Guest Post: "The Retail Death Rattle", by Jim Quinn

The latest effort from Jim Quinn is a powerhouse and one of his best. Rarely has the economic malaise and decline of the U.S. been so efficiently chronicled. This article needs as wide of distribution as possible so I asked Jim if I could use it as a "guest post". Thankfully, he obliged.

Please take the time to read and comprehend this tremendous post. When finished, please be sure to forward the original link to anyone who is on the verge of awakening. Reading this may finally bring them from their slumber.

http://www.theburningplatform.com/2014/01/19/the-retail-death-rattle/

"The Retail Death Rattle" by Jim Quinn

“I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest, to make money they don’t want, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like.” Emile Gauvreau

If ever a chart provided unequivocal proof the economic recovery storyline is a fraud, the one below is the smoking gun. November and December retail sales account for 20% to 40% of annual retail sales for most retailers. The number of visits to retail stores has plummeted by 50% since 2010. Please note this was during a supposed economic recovery. Also note consumer spending accounts for 70% of GDP. Also note credit card debt outstanding is 7% lower than its level in 2010 and 16% below its peak in 2008. Retailers like J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Sears, Radio Shack and Barnes & Noble continue to report appalling sales and profit results, along with listings of store closings. Even the heavyweights like Wal-Mart and Target continue to report negative comp store sales. How can the government and mainstream media be reporting an economic recovery when the industry that accounts for 70% of GDP is in free fall? The answer is that 99% of America has not had an economic recovery. Only Bernanke’s 1% owner class have benefited from his QE/ZIRP induced stock market levitation.

The entire economic recovery storyline is a sham built upon easy money funneled by the Fed to the Too Big To Trust Wall Street banks so they can use their HFT supercomputers to drive the stock market higher, buy up the millions of homes they foreclosed upon to artificially drive up home prices, and generate profits through rigging commodity, currency, and bond markets, while reducing loan loss reserves because they are free to value their toxic assets at anything they please – compliments of the spineless nerds at the FASB. GDP has been artificially propped up by the Federal government through the magic of EBT cards, SSDI for the depressed and downtrodden, never ending extensions of unemployment benefits, billions in student loans to University of Phoenix prodigies, and subprime auto loans to deadbeats from the Government Motors financing arm – Ally Financial (85% owned by you the taxpayer). The country is being kept afloat on an ocean of debt and delusional belief in the power of central bankers to steer this ship through a sea of icebergs just below the surface.

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 most amazingly delusional aspect to the chart above is retailers continued to add 44 million square feet in 2013 to the almost 15 billion existing square feet of retail space in the U.S. That is approximately 47 square feet of retail space for every person in America. Retail CEOs are not the brightest bulbs in the sale bin, as exhibited by the CEO of Target and his gross malfeasance in protecting his customers’ personal financial information. Of course, the 44 million square feet added in 2013 is down 85% from the annual increases from 2000 through 2008. 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.

The impact of this retail death spiral will be vast and far reaching. A few factoids will help you understand the coming calamity:

  • There are approximately 109,500 shopping centers in the United States ranging in size from the small convenience centers to the large super-regional malls.
  • There are in excess of 1 million retail establishments in the United States occupying 15 billion square feet of space and generating over $4.4 trillion of annual sales. This includes 8,700 department stores, 160,000 clothing & accessory stores, and 8,600 game stores.
  • U.S. shopping-center retail sales total more than $2.26 trillion, accounting for over half of all retail sales.
  • The U.S. shopping-center industry directly employed over 12 million people in 2010 and indirectly generated another 5.6 million jobs in support industries. Collectively, the industry accounted for 12.7% of total U.S. employment.
  • Total retail employment in 2012 totaled 14.9 million, lower than the 15.1 million employed in 2002.
  • For every 100 individuals directly employed at a U.S. regional shopping center, an additional 20 to 30 jobs are supported in the community due to multiplier effects.

The collapse in foot traffic to the 109,500 shopping centers that crisscross our suburban sprawl paradise of plenty is irreversible. No amount of marketing propaganda, 50% off sales, or hot new iGadgets is going to spur a dramatic turnaround. Quarter after quarter there will be more announcements of store closings. Macys just announced the closing of 5 stores and firing of 2,500 retail workers. JC Penney just announced the closing of 33 stores and firing of 2,000 retail workers. Announcements are imminent from Sears, Radio Shack and a slew of other retailers who are beginning to see the writing on the wall. The vacancy rate will be rising in strip malls, power malls and regional malls, with the largest growing sector being ghost malls. Before long it will appear that SPACE AVAILABLE is the fastest growing retailer in America.

The reason this death spiral cannot be reversed is simply a matter of arithmetic and demographics. While arrogant hubristic retail CEOs of public big box mega-retailers added 2.7 billion retail square feet to our already over saturated market, real median household income flat lined. The advancement in retail spending was attributable solely to the $1.1 trillion increase (68%) in consumer debt and the trillion dollars of home equity extracted from castles in the sky, that later crashed down to earth. 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. With real median household income 8% lower than it was in 2008, the collapse in retail traffic is a rational reaction by the impoverished 99%. Americans are using their credit cards to pay their real estate taxes, income taxes, and monthly utilities, since their income is lower, and their living expenses rise relentlessly, thanks to Bernanke and his Fed created inflation.

The media mouthpieces for the establishment gloss over the fact average gasoline prices in 2013 were the second highest in history. The highest average price was in 2012 and the 3rd highest average price was in 2011. These prices are 150% higher than prices in the early 2000′s. This might not matter to the likes of Jamie Dimon and Jon Corzine, but for a middle class family with two parents working and making 7.5% less than they made in 2000, it has a dramatic impact on discretionary income. The fact oil prices have risen from $25 per barrel in 2003 to $100 per barrel today has not only impacted gas prices, but utility costs, food costs, and the price of any product that needs to be transported to your local Wally World. The outrageous rise in tuition prices has been aided and abetted by the Federal government and their doling out of loans so diploma mills like the University of Phoenix can bilk clueless dupes into thinking they are on their way to an exciting new career, while leaving them jobless in their parents’ basement with a loan payment for life.


 

The laughable jobs recovery touted by Obama, his sycophantic minions, paid off economist shills, and the discredited corporate legacy media can be viewed appropriately in the following two charts, that reveal the false storyline being peddled to the techno-narcissistic iGadget distracted masses. There are 247 million working age Americans between the ages of 18 and 64. Only 145 million of these people are employed. Of these employed, 19 million are working part-time and 9 million are self- employed. Another 20 million are employed by the government, producing nothing and being sustained by the few remaining producers with their tax dollars. The labor participation rate is the lowest it has been since women entered the workforce in large numbers during the 1980′s. We are back to levels seen during the booming Carter years. Those peddling the drivel about retiring Baby Boomers causing the decline in the labor participation rate are either math challenged or willfully ignorant because they are being paid to be so. Once you turn 65 you are no longer counted in the work force. The percentage of those over 55 in the workforce has risen dramatically to an all-time high, as the Me Generation never saved for retirement or saw their retirement savings obliterated in the Wall Street created 2008 financial implosion.

To understand the absolute idiocy of retail CEOs across the land one must parse the employment data back to 2000. In the year 2000 the working age population of the U.S. was 213 million and 136.9 million of them were working, a record level of 64.4% of the population. There were 70 million working age Americans not in the labor force. Fourteen years later the number of working age Americans is 247 million and only 144.6 million are working. The working age population has risen by 16% and the number of employed has risen by only 5.6%. That’s quite a success story. Of course, even though median household income is 7.5% lower than it was in 2000, the government expects you to believe that 22 million Americans voluntarily left the labor force because they no longer needed a job. While the number of employed grew by 5.6% over fourteen years, the number of people who left the workforce grew by 31.1%. Over this same time frame the mega-retailers that dominate the landscape added almost 3 billion square feet of selling space, a 25% increase. A critical thinking individual might wonder how this could possibly end well for the retail genius CEOs in glistening corporate office towers from coast to coast.

