Perhaps a retail coals-in-the-stockings Christmas will awaken the mainstream media to the reality that recession is now a global phenomenon.
If container shipping is any reflection of the upcoming Christmas season, Santa is poised to fill the nation’s Christmas stockings with coal. Let’s start by noting that Baltic Dry Index Falls Below 500 for First Time Ever (gcaptain.com) and Container Freight Rates Plummet 70% In 3 Weeks (Zero Hedge).
For a corroborative report on shipping along America’s Atlantic Coast, we turn to correspondent J.M., who works in the shipping industry. Here’s is J.M.’s sobering first-hand observations:
We just arrived back in New York after a multi-port run down the Atlantic seaboard. My observations of the box ship trade in and out of those major ports, as well as coastwise between the ports, is that business is dismal.
About that resilient consumer and the tremendously low unemployment rate of 5%, maybe someone should tell Macy’s why their sales and profits continue to plummet. Their stock is down 13% today to a three year low of $40. It has fallen 45% in the last four months. It seems the market doesn’t like it when your sales fall 5.2% over last year and your profits crash by 46%. And this is after you close a bunch of your worst performing stores. I have a feeling they might be announcing the closure of another 100 stores after this upcoming disastrous Christmas season.
It was interesting that when I looked for their earnings announcement link on Marketwatch, it was no where to be found. So I went to their website, and now I know why they don’t want the results too widely viewed. It’s much worse than the headlines reveal. When you examine their balance sheet and cash flow statement, you see the looming disaster on the horizon. The executives running this retail titanic might be the dumbest fuckers on earth.
Let’s examine their brilliant strategic moves: