of people still believe the King’s new clothes are gorgeous, so this craziness will go on a little while longer with practically no concern from the masses. Gradually, individuals are waking up and trying to get away from the vortex caused by the sinking ship, but this trickle of people is unlikely to cause an “Aha!” moment for the whole society. The following brilliant article spells it out, and identifies what might cause “everybody” to wake up all of a sudden and bring the whole carnival to an abrupt end.

    http://www.salientpartners.com/epsilontheory/notes/When%20Does%20The%20Story%20Break.html

    26th May 2014 at 10:08 am

  50. Welshman says:

    Admin.,

    Guess I slept in, as everyone got ahead of me. Great retail article, and I was surprized too about the SF retail per person. When it comes to retail your the man with his hand around their throats. Good job!!

    When you realize the amount of money the consumer use to spend on “stuff”, and it is not in their wallets anymore, the economy is heading for the exit. The “Death Rattle” with the bar code is spot on. .
    I really do think we are in the new “Greater Depression” as Casey puts it.

    Stuck,

    If Mahafraid had stolen that amount in the U.S., he might of had to do 20 hours of community service work.

    26th May 2014 at 10:35 am

  51. creeper says:

    Thanks, Admin, for an outstanding post.

    Thanks, also, to Doug Ross for linking it.

    26th May 2014 at 11:37 am

  52. VVV says:

    This analysis fails to consider the impact of e-tail consumer sales on brick and mortar stores.

    26th May 2014 at 12:22 pm

  53. SSS says:

    I didn’t realize how bad it is until I saw this in the article ……

    “Dick’s Misses Earnings Expectations as Golf Store Sales Plummet”

    This is a national disaster of epic proportions.

    26th May 2014 at 12:52 pm

  54. HYMN says:

    I liked the article, kinda puts the mess we’re in right in your lap. No place to run, can’t deny what’s in your face. No ideas on what to do about any of it. I guess the author is saving that for a future article. I look forward to reading it. Enjoy the Holiday everyone, please remember who and what it is really about.

    26th May 2014 at 3:03 pm

  55. Welshman says:

    SSS,

    Think about it.

    Golf sales
    Boat sales
    Second Homes
    Swimming Pools
    Motorcycles
    Recreational Planes
    Cruises
    Sporting Events
    Eating out

    Sure, none these are disasters of epic proportions, but added together is the demise of the middleclass.

    26th May 2014 at 3:08 pm

  56. AWD says:

    SSS probably has a big, fat government pension every month. He can afford to golf and live the good life.

    26th May 2014 at 3:14 pm

  57. Me says:

    Great article!

    26th May 2014 at 4:01 pm

  58. WG says:

    Why oh why can’t I get my husband on board with these realities………It’s a constant battle. Thank God for your articles that I read it and print it out, placing them squarely in the center of my husband’s desk so he can’t ignore them. Even so he believes the Wall Street, msm hype. Geeeez……………if it weren’t for you I’d think women had gotten ALL the brains. Anyway…THANKS for your hard work.

    26th May 2014 at 4:02 pm

  59. SSS says:

    “SSS probably has a big, fat government pension every month. He can afford to golf and live the good life.”
    —-AWD

    Nope. Pension is modest by any standard, not big and fat.

    Secret? No debt. None. House and cars paid for. House in Virginia paid off early on a 15-year mortgage, the sale of which was enough to pay cash for a new house in Arizona. No credit card interest payments, ever. If we couldn’t afford it, we didn’t buy it. Smart, safe investments resulting in big, fat 401(k)s. Heh. Fancy cars? Never, and we drive them an average of 12 years or more. Savings? Every penny we could, most of which went into the 401(k)s.

    How about golf while I was working for 44 years? About 6 times a year and always at the much cheaper municipal courses where fees were about $20-25 a round. I bought exactly one set of clubs in those 44 years.

    Never joined a club until I retired. Now it’s about 8 rounds a MONTH on a gorgeous Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, complete with a fancy men’s locker room, a private locker, and very nice clubhouse with good food and great service. I worked for it, I saved for it, and I’m damn well gonna enjoy it.

    26th May 2014 at 4:15 pm

  60. AWD says:

    You don’t have to apologize super sleuth, I made a cheap shot. I used to like to play golf, but I have a bad knee and can no longer. Did you ever play the course at the Air Force Academy?

    26th May 2014 at 4:35 pm

  61. SSS says:

    AWD

    Yes, I played the Eisenhower course several times. Brutally long and difficult from the back tees. Barely broke 100 first time I played it.

    26th May 2014 at 4:49 pm

  62. carefix says:

    Things look bad in the US but they are not so bad in the UK. Y/Y April saw an improvement in UK retail sales of 6.9%. Non food retail was 6.3% up. The stores have been busy and unemployment is falling with reasonably honest stats. Inflation is about 1.7%. Yes it is fiddled and fixed but not quite so badly as in the USA..

    Just a shame we share the same financial system

    26th May 2014 at 6:23 pm

  63. whatever says:

    Peak Stuff.

    We’re on the downslope of the bell curve. America is awash in 30 years of stuff. It just makes sense that the stuff market has reached saturation and is on decline.

    Perhaps retailers never foresaw that people could have enough stuff. Nobody has ever calculated what happens when there is enough stuff, and even more. We got there first.

    26th May 2014 at 7:33 pm

  64. Puckles says:

    I just came back from a long weekend in Chicago, seeing transplanted young relatives there. I was utterly blown away. Not only is the joint booming, it’s booming the way it hasn’t since before the Depression. It simply glitters, and there is NO crime in the Loop/Magnificent Mile area.
    I should explain my confusion. I used to head an older chemicals firm on the East coast, with a West coast division that had been started in the late 30′s, with a location in the Tribune Tower. In the early 80′s we relocated to Itasca, after too many girls got mugged going out of the building after work; the Loop had become a predatory environment. I merged the firm with another in the late 90′s, and my last trip to Chicago had been in the fall of ’98; prior to that, I’d been going there on a quarterly basis.
    The Chicago I had known had been a dirty, dying city, much like Philadelphia. The one I saw this weekend was the antithesis of that, and no minorities were in view at all, which is distinctly different from my memories of Chicago. My brother in law summed it up thus: in effect. most of Wall Street moved West. That’s certainly borne out by my nephews, who trade t-bills there. One of them is a partner at a firm at the Chicago Board of Trade. Now, I have considered myself a reasonably savvy and informed businessperson for most of my life; even though I no longer pursue those interests, I still follow them, and commerce in general, via the WSJ and the web. Maybe I was out to lunch the day Wall street moved to Chicago. Anyway, it appears to be one more point, in addition to the DC area where I now live and work, that appears to be immune to the general deterioration.
    The funding, of course, is all sourced from the same conduit, i.e., the Fed, in terms of both NYC and Chicago. I had been far more familiar with NYC’s renaissance, as I lived and worked within
    shouting distance of WTC I and II. Fortunately, I had decided to move to the country before all hell broke loose; in many respects, I wish I were still there…One of my kids still is in one of the nicest parts of Bucks County.

    26th May 2014 at 7:45 pm

  65. Maddie's Mom says:

    Eleven months since I last saw the inside of a walmart.

    Boom.

    26th May 2014 at 7:57 pm

  66. Administrator says:

    Orwell.jpg?resize=584%2C516

    26th May 2014 at 8:19 pm

  67. Kill Bill says:

    <puckles

    What a long line of spackel, puckles

    26th May 2014 at 9:13 pm

  68. Econman says:

    Bruce Erickson, thanks for the info.

    All of us are trying to avoid the runaway debt train heading straight for us. My students will have to clean up this mess I & the generations before me have made, if there’s a country left. Reality is smacking everyone upside the head, so the more info the better to help us all plan.

    &, even though I razz people here sometimes, I wish all of U commenters (& admin) well. Even Stucky & AWD.

    Except “bb”. Fuck him.

    26th May 2014 at 11:39 pm

  69. Econman says:

    The size of the bank bailout was $29 trillion, in 2011. Add in all the QE since then & who knows?

    Also, the too big too fail banks owe a derivatives total of about, I think, $75 quadrillion. 5x global GDP for 1 year, when times were good. The US has unfunded liabilities of $200 trillion, conservatively.

    All this talk about how bad the USA debt is is too optimistic. It is worse than Admin or any of us actually think it is.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/45674390

    27th May 2014 at 12:26 am

  70. Lookingforward says:

    It is just a matter of time before a ‘right wing’ party in America pops up in the same vein as golden dawn in Greece, National Front in France and UKIP in England. It will be a party that stands for economic justic and unite in holding the banking system responsible for its fraudulent actions and restore prosperity to local state banks through reinsitution of regulatory agencies, etc. But I wonder, is there such a party in America yet?

    27th May 2014 at 1:48 am

  71. Reverse Engineer says:

    Retail Death Rattle Grows Louder now UP on the Diner Blog!
    Hey Jimmy Boy,  I’m catching up now!  Diner is 144K on Alexa in the FSoA!!. :)

    Finnegan_jaunty.jpg

    Finnegan RE ;)

    27th May 2014 at 5:12 am

  72. Willy2 says:

    The Retail industry has – at least – one good excuse: the bad weather. But that doesn’t explain why e.g. sales of Target has been dismal since the 1st quarter of 2013.

    27th May 2014 at 11:03 am

  73. TE says:

    Thank you Admin, simple, and mostly understood. Phenomenal job as always, with me late to the party again.

    It seems there is still a percentage that truly enjoys their mushroom feed. Those stores ALL have an internet presence, it isn’t enough. Those figures ALL are under-reporting year-over-year inflation in inventory and freight (and insurance), which is substantial. And the FACT that the number of employed ‘murkins has barely budged while the square footage of retail has exploded means time is up. No matter what the WSJ, MSM or DC and city hall tells you.

    @AWD, surely you fucking jest about Detroit. The good taxpayers of Michigan are kicking in about $200 million (to save pensions and the museum), the regional water/sewer authority – which has been under Detroit control (and federal oversight) – is getting permission to charge the burbs directly to “backfill” the pensions for THEM. We are paying relatives of Mayor’s, for life, and now get to pay again. The “dramatic and hurtful” cuts suggested thus far are nothing. Less than 5% cut of pay. All Detroit is doing is kicking the can AGAIN, allowing whitely to make billions (obviously, why else would JP Morgan “invest” $100 million), stripping another strata of small business out of existence as only the private bond holders and small businesses will be forced to pay for the unions, politicians and banksters. Their fucking pensions are still there, the “promises” are going to be kept as more and more taxpayers/producers are bled to pay for it. Dozens of businesses have shut down this year in my town. For now it is the little guys, but it won’t be much longer before it is the big ones too.

    @Llpoh, your optimism is refreshing. Truly.

    @WG (I think, I’m not scrolling back up to recheck your initials, sorry), I could have written your comment about hub. I gave up with the article stuff a couple years ago. It’s called “cognitive dissonance” and there were millions of Jews that couldn’t overcome it. All you can do is find a way to build a plan b without his help. It’s tough, but can be done, hugs.

    27th May 2014 at 11:35 am

  74. Realist says:

    To AWD:

    “Obama and the liberal progressive democrats are going to run the socialism game to the very end of the line, unless they are stopped. ”

    Thats exactly right, but you will have an impossible time convincing your average friends and family of that fact and god forbid they have to actually take a stand and declare themselves on one side or another in the coming battles. Those same beleaguered friends and family (at least most of them) are fully invested in the toxic “vision” of life as it supposedly can and should be as dispensed by the Lie Stream Media and by the mass media Infotainment machine.

    No one wants to consider the unpleasant thought that their professed “saviors” in the political arena or in business are nothing more than indentured servants of the heavy-handed, utterly self-serving Ruling Class, and as such their allegiances are decidedly skewed towards the Ruling Class. If anyone is foolish enough to believe that, once the center cannot hold and the economic beast slouching towards the American Bethlehem arrives their public saviors will look out for them, they are in for a most unpleasant Stalinesque awakening.

    27th May 2014 at 12:26 pm

  75. A says:

    A local grocery store chain is selling off their stores and moving out of my market. The media reported it as the parent co. focusing on other markets, not failure in this market. Now the decent stores are going to be gobbled up by other local chains (reducing competition) while several poor locations will be shuttered.

    Another big retailer is town is hemorrhaging as everyone already has a flat screen TV these days and there are no new “gotta have it” tech gadgets. It’s been years since I darkened their doorstep since I don’t worship the altar of video games and iJunk.

    From my office I can see an ivory tower for another retailer that just sent a CEO packing with millions for failure. Their false belief that everyone loves their “brand” is costing them north of the border, not to mention other recent high profile fuck ups. Since there is no more “local” retailers they do get some of my $$ when I need to buy commodities like shit paper but they really are no different than the retail shills from Arkansas slinging the same Chinese junk.

    Meanwhile my regional mall is in full on expansion mode. Macy’s just expanded and Nordstrom is moving in for the 1% crowd. Other tenant spaces inside are opening with more high end merchants. The Costco parking lot is ever full with foreign made luxury cars and people buying bulk luxury items. Nearby restaurants with $$$$ next to the price in the reviews are always full and the BMW dealership is so large it looks like a corporate HQ. What I see is truly a tale of two cities.

    At the holiday BBQ what do people complain about? Not the 0.01% or the 0.1% but the 1% that they see on a daily basis…and who don’t have personal security detail. When the revolution happens I pity the fools that use credit to show an illusion of wealth. They will be the first to fall under the mob.

    27th May 2014 at 2:55 pm

  76. yahsure says:

    When i saw company’s leaving the USA after NAFTA was signed i figured it wouldn’t end well.
    I am wondering about cheap commercial buildings and if getting the zoning changed so they could be a residence would be hard? Or a dual use of the building.

    27th May 2014 at 3:41 pm

  77. Homer says:

    I missed the train again. My Dad always said that I would be late for my own funeral. Never the less, I don’t know what to say. I read the piece and comments. I’m dumb founded.

    Admin.—Say what you mean! Don’t whitewash it. Give it to us straight. Alas, you’ve given it to us good and hard. This has to be the best column you have ever written!!! Notice the three exclamation points.

    I can see the hand writing on the wall, in massive cursive, “AMERICA, YOU’RE FUCKED”!!! As the great and handsome Mogambo Guru says, “… we’re DOOMED!!!” Head for the lifeboats! The only trouble is, the lifeboats are all full. They’re all full of the financial elite, sold out congressional leaders, fat bankers and multi national corporation types, all with their big bonuses and big pay. The sign says, “NO ROOM FOR YOU IN THIS BOAT, SUCKERS”.

    Your life is about to change in a most unpleasant way.

    The only good thing about all of this is, I can finally go to Home Depot and actually talk to a sales person.

    27th May 2014 at 7:14 pm

  78. Homer says:

    A—As Paul Craig Roberts said, “People are going to walk into Walmart and think they walked into Neiman Marcus.”

    I think it was Doug Casey that said, “The government thinks of you as a milk cow, when times are tough, the government thinks of you as a beef cow!” It’s getting tough out there.

    “Life is tough, but it’s a lot tougher when you’re stupid”.–Sgt. John Striker, USMC Wake up America, Smell the coffee, at $ 12 a pound.

    27th May 2014 at 7:32 pm

  79. llpoh says:

    I am going to hijack this thread a bit, and bleat about one of my favorite things – that people are misunderstanding what is happening re manufacturing.

    What I keep saying is that manufacturing jobs are being more impacted by the every increasing efficiency of manufacturing than it is by “globalization”. The real issue is that the manufacturing jobs being lost to productivity are generally reasonably well paying jobs, and jobs being created are generally low-paying crappy service jobs (there are still high paying tech jobs being created, but people, you know, have to have skills and education for those).

    saupload_mfgpp.jpg

    Notice that those are REAL gains in output per employee. Note that the increase in recent years has been phenomenal. These rapid increases in productivity have dramatically increased competitive pressure. Also, even with these gains, the need to compete against low cost countries remains. Even if a company can build products with zero labor, it may still be uncompetitive, owing to the cost of capital vs the extreme low cost of labor elsewhere.

    USmfgprodvsemploymentGraph1.jpg

    f2438433805a89d27ca5ef8def6bdb1c5c2536ec.jpg

    In the last chart, please look at how Germany has done – the country that has been held up as the model of what the US could be if it had acted better. Since 1990 Germany’s total output has hardly moved, while the US output has almost doubled.

    Manufacturing is going the way of agriculture – eventually it will be fully automated. There will be no jobs in manufacturing. Whether goods are imported from China or not, there will be no jobs in manufacturing. The timing is the only issue.

    So, where will new jobs come from? Admin has clearly shown it will not be in retail.

    The US has let its education system rot to the point that very few people have high-level skills. Many, if not most, colleges grads are either unskilled or have gained their degrees in fields that are not commercially marketable (think Black or Womens’ Studies). The government has throttled small business of all kinds to the point that it is nearly impossible to navigate the red-tape, the start-up costs, etc., and to also possess the breadth of knowledge in labor law, EPA issues, etc. The banksters have exploited the middle class at every turn, and the debt of the country is insurmountable.

    In short, the US is doomed. But with every crisis comes opportunity. Those that are prepared can take advantage of the opportunities that a crisis brings. Teach your children well, my friends.

    27th May 2014 at 8:51 pm

  80. Homer says:

    douche bag says: “Won’t you tell me… where have all the good jobs gone? where have all the good jobs gone… ”

    “Where have all the good jobs gone? Where have all the good jobs gone? Gone to China every one…Oh, when will they ever learn, oh when will they ever learn…”

    Sold out by Bill Clinton, et al. But… anyone that can make $100,000 dollars in pork bellies in 3 days is smarter than me.

    27th May 2014 at 9:25 pm

  81. ZombieDawg says:

    Is it just me or does everyone else feel like everything/everywhere (inc China) is on the very brink of TOTAL meltdown and WW3 is so damn close I can taste it ?
    Armstrong says it’ll drag on for years in line with his models, past 2020, but jeezus , the way it is now how can it POSSIBLY !?
    Banker suicides ? I see a lot of poor sods who’ve lost everything doing likewise, just like lemmings .
    The next global plague – mass suicides.

    27th May 2014 at 9:41 pm

  82. Homer says:

    llpoh—Nice graphs…but I don’t have no trouble seeing. James Dines wrote eons ago about the ‘age of no jobs’ much of it because of robotics. Watch this and worry about your job, cuz it’s next.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZIv6WtSF9I

    Maybe we can all get jobs making robots. But…what if they start using robots to make robots? What then?
    The Matrix? Take the red pill and go back to bed.

    llpoh nice note. It has relevance. Technology is resource dependent. We are peaking resource wise. James Howard Kunstler has written about resource depletion and its subsequent impact.

    Things that can be, will be–things that can’t be, won’t be! The way things are now can’t be. God help us.

    27th May 2014 at 9:57 pm

  83. llpoh says:

    Homer – lmao – that is funny shit re “no trouble seeing”. If I knew how to shrink those fuckers I would.

    I entered manufacturing when real production per employee was around $40k per year – it is now $160k per year. People scream about China – China has shifted the end forward a few years, for sure – but the reality is that mfg employment is and was fucked no matter what. Seriously, I can now make 4 times as many widgets per person as I could in 1980.

    I specialize in products that are low volume and highly engineered. As a result, I have been able to fend off competition from automated companies, be they Chinese or otherwise. But slowly automation is getting me. The high volume automated folks have chewed through all the low hanging fruit – the high volume, repetitive work. They are now starting to focus on lower volume items. And that is my field. And at my age, I am not really interested in investing heavily – ie pulling my money out of my pocket to buy robotics and such – in an industry where margins are dropping every day. My company will carry on until it cannot.

    27th May 2014 at 10:25 pm

  84. Homer says:

    ZombieDawg WW3 is being fought right now. It is a financial war, a cyber war with small live fire hot spots in Iraq, Libya, Iran, Syria and with Russia and China.

    As for a shooting WW, forget it. God won’t allow it as it has been said. See the remarkable story of Howard Storm. a professor of art. I like Dr Daryl Schoon’s telling.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=juqnN-6JhSw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsyWGPoMiMI

    Man got us into this mess. Ya think man will get us out of this mess? “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”–Albert Einstein

    27th May 2014 at 10:30 pm

  85. N8 says:

    This isn’t some doom and gloom prediction based on nothing but my opinion. This is the inevitable result of demographic certainties, unequivocal data, and the consequences of a retailer herd mentality and lemming like behavior of consumers.

