Month after month I watch as the MSM mouthpieces try to spin declining consumer spending in a positive light. They are practically out of excuses. They are befuddled, because month after month they report “awesome” job gains and can’t understand why all these gainfully employed Americans aren’t buying shit they don’t need like they used to. These faux journalists, spouting propaganda for their ruling class bosses, are willfully ignorant of the fact the job gains are in low paying part-time jobs and the fact that Obamacare and record high rents are sapping any discretionary income households would use to buy stuff.

Despite the propaganda from the media and happy talk from the Liar-in-Chief, the country is currently in a recession and the Fed has no ammo to fake another recovery. We are going down and going down hard. When 70% of your economy is based on Americans buying shit they don’t need from China on credit cards, a dramatic slowdown in consumer spending equals recession. When sales actually fall from November to December during the holiday season, you are in recession. We’ve arrived.

The December report was a disaster and portends horrible retailer results coming down the road. More ghost malls coming to your neighborhood. The annual results were pitiful, with the more recent months even more dreadful. So after adding 10 million jobs, according to Obama, spending declines? They must be great jobs.

I think the results are even worse than portrayed in the results presented by the Census Bureau. Retail sales grew by only 2.2% in 2015 versus 2014. That is significantly less than the real inflation being experienced by real people, so on an inflation adjusted basis they fell. Even the 2.2% increase is artificially pumped up by the Fed induced auto debt fueled boom in car sales (or long-term rentals in reality). The 7 year 0% auto loans, subprime auto loans to deadbeats, and record levels of auto leases have created fake demand that will end in tears when the defaults skyrocket. If you remove these fake sales, then total retail sales are up a pitiful 0.9% over 2014.

When you realize that two of the few strong sales categories were autos (7.5%) and furniture stores (5.8%), you can put your thinking cap on and realize the 7 year 0% financing scam is solely responsible for these sales. Reducing credit score criteria and extending loan terms always works. Right? The other relatively strong area was internet sales (6.3%). Amazon and the rest of the on-line retail segment continues to destroy the bricks and mortar retailers, but even these sales are slowing. They were up a weak 0.3% from November. Before the states started taxing internet sales and it was still a newer concept, the annual growth rates were 15% to 20%, so the 6.3% growth rate is rather unimpressive.

And this leads me to the strongest spending segment – restaurants/bars. Sales were up 8.1% over 2014 and continued strong in December. I know this is true firsthand as my wife is a waitress at a restaurant/sports bar and business was booming in December and continues to be good in January. My thesis for this strong spending is that people are so miserable about the economy in general and the direction of the country (reflected in Trump’s support), they have decided to drink and eat, for tomorrow we die. Dining out or getting loaded at a bar takes your mind off your troubles for a few hours. It’s not a huge expenditure and you just put it on your credit card and worry about it later.

When the mass layoffs start hitting in 2016, even this category of spending will contract. If you think the 2015 consumer spending numbers were atrocious, you haven’t seen anything yet.


  1. Wal-Mart shares dip after it announces 269 global store closures

    By Tonya Garcia

    Published: Jan 15, 2016 9:39 a.m. ET

    Wal-mart Stores Inc. WMT, -2.25% shares were down 1.7% in morning trading after it said it will close 269 stores in the U.S. and abroad. Of the closures, 154 locations will be in the U.S., including the 102 Walmart Express locations, the company’s smallest stores, which had been in pilot since 2011. The company will also close 23 Neighborhood Markets, 12 Supercenters, seven stores in Puerto Rico, six discount centers, four Sam’s Club stores and 115 stores internationally. The closures represent less than 1% of both global square footage and revenue, the company said in a Friday release. The closures will impact 16,000 associates, 10,000 of them in the U.S. More than 95% of the closing stores are located within 10 miles of another Walmart, and the company said affected associates will be given priority for open positions. Associates who aren’t relocated will receive 60 days pay and, if eligible, severance and job training skills. The financial impact will be 20 cents to 22 cents per share from continuing operations, with 19 cents to 20 cents expected to impact the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Wal-Mart will report fourth-quarter and full-year earnings on Feb. 18. The move is part of the growth plan unveiled during the company’s October investor event. Wal-Mart shares are up 4.6% for the past three months, but down 29% for the past 12 months. The S&P is down 5.7% for the past 12 months.

  2. GE has sold it’s appliance business to the Chinese firm Haier for 5.4 Billion.

    Don’t buy GE anything ….the shitey bastard are selling us out and we in turn should NEVER BUY any product with the name GE or HAIER on it. Rat bastards.

  3. Peak auto sales may have come and gone

    By Steve Goldstein

    Published: Jan 15, 2016 11:01 a.m. ET

    12-month change in auto production lowest in 2½ years

    Car makers have been scaling back production, according to data released Friday, suggesting the industry isn’t expecting another record year.

    The Federal Reserve on Friday said auto makers cut production by 1.7% in December, following a 1.5% decline in November. That marks the first back-to-back decline in production since February.

    Compared to 12 months ago, auto production rose just 3.7% — the smallest rise since July 2013.

    Auto makers in 2015 had their best year for sales since 2000, with light vehicle sales reaching 17.5 million, drawing a mention in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. Cheap gas prices and jobs growth contributed to the banner year, as well as Americans getting newer models to replace what in July was the oldest fleet age on record.

    But the tail end of the year saw sales begin to dip, falling to an annual rate of 17.34 million in December from October’s peak of 18.24 million, according to figures from Autodata.

    Interest rates are creeping higher, and the auto market has been goosed by subprime loans, drawing the ire of federal regulators.

    The New York Fed said that the total number of subprime auto originations has reached a 10-year high, topped only but a period in 2005 associated with “employee pricing” and similar promotions.

    The downturn in the stock market could also weigh on the auto market, though consumer confidence has held up.

  4. @ Admin…..Yours as well. It could be just me, but I was having a helluva time getting anything to work here up until 30 minutes ago.

  5. @ Bea Lever….and GE is ditching CT to move their world HQ to Boston. When this was announced, the asshole Gov. of CT Malloy said “You win some and you lose some”, to insure to all taxpayer that he doesn’t give a shit about anything but kissing the ass of incoming musloids and our in house pet niggers and spics.

    I can’t blame GE for getting out of this state because CT has to be the most hostile to businesses state in the country. However, I hate GE for a number of other reasons including that other dick move.

  6. All you pissing and moaning about how bad things are but wake up my little children and smell the roses. Diesel fuel / gasoline at its lowest in a decade or more. Silver and gold at it lowest in years . Even rual farm land is at bargain basement prices in some areas of the country. Plenty of deals to be had.

    Admin and crew ,you all need to go have a few drinks at the local watering hole. Ease your minds awayfrom all the bad news. I would buy but …..some of got to work and pay taxes to feed all the bastards babies.

  7. @ Admin, ZH is back up now. I thought it was my internet, its pretty slow. And this is another good one. The next couple months should be interesting, to say the least. As you said, this only helps trump. I hope flash and others are happy when they get their strong man.

  8. I quit buying anything from GE when their CEO was leading the Obama parade in 2008.
    I boycott anything associated with Buffet for the same reason. Switched my auto insurance from Geico and dropped my Sees chocolates habit.

  9. Listened To CNBS, You Did?

    by Karl Denninger


    How’s that looking this morning? Overnight the S&P Futures lost almost 35 points, or nearly 2%. The Naz has lost 2%.

    Last evening was amusing with folks like McClellan being trotted out to say “well, we’re due for a rally” — after we already had one. How is that actionable? That’s very nice Tom, but unfortunately the 200+ point day already happened and it this morning the DOW futures are down 300, so lotsa-good that “information” did ‘ya.

    The various screamers are all over themselves trying to claim that China doesn’t matter (when it did all the way up) and that low oil is good (well, I like cheap gasoline, but all those $60,000+ jobs in North Dakota are vanishing like a fart in the wind.)

    The impetus yesterday was probably, as is frequently the case, Bullard (that is, The Fed.) But here’s the problem with such a premise: As I’ve pointed out “The Fed” and their 30-year secular trend lower in bond rates has run out of ability to provide additional leverage room because there’s literally no further to go.

    A 30 year trend that changes doesn’t get recognized overnight, and didn’t. But now it’s coming to the forefront of consciousness, and as that spreads through not just traders and investors minds but more important is reflected in balance sheets and quarterly results what do you expect to happen?

    Examples? Intel, last night, among others. GoPro, what happened to their holiday sales? Best Buy, same deal. Hmmmm.. but Christmas was going to be good, right?

  10. Gator -I hope flash and others are happy when they get their strong man.
    Have you not read any comment I have made on the subject of Trump’s candidacy.
    I never said I trust Trump, in fact I’ve said the opposite,but I support him for one reason. He is the murder weapon that will take out the backstabbing Chamber of Commerce GOP…and not a minute to soon.

    Trump is saying all the right things; control the borders; severely limit immigration;renegotiate lop sided international trade agreements and repeal Federal gun laws, all which have gotten the conservative base fired up and rightly so. That said, this can go one of two ways, albeit with the same results, the Republican establishment party is dead.
    If Trump keeps his campaign promises (he’d be the first), then the global corporatist owned Republican Party will revolt and move to the left side of the aisle, where they really belong anyway or if Trump pulls a big fucking head fake, like all politicos are wont to do, the the base will revolt and form a third party, which is how the Republican Party began in the first place.
    Either way works for me. Two parties of leftwing globalist kowtowing cucks is two to many, but in order for this nation to be restored as the independent bastion of the free world, one of these Nation fucking parties of corporate puppets has got to go, else the history of this Republic is destined to come to a bitter and defeated close. …do you understand now?

  11. December Retail Sales Negative—— Other Economic Data Horrid

    by Mike Mish Shedlock • January 15, 2016

    Despite glowing reports of last minute Christmas sales, none of which I believed, December retail sales are best described as awful.

    Apparel was a standout, down 0.9%. The surprise here is that nobody blamed the weather.

    The Econoday Consensus Estimate was flat, and the result was not that far off at -0.1%, but the details were awful.

    Retail sales proved disappointing in December, down 0.1 percent in a headline that is not skewed by vehicles or even that much by gasoline. Ex-auto sales also fell 0.1 percent while the core ex-auto ex-gas reading came in unchanged which is well below both expectations as well as low-end expectations. The Beige Book yesterday warned us about weak apparel sales which in this report fell a very steep 0.9 percent, in a decline that likely reflects more than just import-price contraction. The general merchandise category, which is very large, fell 1.0 percent in the month. Electronics & appliances also show contraction.

    December winds up what was a not-so-great year for the nation’s retailers. Total sales rose only 2.1 percent in the year, the smallest gain since 2009 and well down from 3.9 percent in 2014. Excluding motor vehicles, sales rose 0.9 percent, far lower than 2014’s 3.1 percent.

    There are, however, some positives in the report including another strong gain for restaurants, up 0.8 percent, and also another gain for furniture & home furnishings, up 0.9 percent in strength that confirms ongoing improvement in the housing sector. But sales at non-store retailers rose only 0.3 percent for a second straight month which are moderate gains that do not confirm anecdotal reports of unusual holiday strength for online shopping.

    Upward revisions do take some of the sting out of the December report but not much. November total sales are revised 2 tenths higher to plus 0.4 percent and reflects a sharp upward revision to vehicle sales to plus 0.5 percent. But vehicle sales couldn’t muster any strength in December, coming in unchanged. And sales at gasoline stations extended their long run of contraction that reflects falling oil prices, down 1.1 percent in December.

    There’s plenty of jobs for consumers and gas prices are low — but so are wages. The consumer started to slow down at year end and that was before the new trouble in China. Today’s data will pull down expectations for fourth-quarter growth.

    There was a slew of economic reports today. This was arguably the best one! Empire State Manufacturing was shockingly bad as was industrial production. Details coming up.

  12. Drinking at a bar?? Here n the Hedge Fund Ghetto, the only pub we have charges 6$ for a pint of pig swill Coors/Bud, 4$ a bottle. Anchor Steam or a nice Sammy is 8-10$ a pint. The damn bankers in town have even ruined the local watering hole. I pick up a six pack of Sammy’s or Sierra Nevada at the liquor store in town for $9, turn on the Cerwin Vega’s in the garage and swig away.

  13. Sameo sameo as 1929. First the farmers were broke, then the town merchants, then the town banks, then the big companies, then the big banks (wait until corporations can’t pay their loans or bonds and can’t afford to borrow more), then the local, state and federal governments. Consumer Confidence up is a lying lagging indicator and should be changed to the Consumer Ignorance Index. Let’s play count the tankers and cargo ships on the high seas game.


    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. industrial production dropped for the third straight month in December as utilities reduced output amid unusually warm weather and energy companies cut back in the face of falling oil prices.

    Industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities, contracted 0.4 percent after retreating a revised 0.9 percent the previous month, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.

    American industry has struggled in recent months even as the overall economy appears solid. The November decline was the biggest drop since May 2009. Output fell 0.2 percent in October and was flat in September; the Fed originally reported that production fell in September.

    “Overall, with the dollar still rising at a rapid pace and global demand clearly pretty weak we don’t expect much from the U.S. manufacturing sector this year,” Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a research report. “We still expect the domestic service-based economy to perform well this year.”

    Warm weather pushed utility output down 2 percent in December on top of a 5 percent drop in November. Mining production, which includes oil drilling, fell 0.8 percent. That was the fourth straight monthly drop.

    Manufacturing production slid 0.1 percent after falling 0.1 percent in November. U.S. factories have been hurt by weakening economies overseas and a strong dollar that makes American-made products more expensive in foreign markets.

    The Commerce Department reported last week that orders to U.S. factories dropped in November for the third time in four months. The Institute for Supply Management reported that U.S. manufacturing contracted last month at the fastest pace in more than six years; it fell in November too.

    American factories added just 30,000 jobs last year – the fewest since 2009.

  15. S&P Crashes Below August 24 “Black Monday” Lows

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/15/2016 12:23 -0500

    “Inconceivable” … but there is more to come.

    Black Monday Lows…


  16. I guess that “rally” didn’t last too long with the next leg down in the markets this am. Even drinking to down your sorrows in your pension plan which is evaporating right in front of your eyes, is proof that the “bar” is more expensive than ever.

    The bar next door to me is opening once again after a hiatis of over a year, by another sucker…er…. I mean “investor” wanting to part with his money.

    After government taxation of alcohol, 2 drinks each with a meal comes in at over $50CAD!! Who the hell has that kind of discretionary spending? Even in the face of a 401K collapse?

    Sheesh!! Shear lunacy I tell ya………

  17. @ flash – fair enough, I apologize if I misunderstood your trump support. I can certainly understand people liking him from a “burn it down” perspective.

    And ya, it will be interesting to see how this plays out with the market. I almost regret cancelling my satellite subscription recently. I have always wanted to see jim cramers head explode on live TV, although Im sure here or ZH will post the meltdown if it happens. I bet peter schiff isn’t getting any phone calls now, they only call him when they want to try to make him look stupid for criticizing the mighty bull market.

    Bullard tried again with jawboning the markets higher, but the open mouth operations just don’t cut it anymore.

  18. It’s 40 degrees and pouring rain here , and I just saw the trash service truck roll down the road and couldn’t help but feel nothign but empathy for the men , mostly black, who toil day after day , in baking sun , pouring rain or driving sleet , to haul our refuse to the dump for whats most likely minimum wage or not much more.
    But, don’t get me wrong, my empathy is not due to their poor life choices that landed them on the back of a trash truck duirng all sorts of inclement weather, but for that which they, nor we, have any control.They just seem to suffer more.

    The weather beaten trash-men must work at least 60 hours a week ( I’ve seen them on Sat and Sun at it) and for what? To see the purchasing power of their pittance of pay be reduced to not enough to even cover the basic necessitates of life?

    It’s no wonder many turn to crime. Who cares, you may ask, they’re a dime a hundred thousand?If one goes to prison, then there are ten thousand willing to take their place, right? Don’t bet on it.You can only beat a dog down so much , before he turns on you with a vengeance.

    While these less than astute souls may not be in the drivers seat of the economic wagon, they most certainly are lynchpins, which when finally worn thin and broken will send the once stable wagon careening down the side of the fiscal cliff and into abyss of chaos and destruction.

    The avarice driven men who create economic instability out of the deranged desire for more and more money and power never notice or even contemplate the life destroying impoverishment they brutally heap via their self-serving monetary policy, onto the backs of those at the farthest end of the economic spectrum, but I’ve the gut feeling that one day they will not only feel the pain, but the wrath of these poor lost souls up close and personal.

    Those who’ve lost all hope of sustaining themselves though the meager earnings of hard labor will reciprocate the recipients of their unfruitful labor in kind. Brutality for brutality. Bet on it.

  19. Goofy,
    I don’t go to bars as a rule. too expensive. 24 oz can of Ice House $1.00, 40 oz plastic bottle of Steel Reserve $2.50. Cheap and effective, I just have to run a few extra miles to work it off.

  20. Gator – I almost regret cancelling my satellite subscription recently.
    I cancelled mine in ’07 after all networks set up a concerted group bash to not only push Ron Pail out of the POTUS race, but tried to destroy his reputation and career as well…and FUX (US) Newz was among the worst, in particular those two Cux bitches , Hannity and O’Reilly.

    I never looked back…the internet rightwing issue blogs as long as they remains free, are the only reliable news source you’ll ever need…which BTW is proven time and again by the fact that bloggers have been responsible for breaking every major news story for the last 15 years….but blogger aren’t real journalists , right?

  21. There’s an Applebees right next to the Barnes&Noble I frequent. It is ALWAYS packed, from lunch time until evening. A Thai restaurant is 200 feet away and is always packed. Pretty much every half-way decent restaurant in a 10 mile radius from us is busy. On weekends it’s pretty much a given that if you don’t have a reservation, you don’t get in. It’s crazy and often hard to believe things are bad in ‘Murika …. but, Admin’s reasoning makes tremendous sense.

    Sports is another area where it seems things are GRRRREAT! The IU Hoosiers had their first Big10 game right here in Piscataway (Rutgers), about 15 miles from us. I wanted to see them in person. There were very few tickets left — $65 each in the nosebleed section!!. And the joint was sold out by game time. Including parking and misc costs it would have cost Ms Freud and myself about $200 just to see a college basketball game. WTF??

    Yet, college arenas are sold out across America, both in basketball and football. Same thing with the pros … filled to capacity stadiums, except tickets are HUNDREDS of dollars.

    Or, wrestling. Golf. Bowling. Monster trucks. Rodeos. It just doesn’t matter the sport. Americans spend billions of dollars either watching or participating.

    It always baffles me even though it should not. Come hell or high water, Americans love their “circuses”. We have plenty of money for that.

  22. Flash says, But, don’t get me wrong, my empathy is not due to their poor life choices that landed them on the back of a trash truck duirng

    It may not be poor life choices! They may have climbed as many rungs on the intellectual ladder as their minds will allow!

  23. Just a couple of observations from my neck of the woods.

    The restaurants around here are always full, call for a reservation for a table between 6 and 8 and nine times out of ten you will be told they should be able to seat you at 9;30 and beyond. Even corporate ptomaine parlors such as Olive Garden and Red Lobster have people milling around outside their front doors waiting for their names to be called. And it is not just on Friday and Saturday nights, it is most any night. The perception is that a lot of people have a lot of money to piss away or nobody knows how to, or are too lazy to cook for themselves.

    It seems that there is an abundance of car commercials on TV lately, starting during the holidays, maybe I just have not been paying attention because we tend to watch shows previously recorded. But even Mrs. Peaceout has commented about how many car commercials are being run. Maybe it is because the car companies are way out in front of what is coming down the pike and are spending money trying to lure the ignorant masses into trading up to a new vehicle to keep the façade of sales growth up. Good luck with that.

    There are no new homes being built. Not too many years ago every little wooded backroad had some new subdivision popping up on it with a catchy name, Brookside Meadows, Aspen Glen, Falling Waters and on and on. Today nothing. Occasionally you might see a guy adding on a garage or some other remodel, but that is about it. On the other hand where you do see building growth is in the central parts of town, where huge multi-unit apartments, condos and townhouse are popping up with retail, restaurants and small office space at street level and the living spaces above. This has become the new norm. This is what the current economy has forced young and old into. This is where young families are raising their children. Kids are not playing in the woods or with neighbor kids in cul de sacs, riding bikes and whatever anymore. They are now imprisoned in their small condos and maybe use the common activity center and exercise room. This is also the type of new urban environment that helps breed the alternative lifestyle movement. It is what these kids see every day and becomes a choice they make to fit in. Of course this doesn’t apply in every area but it is a typical observation.

    A large segment of the population just don’t care anymore. I used to think it just applied to the ‘people of Walmart’ crowd but it is everywhere. Folks have just let themselves go, given up. There is no sense of pride anymore with folks, people walking around wearing t-shirts with obscene messages, 60, 80 or 100 pounds overweight, haven’t combed their hair or shaved their face in weeks, wearing ratty sweats to professional establishments. Stuff like this used to be an anomaly but now it is an ever increasing norm.

    What does it all mean? Just a sign that times, morals and attitudes are changing and not for the better I guess.

  24. Jim,
    Looking forward to your “Retail Meltdown” blog. Walmart, Macy’s, Target, JC brokePenny, etc. I am assuming you have some list.

  25. Sensitte- It may not be poor life choices! They may have climbed as many rungs on the intellectual ladder as their minds will allow!

    Thast a given , by no fault of their own, which is why described them as,”less than astute.”

  26. In NYS consumer demand is going to sky rocket. Onondaga county executive {R} and Syracuse city mayor{D} are going to the $15 minimum wage for all public related employees. Gov. Cuomo is going to $15 minimum for fast food workers with possible extension to all employees.

    It won’t be long until happy days are here again.

  27. The trash man most likely has a higher paying job than most. At least they are working. Snobs.
    Maybe making and selling booze is the next hot thing.

  28. Gerald Celente predicted at least a year ago that we would move to a “cafe economy” meaning people would be spending in coffee shops and bars, cheap entertainment and all they can afford.

  29. In my neck-of-the-woods, I see Applebees et al packed every night. At least us ‘Muricans know how to go out in style. The Russians stayed home and drank vodka with their potatoes and canned meat during their collapse.

  30. Staying home drinking vodka and eating taters and canned meat seems more enticing than Applebees. But, that’s just me. Too many nights on the road for too long, and too many nights at Applebees.

  31. Garbage Tippers, as they may be called, are not paid minimum wage. They are making $10, $11, $12-$15+ per hour, depending on location. The compensable factors that drive this are working conditions and physical effort involved. Recruitment is sometimes a difficult proposition when unemployment is lower…

  32. Big truck sales have cratered – down 59% year on year. Let that sink in, and consider who buys trucks, and what them not buying portends for the economy at large.

    Here is a hint: Shit. Fan.

  33. @Goofyhoof, you need to get a kegerator! Most microbreweries fill 1/6th barrel (five gallon) kegs for about $50-$60 bucks. I can’t even make my own beer for that price anymore! A converted fridge will hold up to eight 1/6th barrel kegs so you get a nice variety. The same beer by the pint would be about $320!

    Bars and restaurants around here are packed. If we go out we chose locally owned establishments making real food and try to eat between 4pm-5pm.

    The number of breweries is absolutely exploding around here. I have no hope of even tasting each of the locally made beers. How anyone can stand to drink that swill that passed for beer in the US for most of my life is beyond me. Life is too short to drink crappy beer!

    @admin, I tried to submit a new post about an hour ago and got a message that TBP was offline. No Cloudfare message either. Just a 404 error.

  34. @ Flash Sound like a very angry man. Lighten up. At least those trash haulers are working.
    Nothing wrong with a hard days work. Probably a better job than most people have around
    the world. How about some meds?

  35. You should read the text version of the State of the Union Address. You’d think we lived in two different countries.

    I’m not sure if it’s anything more than an anecdote, but lately the authentic, hard working guys around here are all smiles, very upbeat as if the general decline has lifted their boats. As the general malaise spreads through the indolent types, the worker ants are simply becoming more productive and becoming even more self assured. That may qualify as an unintended consequence.

    Great work as usual.

  36. @Tom Stamps, you read , but you don’t comprehend .The trashman was just my example of the service sectors’ dwindling purchasing power, thanks to banksters nefarious control over US monetary policy. The condemnation was of the bankster, and not the lowly trashman.I’m sorry you are to dim-witted to get it, but thanks for playing anyway.

  37. sheesh….can any of these newbie fucktard read?

    Bob -Garbage Tippers, as they may be called, are not paid minimum wage. They are making $10, $11, $12-$15+ per hour, depending on location.

    flash- to haul our refuse to the dump for whats most likely minimum wage or* not much more.

    …got it now Bob?

  38. After perusing the comments, I can add that I know people who work in the service industry and rely on tips to augment their income and that, one, the tips are fewer and, two, the the tips are less. People are spending on themselves to feel better and are less generous. Keeping money for themselves because they sense somethings not quite right.

    This doesn’t bode well for the economy. All the really meaningful and important metrics are down across the board.

    It is well known that people will strive to maintain their standard of living in a shrinking economy. This is why wives work today where they once were stay at home moms just several decades ago. Forget that fem lib crap that women are now liberated to go into the workforce in competition with men which increases supply of labor and lowers the amount of pay. More taxpayers, a win win for corporations and Government. Soon, they will be liberated into fighting the fourth world war right along with the boys.

    Calling women liberated so they can work and go to war is like putting lipstick on a pig. No matter how you paint it, it’s still ugly.

    There was a time when women raised the kids and the men went off to war, ah, but that’s so antiquated. Women don’t realize what they have lost.

    Just think in a few more years these will be the ‘good ole days’.

  39. About a month ago, I wrote that the FED rate increase would be 25 to 50 basis points (1/4 to 1/2%). First the rate increase then the deluge (carnage). Today the stockmarket DOW is down to 15,988 from the 17,000’s and many are saying it is going lower, much lower. Most people don’t know a Dow from a Cow, but sense a foreboding despite the cheer leading from the MSM. Bad news, more than good news, is contagious. Fear is a great motivator, but more often than not it leads to confused, reactive responses. Knowledge quenches fear and gives you a more reasoned approach.

    However, what passes as knowledge, today, for the general public, is the latest spiel from the MSM.
    People would rather not know because knowing does great damage to the person’s belief structure, so real knowledge most often is met with denial.

    I’m reminded of a story. A person was describing to a Texas cowboy, in a saloon, a giraffe. “it has an 8′ neck and a 4′ body, it has horns between it’s ears, the front legs are longer than the hind legs, it’s 16′ tall, yellow with brown spots all over.” The cowboy eyed him for a minute and declared, quite loudly, “There ain’t no such animal”.

    In the end of 2014, Clive Maud, I believe, said that the planned scenario would be, 1) a collapse of the commodity market, 2) a collapse of the stockmarket. The money would flow from commodities to stocks and from stocks to the bond market. The reason is to support the bond market.

    When I read this, it rang a bell, hell, it rang the ‘Bells of St, Mary’s’. It made complete sense to me.
    The bond market is far larger than the stockmarket and hugely larger than the commodity market. Perhaps, the FED could sell it balance sheet into a rising bond market.

    Well, we have had a commodity collapse and are now experiencing a stockmarket collapse. I think we are on schedule. Hmmmm, how will it end, you ask? I think that a lot of people are going to be left holding a lot of gilt covered paper, signifying nothing or we might just have a nice war.

  40. I’m reminded of a kid whose father was a ‘trash hauler’ during the depression. He said, “We were never short of toys.”

  41. Sell everything except gold and silver coins. Switch 401-k type money to gold mining stocks (50%) and US Treasury Money Market funds (50%).

    Fourth Turning going ballz in.

  42. SpecOpsAlpha says, “Sell everything…”

    Head for the hills. The end is near. Hide your women and children. The Huns are at the gate.

    SpecOpsAlpha, I don’t think anyone is listening, but that will change.

    Opportunity comes only once for most folks, but to the knowledgeable it’s a repeat performance.

  43. Homer,
    I think it was the book ‘Night’ by Eli Weisel where the town crazy keeps telling the Jews in the town to run, run you dumb fukkers but they laugh at him. “One day soon the Germans will come and round you up!” The Jews laughed. Of course, soon they were rounded up and most died in Treblinka.

    Buy mining stocks and Treasury money market funds for IF the system holds together.

    Buy coins, ammo, MREs and supplies like these for if it does NOT.

  44. Your walk through of the crash didn’t go far enough. Bonds just take longer to crash; then PMs zoom up and crash, then food goes sky high, then humanity crashes. .

  45. One of my cousins’ hillbilly neighbors’ was laid off from his job just after the New Year and this past Saturday, he and his rather large-bellied wife joined my cousins’ football playoff party. I’d met them briefly at other functions, but had never had the pleasure of seeing them both shitfaced drunk.

    However, my gift to each of my two cousins for Christmas was a bottle of Patron tequila and the hostess had decided to chill the bottle and serve it with chunks of lime, rock salt and pretty little shot glasses. When large belly saw the Patron, she said “Hello! Who won the lottery?” and she pulled the plug, took a long swig off the bottle and plopped her big ass down at the counter with the bottle in front of her, as if she’d claimed her door prize early. Within a half hour, I knew more about her than I ever want to know about another lazy fat hillbilly again.

    At one point, she did ask me if I was rich or something to buy that Patron and I said that my husband was retired military and so I could purchase liquor at the Class VI store at the army base not too far from my son’s college. Immediately, she announced that she and her husband would be sending money with me next trip to buy them a pallet of cheap vodka, since he’d lost his job and they needed to stock up.

    That warmed the cockles of my heart… knowing I could help someone out when they are down.

  46. Admin, this got picked up by Bill Murphy at the metropole cafe. I used to subscribe there. They are well meaning people, if monstrously wrong about PM price movement. Congrats and get well.

  47. A couple of years ago, I stopped in Applebee’s in Bridgewater after completing some work.
    There was a guy sitting next to me that looked like Jerry Garcia and we started talking.

    He said for 7 years he worked in men’s clothing in Macy’s and hated it. Everyday putting on a suit and tie and worrying about the pressure of working on commission. He said a guy he knew told him there would so be a job opening where he worked.

    That was 8 years before and he started working for the county picking up road kill. The money
    was decent, good benefits and for the first time in his life he was happy.

    I think there are more subversive happy collectors of trash and dead animals out there than we realize.

  48. Forty percent of Americans who are capable of working but who don’t have a job say they have completely given up looking for work, according to a new report.

    More than half – 55 percent – of those out of work for more than two years say they have given up, while 21 percent of those out of labor force for three months or less say the same.

    “Sometimes people get so frustrated with their job prospects that they give up looking for work altogether,” states the report. “If they’re not looking for work, then they’re not officially counted among the ‘unemployed’ according to the government.”


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