This entire materialistic orgy of consumerism has been sustained solely with debt peddled by the Wall Street banking syndicate. The average American consumer met their Waterloo in 2008. Bernanke’s mission was to save bankers, billionaires and politicians. It was not to save the working middle class. You’ve been sacrificed at the altar of the .1%. The 0% interest rates were for Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein. Your credit card interest rate remained between 13% and 21%. So, while you struggle to pay bills with your declining real income, the Wall Street bankers are again generating record profits and paying themselves record bonuses. Profits are so good, they can afford to pay tens of billions in fines for their criminal acts, and still be left with billions to divvy up among their non-prosecuted criminal executives.

Bernanke and his financial elite owners have been able to rig the markets to give the appearance of normalcy, but they cannot rig the demographic time bomb that will cause the death and destruction of our illusory retail paradigm. Demographics cannot be manipulated or altered by the government or mass media. The best they can do is ignore or lie about the facts. The life cycle of a human being is utterly predictable, along with their habits across time. Those under 25 years old have very little income, therefore they have very little spending. Once a job is attained and income levels rise, spending rises along with the increased income. As the person enters old age their income declines and spending on stuff declines rapidly. The media may be ignoring the fact that annual expenditures drop by 40% for those over 65 years old from the peak spending years of 45 to 54, but it doesn’t change the fact. They also cannot change the fact that 10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day for the next sixteen years. They also can’t change the fact the average Baby Boomer has less than $50,000 saved for retirement and is up to their grey eye brows in debt.

With over 15% of all 25 to 34 year olds living in their parents’ basement and those under 25 saddled with billions in student loan debt, the traditional increase in income and spending is DOA for the millennial generation. The hardest hit demographic on the job front during the 2008 through 2014 ongoing recession has been the 45 to 54 year olds in their peak earning and spending years. Combine these demographic developments and you’ve got a perfect storm for over-built retailers and their egotistical CEOs.

The media continues to peddle the storyline of on-line sales saving the ancient bricks and mortar retailers. Again, the talking head pundits are willfully ignoring basic math. On-line sales account for 6% of total retail sales. If a dying behemoth like JC Penney announces a 20% decline in same store sales and a 20% increase in on-line sales, their total change is still negative 17.6%. And they are still left with 1,100 decaying stores, 100,000 employees, lease payments, debt payments, maintenance costs, utility costs, inventory costs, and pension costs. Their future is so bright they gotta wear a toe tag.

The decades of mal-investment in retail stores was enabled by Greenspan, Bernanke, and their Federal Reserve brethren. Their easy money policies enabled Americans to live far beyond their true means through credit card debt, auto debt, mortgage debt, and home equity debt. This false illusion of wealth and foolish spending led mega-retailers to ignore facts and spread like locusts across the suburban countryside. The debt fueled orgy has run out of steam. All that is left is the largest mountain of debt in human history, a gutted and debt laden former middle class, and thousands of empty stores in future decaying ghost malls haunting the highways and byways of suburbia.

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. Real estate developers will be going belly-up and the banking sector will be taking huge losses again. I’m sure the remaining taxpayers will gladly bailout Wall Street again. The facts are not debatable. They can be ignored by the politicians, Ivy League economists, media talking heads, and the willfully ignorant masses, but they do not cease to exist.

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley

p.s. If you'd like to hear more from Jim, he was a guest on Access2Access back in October. The recorded webinar is available by clicking here: http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/podcast/5120/a2a-jim-quinn-theburningplatformcom

57 Comments

Patrancus's picture

Furst

Furst time for everything

treefrog's picture

tooth

ribbitt!

ag1969's picture

Wow

Jim Quinn is an extraordinary writer about some extraordinarily bad news.  Green Shoots baby!  Jobless recovery!

Edit:  The coveted Thurd.

flyinkel's picture

edit 4

Returning to some CA stomping grounds near LA (after close to 5 yrs) "Gee, this is crazy there are shop vacancies everywhere, look at everything that has shut down!"

Other person in car "huh?"

When the slippage is slow, it is barely noticed, and becomes "normal".  Really, the other person that had been living in LA the whole time thought those boarded up shops were, with few exceptions, there 5 yrs ago!  And I wondered what percentage of the population was in the same boat.

Some folks won't see it (economic collapse) until it runs over them.

***AUY and DRGDF*** are actually up in this slaughter.  This take down is running differently than in the past.

Double edit, woe is me, the PMs get absolutely hammered and DUST is Negative (WTF)!  Wanted to unload that hot potato.crying

Patrancus's picture

Obumer's

leaderless executive office administration mismanaged the American people into the worst performance of the labor markets since the GREAT DEPRESSION, is their anybody listening, is their anyone home?

http://thedailyhatch.org/2014/01/20/obama-is-far-behind-other-presidents-on-job-creation/

GOLDDOC's picture

Gold inflows to GLD

I only believe what i see in my hand.  Very easy to print a piece of paper with a promise to deliver down the road. Theses guys are just thieves who are trying to keep the scam going a little longer.  When this breaks there is going to be a lot of  --it  hitting the fan!

California Lawyer's picture

Aftermath of Commercial Real Estate Implosion

It is not just the declining retail sales that is the concern.  Remember, the ENTIRE scheme of retail sales at retail stores supports the state through double taxation.

There are first the real estate taxes paid by the land owners.  Then, there is the sales tax paid by the retail receipts generated by the box box retailers and shopping malls.

We all see and know anecdotal stories of regular folks cutting back on their retail purchases and consumption, and soon enough the truth will emerge in a big way.

But the un-sounded alarm is the declining tax base that forms the foundation of state and local government revenue streams.

Declining retail revenue taxes = declining govt revenues = strain upon delivery of govt services, including promised pensions ala Detroit and San Bernardino = declining ability to make transfer payments to the free shi-army = increase in crime = decline in quality of life = further erosion of retail base.  

It is a vicious downward spiral, that cannot be solved by fiat printing.  The debt cycle will keep going until it collapses of its own weight, or there are radical revenue models that replace the existing, failing tax-the-productive, crony capitalism system.

A new model will either be imposed by new sovereign rulers, or one will emerge from the reality of market forces.

The housing bust is a tiny thing.  The collapse of commercial real estate is gigantic, because it will also trigger massive derivative financial instrument problems, including insurers and pension funds, which hold the majority of the paper keeping the broken retail model afloat.

The only question I have is when does a major pundit find the courage to be honest about this whole mess?  Are there no statesmen or women left?

You all know my answer to that last question, hence the acquisition of Pb and delivery devices.

Prepare accordingly. 

Deaglán's picture

German Gold

Here is a German Central bank clarification on how their gold repatriation is going.

http://www.bundesbank.de/Redaktion/EN/Pressemitteilungen/BBK/2014/2014_01_21_gold_en

dgstage's picture

The $23 Trillion Credit Bubble

The $23 Trillion Credit Bubble In China Is Starting To Collapse – Global Financial Crisis Next?

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-23-trillion-credit-bubble-in-china-is-starting-to-collapse-global-financial-crisis-next

buzlightening's picture

GOLDDOC

Just more paper to cover more paper with physical gold the US doesn't have!  Greg Hunter USAwatchdog with Dr Pual Craig Roberts.  USA has no gold: 

30 min video.

Bullion Banks VAULTS getting into the SPACE AVAILABLE retail demise. 

tyberious's picture

None Dare Call It Genocidal Fascism

It turns out that Carl Jung was correct, we do have some form of collective consciousness which resides in human beings which is also transmitted from one generation to another. Whether it is confronting a bear or a snake, scientists have found that genetic memories are indeed transmitted along one’s DNA. Subsequently, we come into this life hard-wired to face previously faced dangers.