    That’s why your original articles frickin rock admin :)

    27th May 2014 at 11:29 pm

  86. ZombieDawg says:

    “Man got us into this mess. Ya think man will get us out of this mess?”

    Realistically, no-one else or nothing else is going to…
    “When prophecy fails” [good name for a book there ;-) ] mankind has to fix it or crash and burn, and no doubt the crash and burn will be the precursor to fixing it, as history so often shows.
    But let’s all come back in 50 years and do it all again eh…’cos we’re too stupid a species to do better and so generally undeserving of a place on this world.

    28th May 2014 at 1:35 am

  87. Administrator says:

    Chico’s profit slides 22% on higher costs

    By Erin McCarthy

    Chico’s FAS Inc. said its fiscal first-quarter profit declined 22% as the women’s apparel retailer reported higher costs and expenses, which offset a slight increase in sales.

    The retailer, which operates Chico’s stores and the Soma Intimates and White House/Black Market chains, has posted softer profits in recent quarters due to decreased traffic, fewer transactions and lower customer spending per purchase.

    Earlier this month, Chico’s said it plans to bring its namesake brand to Canada, the latest in a string of moves by U.S. retailers expanding north of the border. The company said it will open three Canadian boutiques in Toronto-area shopping malls in late August.

    For the quarter ended May 3, Chico’s reported a profit of $39.9 million, or 26 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $51.1 million, or 31 cents a share. Sales edged up 1.6% to $681.6 million.

    Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had recently forecast adjusted earnings of 28 cents a share on revenue of $679 million.

    Same-store sales fell 2.6% in the latest period, following flat same-store sales growth a year earlier, partly because of lower average dollar sales amid less traffic.

    28th May 2014 at 8:30 am

  88. Administrator says:

    DSW cuts guidance as sales, profit miss views

    By Michael Calia

    DSW Inc. said rough weather and competitive discounting weighed on its fiscal first-quarter sales, although earnings rose as margins widened.

    The results fell short of analysts’ expectations.

    The discount shoe retailer also slashed its full-year per-share earnings guidance by 35 cents on each end to a range of $1.45 to $1.60 as it expects a same-store sales decline in the low single digits. Previously the company said it expected full-year same-store sales growth in the low single-digit range.

    In the most recent period, same-store sales fell 3.7%, DSW said.

    28th May 2014 at 8:31 am

  89. Stucky says:

    Thanks in part to Edward Bernays, American’s will consume anything.

    1950′s commercial selling actual RADIOACTIVE DUST (even holding up a Geiger Counter to the girls skin) as a way to become more beautiful.

    This is truly crazy shit.

    28th May 2014 at 10:42 am

  90. Rob in Nova Scotia says:

    The only thing worse than Scatological writers are self-righteous ones…

    28th May 2014 at 11:26 am

  91. Homer says:

    ZombieDawg—-You ignored Einstein’s quote. Without going into a long dissertation on the ‘nature of man’ and psychology, suffice to say we believe differently. There is some truth to the statement that “perception creates reality”. Of course, man will fix things. We all operate consistent with our belief system, without exception. The belief system is a construct of the Ego. Collectively this creates a paradigm, what we collectively believe is reality to the Ego. But there is also a unconscious and a super conscious aspect of man.

    There will be a paradigm change and that happens when our perceptions can no longer be reconciled with our belief system. The super conscious is aware of everything unlike the ego, which is the tip of the iceberg. The super conscious is the iceberg. This paradigm change will come through a change in consciousness (Ego) from the Super Conscious. The world will seem different and it will be. We will think, “How could we have ever thought that fiat money and all the old ways were real”.

    Admin by writing this column is aiding that transformation. Bless him for his courage.

    ZombieDawg I can’t help take notice of your moniker. Is this the way you perceive man? A zombie and a dog? “’cos we’re too stupid a species to do better and so generally undeserving of a place on this world. ” Interesting! I would disagree.

    28th May 2014 at 1:30 pm

  92. ZombieDawg says:

    Homer:
    No, I didn’t ignore Einstein’s quote at all, nor do I fail to grasp its meaning.
    Yes indeed we think differently which is a good thing ! I’m usually misunderstood as my thought processes are different to most peoples – a fact I’m eternally grateful for.
    Ahhh…if only there was some super conscious (ness) beyond the super-ego.
    As you may know Mike Ruppert (Collapsenet) blew his brains out recently after years of depression, and was chasing the ever elusive “higher plane of existence” beyond this mere ephemeral one all that time. Well, I think he’s feeding the worms nicely but that’s about all.
    I wish I could move to a higher plane too as I don’t like this one much but I believe humankind is probably never going to reach such a plane (mankind is DE-evolving !), at least not until a global cataclysmic event FORCES a rethink & restructuring of human life/thought/actions. Think “The day the Earth stood still” movie.
    Only on the precipice will change occur. ie the paradigm shift you refer to no doubt.

    As for the ZombieDawg handle – I chose it deliberately for it’s humorous nature and to quickly identify the ‘tards out there who would sooner attack the poster rather than the post. Works well ;-)
    Ha ha…
    No, I’m not referring to you either :-)
    Have a good day mate !

    28th May 2014 at 8:23 pm

  93. llpoh says:

    “We are generally undeserving of a place on this world”

    Gotta say, much hinges on the definition of “generally”.

    Is the Free Shit Army deserving of a place? People that are parasites on the ass of the rest of humanity? Are the murdering scum that populate large swathes of the world? Are the despots and their cronies? etc?

    Maybe “generally” is too broad a term, but for sure and certain a great many on this planet do not “deserve” a place on it. Glad I am not responsible for judging who is and is not deserving. Deserving probably has nothing to do with it.

    I 100% agree that mankind is de-evolving, per what Zombie has said. How can it be any other way? Used to be that the survival of the fittest was the rule. Today, folks are surviving, and breeding, that previously would not have passed their genes along. The overall genetic pool is indeed declining.

    28th May 2014 at 9:11 pm

  94. ZombieDawg says:

    Y’know I take exception to tarring everyone with the same brush as far as the free shit army concept goes.
    Granted there is no shortage of welfare freeloaders in every country who will avoid work like the plague at all costs, but then there are far far more decent honest hardworking people who’ve just lost everything through no fault of their own but rather from the global corrupt fucked up mess of an economic collapse we’re in now.
    I’ve been unemployed a few times, lost everything but the clothes on my back once from a nightmare I won’t even begin to go into, fought back and won.
    Fine – if you’re a chain smoking no-hope bum who wants the government to fund his fags, booze and public housing costs for the rest of his life then cut off their money supply. No issues there!
    However, if you’re one of the majority who desperately want to work and NOT be a burden on the system then at least give them credit for that eh ?