If the above is so irrefutably true, then why does mankind fail so miserably in dealing with the nature of despotic rule? For example, democide took an estimated 265 million innocent lives in the 20th century by the hand of the victims own government.  Are our psychological and genetic programming failing us this miserably? Literally, our preprogrammed genes should be screaming “Danger Will Robinson”.

America Is a Virulent Fascist State

As I am writing these words, I am keenly aware that the NSA is tracking every keystroke. You should also be cognizant of the fact that as you read these words, the NSA is increasing your threat matrix score which makes it more likely that you are now a prime candidate for an all expenses paid vacation to a re-education camp.

We have significant anxiety as we try and fly because of the “stranger danger” which lurks at the airport with blue-uniformed pot-bellied perverts foaming at the mouth in anticipation of the opportunity to touch the breasts of our wives and to stick their hands down the pants of our young boys.

We see more stories everyday about the martial law preparation of the police along with their DHS provided paramilitary equipment, their SWAT team raids, their killing of an average of 500 innocent American citizens per year. We know that our prisons have been privatized which incentivizes these paramilitary police to arrest people for petty drug offenses which supports an industry supported and controlled by our tax-supported CIA.

Federal entities consistently are seeking to deprive Americans of life and property. FDA SWAT teams raid raw milk producers and confine the owners to lengthy jail stays before releasing them without charges.

The EPA is the hardest working organization within our Federal government. While our President is busy vacationing and playing golf, his minions are busy stealing the properties of innocent, hard-working Americans under some silly notion that a damn fish is more important than the economic welfare of its citizens.

Nancy Pelosi admits to insider-trading, but ordinary Americans go to jail for far less. Dianne Feinstein entered the Senate as a millionaire and now she is worth over a quarter of a billion dollars. Where is the IRS? If you have unexplained income, you are likely to do 20 years in prison.

You now live in a country where our contrived enemies want to attack us over these mythical freedoms. Yet, in land of the free, we incarcerate 2 million people for mostly petty offenses. We guarantee private prison profits and the US has over 25% of the prison population on this planet.

We live in a country which allows its courts to steal the children of anti-Agenda 21 protesters (e.g. Stacy Lynne). We permit unelected bureaucrats to shut the power and water off for citizens who are legally opting out of the installation of cancer-causing smart meters (e.g. Virginia Farver).

The stories are rampant with regard to government harassment of political opponents through misusing the authority of the IRS. In fact, a person would be hard-pressed to identify even one federal agency that exists to truly serve the needs of the people.

Our skies are chemtrailed with elements such as barium and aluminum and we wonder why our cancer and Alzheimer’s rates are skyrocketing. Our water is fluoridated with IQ-lowering jet fuel. Our children, with structurally developing brains, are massively prescribed methamphetamines for the imaginary illness of ADHD. Our food is poisoned by GMO’s and we don’t have the right to opt out of eating GMOs because the government allows Monsanto the right to get away without labeling which foods contain GMOs .

Most concerning is the fact that our military is being turned upside down. Over 260+ senior command officers have been fired by Obama. Why? Because Obama and his handlers plan on purging the public as they have the military and it is obvious that these military leaders will not participate in the coming mass unwarranted arrests and genocidal exterminations of American citizens for holding on to such beliefs as liberty and freedom.

After completing multiple combat tours of duty, our soldiers are drugged, have their guns confiscated and incarcerated at an alarming rate. Our children are committing suicide at an alarming rate.

Our government continues to forge job-killing free trade agreements (e.g. TPP) which ships millions of American jobs out of the country.  As a result, over half of the country is on some type of federal welfare.

Our children are subjected to one curiosity-killing federal education program after another (e.g. Common Core). This has resulted in our students being dead last in the developed world in educational achievement. After decades of these failed programs, our adult population has become dumber than a box of rocks. The globalists have us right where they want us. Fat, dumb and not-so happy.

The biggest insult of all, which has been levied against our Republic, is the fact that the total collapse of our economy and ultimately our government, is being led and orchestrated by an illegal alien.

Did you ever believe that you would live in an America where you could be snatched off of the street without any form of due process and secretly held without the hope of having a trial? Did you ever believe that the government could take all of your property and enslave you without any due process of law? Under the NDAA and Executive Order 13603, ownership of your possessions and your freedom has been transferred to the dictatorial mandates of the state.

Most frighteningly, this country has been subjected to one false flag attack after another and the worst is yet to come. But the biggest attack upon America, and all of humanity, is transhumanism. While the elite try and obtain immortality, they are simultaneously seeking to violently reduce the population by any means possible. We are being radiated by Fukushima in conjunction with massive poisoning of ordinary people as detailed in the abovementioned paragraphs.

Conclusion

Americans are playing in a totally rigged game. Anyone who dares question the emerging fascist status quo is labeled and marginalized as a “conspiracy theorist”, as if two bad people would never conspire to do anything wrong.

America needs to engage in its own conspiracy. However, before we can hope to be successful in any resistance movement, we must first and foremost increase our numbers. All fully-aware citizens must become disciples of the truth and you must become obsessed with spreading the word as to what is happening to the United States and our citizens.

I have been studying the tactics of past reformers and trying to judge which tactics might prove most useful in terms of resisting the tyranny which has overrun our country. I would invite your comments to this regard as this will be the topic of part two of this series.

Time is very short, we are literally being poisoned to death and we need to collectively act before it is too late. And I realize that it may already be too late. If this is the case, then at least we have the satisfaction that we died on our feet while resisting tyranny instead of being an accomplice in our own demise.

http://thecommonsenseshow.com/2014/01/21/none-dare-call-it-genocidal-fascism/

PS. Sorry for the full post but our country and lives are at steak!

Dagney Taggart's picture

$HUI

I remember your interest in the $HUI index a while back, Turd. This chart passed over my desk a while back and has come in handy.

http://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=$HUI&p=W&yr=18&mn=0&dy=0&id=p12574410521&a=307519871

Nice GDX strength today.

OK off to work.

buzlightening's picture

KEEP UP THE TAPER TALK

Certain mkt death rattle with this continuation: 

KEEP TALKIN TAPER:    Davos And Polar Vortex 2 Unleashed As Hilsenrath Says "More Taper"
www.zerohedge.com/.../davos-and-polar-vortex-2-unleashed-hilsenrath-say...

Tyler Durden's picture

Violent Dump Of 6,800 E-Minis Leads To Flash Sale

Starting at 11:06, S&P futures began to slide, picked up at 11:09, then at ~11:11:11, someone decided to dump 6,800 e-mini contracts in one second all at once in a nice fiduciary-duty-worthy trade as Europe begins to close and POMO ends: the kind of idiotic dumping through the bid stack that is not only allowed, but encouraged in gold and silver. That is around $625 million notional in a second. Volume overall was huge in the last few minutes (as the chart below shows). VIX jerked 0.4 vols higs to 13.4%; JPY banged higher against the USD (but stocks still well below JPY expectations); and bonds quickly bid 1-2bps. This dump in the S&P drops it back to one-week lows.  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-01-21/stocks-slump-violent-dump-6800-e-minis-leads-flash-sale

..............................................................................

DON'T FORGET THE REVERSE REPOS.  To date 1.4 trillion in liquidity drained in reverse repos.  Just can't imagine what the trigger will be for the ole yellen fellen crisis which is obviously being set up.

Dagney Taggart's picture

@CL

And I understand your country has a little problem with student loan debt. So I have to ask: Who's going to be buying all of those houses over the next 10 years at current value that Boomers presently occupy? I plan on retiring to certain parts of the US within 10 years so I might buy a block. Maybe sooner if the timing is right.

I may be wrong, but based on my limited study of American financial and social history it seems that no generation has done more to eat its own children than today's Boomers.

OK, really leaving now.

PS. I cannot think of a stronger argument for USD hyperinflation.

treefrog's picture

@dagney

"Nice GDX strength today."

gdxj too!  up over 3% at noon, and looks like it wants to climb more.

hi-yo silver!! (et.al.)

Turd Ferguson's picture

New from ZH

MODERATOR
Turd Ferguson's picture

And this is excellent

MODERATOR
Fred Hayek's picture

You see this in Massachusetts where things are comparatively ok

Good stuff, Mr. Quinn.

Here in Massachusetts we're the beneficiaries of two of the industries the U.S. gov't supports with bubbles, health care and education.  And yet, "SPACE AVAILABLE" signs are all around.  Some of the biggest most hoity toity malls are half or partially empty.  The Atrium, a high end mall on Route 9 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts (about 10 miles west of Boston) is nearly empty.  There were 4 levels to this mall and now I think there are a couple small stores and a Cheesecake Factory restaurant and nothing else.  Other malls within 25 miles of me (I live about 40 miles west of Boston) all have one anchor store missing or several empty smaller spaces.  And this is in a market that except for parasite central in the District of Corruption -excuse me- Columbia has the pool table tilted as much as any in our direction. 

I can only imagine how bad it really is in parts of the country not given disproportionate benefits by our fascist economy.

ag1969's picture

USPS Tracking

Shows 1 Turd Tube out for delivery to.....ME today!  Whoo hoo! 

ag1969's picture

Shooting reported at Purdue University

(CNN) -- A suspect was in custody after a reported shooting on the campus of Purdue University, posts on the school's official Twitter account said Tuesday afternoon.

The posts asked people on campus to "shelter in place" after the shooting, which the university said happened at or near an electrical engineering building. Police were searching the area.

The university, in West Lafayette, Indiana, didn't immediately release further details.

A Purdue student, Brad Glusvewski, told CNN that the university warned students of the reported shooting by text message around 12:20 p.m. ET. Glusvewski, 24, said he and about 15 other people were staying inside the on-campus building where they were when they heard the report.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/21/justice/purdue-shooting-report/

Turd Ferguson's picture

Thank you

MODERATOR

I was just gazing at a tube, myself. They really are pretty cool.

Response to: USPS Tracking
SteveW's picture

I can't say

I've seen this in my part of Greater Vancouver, except for the demise of department stores which are based on a 19th century business model and have been undercut by specialized outlets.

I rarely visit any mall and the turnover and opening of new businesses I see seems to be the same as ever.

What is noticeable is the increase in US chains, Nordstroms, Target, entering the Canadian market, which they describe as having a better retail environment.

Oldhat's picture

I've been retired

now for a few years (3) and am at the ripe old age of 43.  I sold a business that provided me just enough to "get out of the system" and live a decent life.  

When it comes to my retail experience I will say that I have an old military friend that owns a commercial flooring business.  He's a bit different than most and will not work for "cig and beer money" like the majority of contractors, instead it's about making money and when he takes a job he definitely makes good money.

Being that I pretty much am a laze-about now but do have a strong work ethic (when I decide to work) my friend likes taking me on the road with him when he travels for work. If it's a 7-14 day job that 2 people can do then he wants me to help him vs some yahoo that will complain about hard work (mainly commercial tile work).  He takes pretty good care of me,  pays for everything when I am on the road (everything) and typically gives me around $30-$50 an hour cash and we work 10 hour days.  I am no flooring guy but pretty much don't mind working my ass off in order to fund my pm and lead stacking habit, plus it gets me out of the house, off the golf course, provides me with some physical activity, and helps a friend out.