    I used the word “generally” deliberately – not out of vagueness but rather to highlight the fact that most everything we humans do is deleterious to the planet. We as a species are totally out of touch with reality and nature and when nature bites back trying to re-establish equilibrium we will truly pay the price. We are seeing this worldwide now on so many levels from species die-off & extinction to unprecedented weather events.
    We act without fully understanding the consequences or without caring about the consequences.
    The good we do is predominantly to compensate for the bad done before it.
    Ironically it’s the “primitive” cultures that are the “good ones” – the ones that deserve to survive.

    The future ? Try this as a sample – interesting to note too how attempts at closed “bubble” communities have ALL failed miserably on both social, technological and sustainability levels.
    Does NOT bode well for the future at all should such concepts be the means of survival on a dying world.

    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-giant-chinese-odor-dome-and-other-ideas-for-surviving-our-future-cities

    28th May 2014 at 11:49 pm

  95. llpoh says:

    Zombie you say ” there are far far more decent honest hardworking people who’ve just lost everything through no fault of their own” than freeloaders.

    Fucking bullshite. You are deluded.

    Hardly anyone has “no fault”. Bad decisions usually play a part in one’s troubles – bad decisions re debt, skill acquisition, education acquisition, marital partner, job or career choice, etc etc etc.

    But even giving allowances for that – there are 10 MILLION fucking people on disability at the moment. How many of those are really disabled. There are millions and millions of baby mommas sucking up bennies. There are untold legions of folks getting snap cards. There are huge numbers of folks abusing student loans.

    And let’s not even talk about SS and medicare and medicaid (and that “I paid in and earned it crap is bullshit – people receive far more than they ever paid in – they are delusional that they “earned” it. They are simply taking money from the young.).

    The FSA is far, far bigger than you give it credit for.

    28th May 2014 at 11:59 pm

  96. Administrator says:

    Abercrombie’s loss widens amid weak teen-retail market

    By Ben Fox Rubin

    Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said its fiscal first-quarter loss widened, with the teen-apparel retailer still struggling with lighter demand and weaker sales.

    Abercrombie (NYSE:ANF) has been working to turn around softer sales as store traffic started to drop last year. Chief Executive Mike Jeffries recently said that trend was showing no signs of abating.

    “In what remains a difficult teen retail environment, we are pleased that earnings for the quarter were in line with our expectations,” Mr. Jeffries said Thursday.

    Abercrombie has been grappling with disappointing sales at home and abroad, inventory challenges and increased markdowns. The retailer in February said it would cut costs for its clothing, which could allow it to lower prices without significantly hurting margins.

    Overall, Abercrombie reported a loss of $23.7 million, or 32 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $7.2 million, or nine cents a share.

    29th May 2014 at 9:35 am

  97. Porky says:

    RE: the student dept in the mix…I work for a college, and the number of students who buy clothes, shoes, games, steroes, tv’s,,electronics, etc etc etc everyday and have it shipped to them is staggering…i mean are they going to school or just shopping all day?..seems it s all they do..so yes, i believe most of their tuition is going on other than school..

    29th May 2014 at 10:33 am

  98. Eddie says:

    The thing that I’ve been fascinated with over the years since the last deflationary collapse (2008) is the way demographics are shifting in response to regional collapse.

    It has been a steady build here, the way people from all over the US have moved here in droves, attracted by lower taxes and a low employment rate. I predict that this will only ACCELERATE as the effects of Peak Oil (and peak everything else) cause another market collapse and accompanying leg down affecting the prices of all kinds of assets, particularly real estate.

    So here, the short term affect of the coming collapse of 2014-2016 (which most of the readers here know has been predicted by long wave guys like Marty Armstrong for a long time) will actually be to drive more and more people from the decaying Eastern cities to the Sunbelt.

    Of course, as Kunstler and others have said, this is ultimately a disaster waiting to happen, because we don’t have enough resources (particularly water) to support the new waves of “immigrants” from other states. And the jobs are a crapshoot. Here today, gone tomorrow.

    Our economic model of infinite growth, which is sacrosanct in the Great State of Texas, does nothing to prevent the eventual crash that will almost certainly occur at some date in the not too distant future. It is interesting, and more than a little tragic from my POV to watch this all play out in real time.

    29th May 2014 at 11:02 am

  99. Administrator says:

    Express profit tumbles as sales slump

    By Erin McCarthy

    Express Inc. said its fiscal first-quarter earnings tumbled 84% as the specialty retail apparel chain reported a drop in sales.

    Shares fell 12% to $11.96 in after-hours trading as the company lowered its full-year profit outlook and offered fiscal second-quarter earnings guidance that missed Wall Street’s expectations.

    “Our second quarter results will be impacted by the need to move through slow selling spring inventory and a Memorial Day event that did not drive traffic as successfully as last year,” said Chief Executive Michael Weiss, adding that the company’s full-year outlook incorporates the impact of a “very challenging first half, while anticipating sequential improvements in comparable sales in quarters 2 through 4.”

    For the period ended May 3, Express reported a profit of $5.1 million, or six cents a share, down from $32.4 million, or 38 cents a share, a year earlier.

    Express had expected per-share earnings of 12 cents to 18 cents.

    Revenue fell 9.6% to $460.7 million, below analysts’ estimates of $464 million.

    Comparable-store sales, which include Internet sales, fell 11%. The company had warned in March that same-store sales would likely decline in the low double digits to high single digits for the quarter.

    The company also said it plans to close about 50 stores over the next 36 months, a move that is expected to result in profit improvement of $5 million to $8 million once stores are closed.

    29th May 2014 at 5:01 pm

  100. Llpoh says:

    100! I win!

    Great thread, Admin.

    29th May 2014 at 6:52 pm

  101. Hey You says:

    Recessions come along now and then. Governmental actions try to delay the effects, but such efforts usually just puts more fuel on the fire, so to speak. So here we are with another recession which just may tilt into a depression courtesy of politics.

    29th May 2014 at 7:03 pm

  102. Homer says:

    Administrator, STOP, enough is enough, I can’t take it anymore. I want to go back to my beer and pizza and Monday Nite football….What?…my wife just said there isn’t anymore Monday Nite football…Crap!… When did that happen? I am so out of it.

    Like I said Admin, “This is the best piece you have written”. It has even startled me. I ‘ve been telling my family, this and what was and is going to happen for over 40 years. All it has gotten me was to be relegated to the children’s table at Thanksgiving, every year. I couldn’t believe that it would take so long for things to unravel. I’m unhappy. I never wanted to see things unfold like this…But, what is is.

    Hopefully your piece will be a clarion call to the readers to prepare even at this late date for a tumultuous
    future, where life, liberty and sanity will be severely tested.

    “Evil most often disguises it’s self as good or it wouldn’t be so readily accepted by everyone.”–Homer

    29th May 2014 at 7:17 pm

  103. Peaceout says:

    We tend to focus on the larger public companies because their financial results are out there for all to see, but what about the mom and pop shops the small family restaurants, small contractors and shop keepers. The few of those that are left are struggling even worse.

    Strip malls in our area, which is where those type of businesses used to thrive are slowly getting emptier. As an example we have have one not to far from where we live that is on a busy arterial street, lots of traffic, with a Safeway store as the anchor, typical strip mall, McShits out by the street, Shell station next to it, then small shops side by side on either side of the Safeway. Nine months ago all the small shops were occupied with a Mexican restaurant, a Teriyaki restaurant, nail salon, barbershop, bagel joint, ice cream parlor, auto supply, family dry cleaner, knick knack gift shop etc. Today all that remains open next to the Safeway is the nail salon and the barbershop, all the other store fronts have the space for rent sign. So where do all these people go to find work.

    The snowball seems to be rolling down hill and it is getting bigger all the time.

    29th May 2014 at 7:20 pm

  104. Homer says:

    What I meant to say was, ““Evil most often disguises it’s self as good or it wouldn’t be so readily accepted by so many.”–Homer

    29th May 2014 at 7:22 pm

  105. ZombieDawg says:

    Lipoh:

    I KNEW you’d say this:

    “Hardly anyone has “no fault”. Bad decisions usually play a part in one’s troubles – bad decisions re debt, skill acquisition, education acquisition, marital partner, job or career choice, etc etc etc.”

    ..and you are of course quite right, but…the difference (and key issue) is separating those who constitute (and want to be) permanent burdens on “the system” from those that don’t.
    Have you ever been unemployed and homeless ? Dumpster dived ? Not eaten in 3 days?
    Why is a “help up” rather than a “hand out” so offensive ?
    Do you really hate your fellow man so much ?
    As we’re seeing globally the “age of entitlement” is ending BUT common decency and assistance to your fellow man shouldn’t for what does that make us as a species ?
    Perhaps the kind of species I said, with the same future…

    Reap what you sow.

    29th May 2014 at 7:44 pm

  106. Llpoh says:

    Zombie – my starting point in life was abject poverty. Boohoo for me.

    I am all for private hand-ups. Public hand-ups ALWAYS turn into massive hand-outs. No one controls the hand-outs. See SSDI for Exhibit A – millions of people flocking to it rather than being required to work.

    The government should have ZERO role in charity. None whatsoever. I am currently FORCED to pay hundreds of thousands in charity each year. Am I incapable of deciding what to do with that money myself? Could not that money be better spent than by govt asshats?

    And where is familial responsibility? Govt has assumed the role rightfully belonging to families. Any surprise the family has disintegrated?

    Bad decisions on your part do not confer upon me any responsibility whatsoever to bail you out. If I choose to help, that is one thing, but taking my money at gunpoint is theft, pure and simple. And that is what is being done.

    .

    29th May 2014 at 9:06 pm

  107. Homer says:

    ZombieDawg–It is interesting your saying, “Reap what you sow. ” This is the ‘Law of Karma’. A universal law which applies to us all without exception. It is stated many ways, what you create in the lives of others, you experience in you own life; reap what you sow; what goes around comes around. It is perfect justice. Not as a punishment, but as learning experience. It is the way you see the consequences of your thoughts and action by experiencing them yourself. Yes, thoughts count too. Edgar Cayce talked about this in great detail. It’s the way you grow spiritually.

    I know what you’re thinking. But…what about that guy that gets away with murder doing what ever he wants, lives the good life and never get caught. Viewed over this lifetime it seem very unjust especially when compared with people who lived a proper life and suffered great tragedy. Oh! … How the world has suffered so! But…Viewed over many lifetimes, justice will be seen to be done. “We learn from our mistakes.” Ever hear of that?

    We should temper suffering with kindness and understanding and give what we can, even if it is only a smile or word of encouragement. Great things are built upon simple things. …There but for the grace of God goes I. We give not for others, as much, as for ourselves. It just makes us a better person.

    29th May 2014 at 9:27 pm

  108. Homer says:

    Llpoh—Charity, giving is a good thing. It raises you up. You feel like you’ve done something good and you feel good about doing it. You’ve been blessed and you’ve blessed someone else. Charity isn’t only about giving money, but about living your life with a charitable spirit. I recently learned about a new supervisor who oversaw an assembly line. He made a statement to another, which is how I learned of it, that he should fire someone under him to establish his authority. As would have it, a minor incident came up, which could have easily be remedied by a talking to. Instead, of being charitable, realizing he would have to hire and train new people more prone to mistakes or how the firing might affect the live of these two women, he fired them. He did so to satisfy his ego. A lack of charity with Karmic consequences. Be kind to one another.

    True charity is a giving from a giving heart. It’s spiritual. Taking from one and giving to another at the point of a gun is not charity. It’s theft. Those who accept it are complicit in that theft. It’s not Godly. This is why Socialism has failed, will fail and will always fail where ever it is tried. His way is through the individual not through the State. The State hates this. The State wants to be what the State denounces–God.

    29th May 2014 at 10:33 pm

  109. Kill Bill says:

    I dont know what you call our form of goverment, it takes from private and public, but gives to public and private and also spends on exceptionalism / interventionism which profits the private military contractors and then bails out bankers, and the FSA, while paying the troops to become cannon fodder and then sends them to the VA while hailing the all volunteer military while claiming to be, for the most part ‘Christian’ and ethical.

    It is cloud cuckoo capitalism on dumb dick hormones

    29th May 2014 at 11:02 pm

  110. Llpoh says:

    Homer – I believe I am generaly charitable. I give of my time, I do my best to employ folks that would generally be considered unemployable, etc. Interestingly, where people come in, I often find the adage that “no good deed goes unpunished” holds true.

    30th May 2014 at 12:30 am

  111. cowboy says:

    I have been in same business for 41 years. The last 3 weeks it seems like my business fell off a cliff. People can’t spend what they don’t have. Middle class and elderly and poor have hit the wall. This article has it exactly correct. Adjust your thinking for the new reality.

    30th May 2014 at 3:49 pm

  112. Deanna Johnston Clark says:

    The MESS will bring new and better things. Our malls are full of Mexicans taking a much deserved day off with their kids. They are full of life and I love watching them.
    Malls will wake up and return to dime stores, grocery stores, hot dog stands and kiddie rides…what they always were before the glut of slave made fashions and boutiques.

    Imports will quadruple in price and domestic products will look much better. I have 2 can openers I bought online for $25…made in USA of top quality steel. They have lasted years and open cans beautifully. Union Made clothes from USA no sweat factories…available online now, can find retail outlets. People will begin sewing again…How I miss the little fabric shops. Maybe the monsters full of slave fabrics will die off.

    Americans will end their love affair with disposable everything…families, churches, diapers, coffee cups, clothing. Suddenly making things last and cherishing this material world will be cool again.

    I don’t see this as bad…it’s only a big change with big hopes. But we also have to learn to be good to one another. People are our greatest asset here…all this diversity and color. Who cares if Walmart croaks…and K-Mart with its invention of 24-7 retail hours in the 1960s. They got the Supreme Court to do away with any day of rest, religious or secular.

    We may have a great chance to become a culture…a real nation of humans instead of plastic consumers. Who knows… it can happen.

    31st May 2014 at 8:26 am

  113. Stucky says:

    Deanna

    It’s interesting that you enjoy watching a mall full of Mexican kids. I’m not sure what the hell that’s all about. Me? I prefer watching a gaggle of Austrian kids.

    Regarding the rest of your post, I DO appreciate your longing for a simpler lifestyle … as, perhaps, in days gone by. However, will the ability to buy a good quality American can opener solve what really ails us?

    we spend more …. but have less

    we buy more … and enjoy it less

    we’ve multiplied our possessions … but reduced our values

    fancier houses … yet broken homes

    more conveniences … yet less time

    more degrees …. but less common sense

    more knowledge ….. but fewer critical judgment skills

    more experts than ever before … yet more problems

    more gadgets … but less satisfaction

    more pills … yet less wellness

    doctors can add many years to life … but not life to years

    tweet and text endlessly … yet rarely communicate

    been to the moon … but don’t know our next door neighbor

    conquered outer space … but not our inner space

    split the atom … but not our hatreds

    cleaned the air … but polluted our souls

    more weapons than ever before … but no peace

    we make a living … yet don’t have a life

    We drink too much, eat too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much and meditate too seldom.

    31st May 2014 at 10:43 am

  114. TE says:

    Wow Stuck, wow.

    That was beautiful, simply beautiful and tragically sad.

    At least after the elections when the Agenda 21 Energy policy is enacted, many of us will be returning to simpler lifestyles as it is forced on us.

    When the question, for millions, becomes, do I keep the heat on and buy food, or pay $150 a month for a cell phone and $300 a month for cable, won’t we see them returning to a “simpler” lifestyle?

    Sadly I doubt it will be Dickens by candlelight, more than likely a stolen Smith & Wesson to take a neighbor’s things in the dead of night.

    A nation full of entitled, self-righteous, holier-than-thou types isn’t returning to the 1950′s white suburbia on the way back down.

    Thanks for the comment on her comment. Her naivete amused me.

    31st May 2014 at 11:16 am

  115. Stucky says:

    Thanks, TE. You’ve always been a gracious supporter of my meager efforts.

    It’s not entirely original though. I have very few original thoughts … the price one pays when one reads a LOT. George Carlin did a skit on that theme …. forget which one though.

    Yes, there is a certain amount of naivete in Deanna’s post. But, I don’t blame her. Perhaps she has young children, and is simply hoping for a better world for them. Even I, the older I get, yearn for “the way things used to be”.

    31st May 2014 at 11:33 am

  116. James says:

    Well, maybe this will be the event that will cause all of those big box stores to get out of communities allowing mom and pop stores to return, thus returning the money back into the local communities.

    31st May 2014 at 4:12 pm

  117. Deanna Johnston Clark says:

    There aren’t many Austrians in the USA…except for some Holocaust survivors…Austria is a cheerful place with culture.

    I’m not naive…but I believe in the human spirit, especially those with faith. My state is full of Mexican farm workers and blue collar. I know they have hard lives and don’t make light of it.

    All the more reason for those with easier lives to smile and be grateful…especially returning the smiles of these immigrants having a day off.

    1st June 2014 at 12:44 pm

  118. Coyote says:

    Even if Deana had not mentioned they are Mexican, when you hear the word farmworkers, you know they are Mexican or if you hear the FSA you know they are black. Time to don the white hoods. Racial pride is a good feeling, good for you. Even your own kids will forget you no matter how much you love them. Ah but racial pride feels so good. Deana sees human beings and right away she is called naive. Will you wish hell wasn’t so populated with Mexicans or Blacks when you get there?

    1st June 2014 at 5:10 pm

  119. Deanna Johnston Clark says:

    Thanks, Coyote…you won yourself the roadrunner with that!!

    1st June 2014 at 7:43 pm

  120. IndenturedServant says:

    I just spent the better part of the last 10 days in the Boise/Meridian/Nampa/Calwell area of Idaho and I’m thoroughly amazed! I could not begin to estimate how many square miles of farmland has been converted to retail and residential properties. Malls have received major facelifts and are packed. The number of restaurants have probably doubled in the last 2.5 years. A brand new mall/entertainment center/vacation destination was built and is packed. Beer breweries are popping up like zits on an oily skinned teen. Very little retail space is sitting empty even those areas on the fringe.

    My parents and brothers have no idea where the $$$ is coming from but the Boise area is booming more than I have ever seen it and that is really saying something!

    Any idea why Boise is booming so dramatically admin?

    I did have a great conversation with and older gentleman in his 80′s who has been a serious rock collector since age six. As he was showing me his collection which covered nearly an acre he told me how difficult it is to access the public lands where much of his collection has come from. It is perfectly legal to collect on public lands provided certain regs are followed like not selling the rocks but he was telling me that roads to access sites are being closed and the only way in to most popular sites now is via helicopter. Other sites now require that bonds be posted prior to collecting and govt officials must inspect the area “for damage” prior to returning your bond. He said he has not heard of anyone getting their bonds back. He said this began about 20 years ago. This guy collects all over MT, OR, NV, UT, ID.

    I asked him if he ever heard of Agenda 21 and he said no. He is aware of our economic situation including the evils of the FED. He reckons these public land areas are now being preserved as playgrounds and natural areas for the elite of the future.

    1st June 2014 at 9:14 pm

  121. Rob in Nova Scotia says:

    Well the end is nigh. The Chinese have decided that they are going to start building ghost cities here in little old Nova Scotia. Bad enough they have a property bubble in their country now they are going to come here with their problems. Why they picked this place is beyond me all that’s there is rocks, trees and black flies.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/chinese-firm-plans-big-resort-at-indian-harbour-lake-1.2656057

    2nd June 2014 at 2:36 pm

  122. Administrator says:

    RadioShack’s loss widens as sales slump

    By Michael Calia

    RadioShack Corp. said its fiscal first-quarter loss widened as the struggling retailer continued to suffer a decline in consumer electronics demand.

    The results were worse than analysts had projected, as same-stores sales plunged 14% and customer traffic flagged. Shares declined about 9% premarket.

    “Overall, our first quarter performance was challenged by an industry-wide decline in consumer electronics and a soft mobility market which impacted traffic trends throughout the quarter,” Chief Executive Joseph C. Magnacca said, specifically citing weakness in its mobile-phone business.

    Yet, the company is “making progress” in its turnaround, the CEO said, referring to a pipeline of new products as well as cost cuts and store remodeling.

    RadioShack had sought to shut down 1,100 of its 4,300 stores, but some of the company’s lenders challenged the move. Under credit agreements, RadioShack can’t close more than 200 stores this year without the approval of certain lenders.

    Instead, the company has proceeded with plans to close fewer stores and cut costs in other ways. On Tuesday, RadioShack said it had closed 22 stores so far this year, with the goal of shuttering 200 during the whole fiscal year.

    Meanwhile, observers have been increasingly bearish about the company’s prospects. Fitch Ratings, for instance, said it is concerned whether the retailer will be able to operate after this year if it experiences significant cash burn.

    RadioShack said it ended the period ended May 3 with $423.7 million in liquidity, including $61.8 million in cash and $361.9 million under its credit agreement. The company had total liquidity of $554.3 million at the end of 2013.

    Overall, the company posted a loss of $98.3 million, or 97 cents a share, compared with a loss of $28 million, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 13% to $736.7 million.

    Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had projected a per-share loss of 52 cents and revenue of $767 million.

    Gross margin narrowed to 36.5% from 40.2%.

    10th June 2014 at 8:29 am

  123. Marker sniffer says:

    Uh, what the hell? You know whats really strange about all of these comments? None of them have any typos. It’s almost as if they were all written by the same person.

    13th June 2014 at 1:26 am

  124. Administrator says:

    Uh what the hell? Get the fuck off the site you dumbass.

    13th June 2014 at 6:00 am

  125. hardscrabble farmer says:

    Apparently Marker Sniffer has never encountered a website that draws the right hand side of the bell curve. Admittedly an odd selection, but still, well versed in grammar.

    13th June 2014 at 6:32 am

  126. Deanna Johnston Clark says:

    This comment section is attracting some who prefer decent grammar and spelling. My 11 grade English teacher Miss Penelope Penney gave all-or-nothing tests on both and the grades stuck. We got it.

    Why did I leave Celente and dozens more? The comments were the level of KKK leaflets, grammar included. There are many with big degrees who love that stuff…bathroom wall talk. Miss Penney would speak truth to their illiterate anonymous viciousness.

    She and Jimmy Cagney, of course!

    13th June 2014 at 6:59 am

  127. Marker sniffer says:

    The first person to complain about my comment is “Administrator”. Hilarious. “Yall” have fun now!

    13th June 2014 at 12:42 pm

  128. Administrator says:

    Butt sniffer

    Time to head back to Huffington Post and assess grammar and spelling.

    I know my article was too deep and filled with facts and overwhelmed your pea sized brain.

    Have a 3rd grader try and explain it to you before you have to get back on the short bus for your ride home to mommy’s house.

    13th June 2014 at 12:55 pm

  129. Thinker says:

    Interesting premise… we all know that the prevalence of INTJs here is substantially higher than the general population. I’ll posit that we’re also at a much higher IQ level, as well.

    Perhaps Stucky can find us an online test?

    13th June 2014 at 1:05 pm

  130. TE says:

    Ah Marker, welcome to TBP.

    And that really is the Admin, he really does keep an eye on his place.

    As for the grammar and typos, I call bullshit.

    I, for one, decided long ago that the brain cells dedicated to those rules would be better served by learning about other things.

    Plus, my fingers fly much faster than my eyes seem to be able to catch my errors, but 30 years of writing for business, school and fun has engraved some of them very deeply.

    I know for a fact that I post things with mistakes in spelling, typing, grammar and incomplete thoughts. This article is surely no exception.

    Not to mention that if you piss one of the Old Dogs off here, they are going to attack your spelling, your grammar, your punctuation and your momma as they counter your ideas.

    They play dirty. One of the things that has endeared many of these people, and this site, and Jim’s fabulous efforts, to my heart.

    So, lock and load and come up with some facts or opinions, or, say, “Bye-Bye” and return to your world where the sun is shining and the State is only doing stuff for our own good. You aren’t going to find much here to enjoy. That I can guarantee.

    13th June 2014 at 2:03 pm

  131. Marker sniffer says:

    Really, so weird. All these comments happened one right after the other and the sentence and paragraph structure is really similar. Except for Admin, he likes to hurl insults while his other personalities are a bit more welcoming.

    It’s been fun getting your panties in a twist!

    13th June 2014 at 2:28 pm

  132. Administrator says:

    Oh Yes

    I think butt sniffer is onto something. There is one person making all the comments. It’s a conspiracy to fool fuckwads like butt sniffer.

    Please regale us with your theory for this devious plot you dimwit.

    13th June 2014 at 2:41 pm

  133. AWD says:

    Butt sniffer, utilizing his third-grade sentence structure and grammar education….

    tumblr_lubqtxeiKq1qgtcmdo1_500.jpg

    13th June 2014 at 2:44 pm

  134. Marker sniffer says:

    Oh good lord what is that sound? A spanish ad for fucking Disney World? What the fuck? Good god that’s almost as annoying as Admin’s multiple personalities.

    13th June 2014 at 2:46 pm

  135. Administrator says:

    Butt sniffer

    Thanks for giving us a view into the world of nitwits who have to try and get through life with a sub 75 IQ.

    It’s time to get on the short bus and get home.

    Try not to burn the fries tomorrow at McDonalds. You’re already on your 2nd written warning.

    13th June 2014 at 2:52 pm

  136. AWD says:

    Butt sniffer loves smelling the sweaty asses of fat chicks

    5533277091_745591778_fart_smelling10_xlarge_xlarge.jpeg

    13th June 2014 at 2:54 pm

  137. Zarathustra says:

    I can’t wait to get home to Avalon. I’m horny.

    13th June 2014 at 2:57 pm

  138. Administrator says:

    Zara

    You’re a terrible doppler. You are supposed to change your name to Admin.

    13th June 2014 at 3:03 pm

  139. Deanna Johnston Clark says:

    Wow, I leave the classroom for 10 hours and this is what I come back to??

    OK…write a hundred times: THIS IS MY RIFLE THIS IS MY GUN, ONE IS FOR SHOOTING,…

    Wait, let me look that up again…wrong manual.

    13th June 2014 at 6:37 pm

  140. CrisisMaven says:

    Quote: “Retail CEOs are not the sharpest tools in the shed.” – I came into closer contact with that phenomenon as a consultant. For years, in Europe at least, it was buyers who were the most prestigious, the sales people hardly every made it up the ranks in retail conglomerates. But it would be these that have dealt with consumer sentiment hands-on that could feel new undercurrents. Instead these CEOs and CFOs and CIOs and the whole C-suite contemplate better sourcing strategies and better logistics concepts for moving stuff around. But that’s not where it’s at.

    30th June 2014 at 5:27 pm

  141. Deanna Johnston Clark says:

    Thanks, CrisisMaven…personal stories are the best.
    I think the age of the chain box store dinosaurs is over and better things are coming. But first the dinosaurs have to leave the stage with a boom.

    1st July 2014 at 8:01 am

Leave a comment

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.