One thing I have noticed about the jobs he gets are that they are mainly for high end jewelry stores (with a Rolex section), female jewelry/clothing accessory stores and clothing stores that cater to African-American youth/20-somethings...outside of those 3 retail industries there is not much work to be had.

Sometimes the work will be an "open remodel".  Open in a sense that half the store will be closed/sectioned off and we will work during business hours.  When this happens I am not only amazed at the cost of the remodel (No doubt a lot of stores spend $250K easily on a remodel on 2000-3000 sq ft mall location) but I am likewise amazed at the traffic in the stores.  Of note was the clothing store that to me is a "fad" clothing store catering to African-Americans, there were at least 25 people in the store at any given time and 3-5 deep at the cash register checking out at any given time.  All spending between $50 - $300 a pop.  I am still amazed at the amount of younger folks that will swipe plastic and spend $50 on a $2 cotton shirt with a logo on it.

The high end jewelry stores are "booming" for the most part in towns that border Mexico.  As mentioned by one of the managers to me in casual conversation, it is nothing for him to do several sales a night where patrons walked in and purchased $25K worth of jewelry in cash.....said it was all drug money and a lot more common than most would ever think.

The female accessory stores mainly focus on "working soccer moms" that want something inexpensive that looks nice.

So we have drug money, African-American youth, and soccer moms, outside of that it's pretty dead out there...at least in the work my buddy gets in commercial remodels.

Just relaying some info from my personal observations from a contractors side of retail remodels.

buzlightening's picture

Additional reverse repo today of 82 billion.

We will with certainty, to this 1.4 trillion drain plus in reverse repos by the fed fuds, begin a giant sucking sound at some crisis trigger coming soon. http://www.newyorkfed.org/markets/omo/dmm/temp.cfm    fed fuds know the taper talk, and following through, can and will crash markets.  With the reverse repo drain I cannot help but know this is the plan.  Print to infinity forced on ole fellen yellen next week or simply taper more into planned crisis crashcading of markets.  Watching the exits out of indexes stampede as harvey organ would say, as vegans from the slaughter house.  You have to know with all the liquidity drain in reverse repos the crash is not to far distant. 

SRSrocco's picture

TURD... Thanks for the link...

THE MAJORITY OF ANALYSTS ARE FOS - FULL OF SH*T

Turd.... first I want to thank you for the link to the article, and to say... I am glad you're keeping up the fight as you are one of the few EXCELLENT ANALYSTS.  It has been a while... so I thought I would write down a few things that are on my mind

I listened to Coast To CoastAM last night with George Noory.  The first guest was HARRY S DENT JR.  I thought it would be an enjoyable listen as a lot of the stuff that has been on Coast to Coast lately has been garbage... to say the least.

First... I don't know what happened to Coast To Coast.  When Art Bell was running the show, it was a much better program.  All the things that Art stood for and believed in have been reversed by George Noory. 

For example, George always brings on that nitwit JEROME CORSI who wrote "BlackGold Stranglehold".  Corsi does not believe in peak oil.  He believes the earth has a creamy nugget center of oil.  I don't care if a person believes differently than I, however the facts are that Corsi is completely FOS.

Second... Harry S Dent believes there will be a crash in the stock market, but Gold & Silver will not be a good investment.  He sees gold going back to $750 and silver much lower.  Furthermore, Dent believes that Gold could actually go all the way back down to $350 and silver $5 at the end of this Bear Market Cycle.

Dent goes on further to say that the Dollar will be the safe-haven and that people need to stay in cash and wait-out the whole Bear Market Crash. 

Of course, I did not agree with his forecast.  So, I decided to do a little research on Dent and went to this site:

A Look At Harry S Dent's Track Record:

You can read the whole article as it tears apart Dent's forecasts.  Even though he may have made a few decent calls, his forecasts are completely ridiculous.  Basically, Dent survives in the market due to the FORGETFUL nature of people.  Which means Dent is also FOS.

Third.... how Dent can say that Gold can go to $750 or back down to $350 makes you realize that he has no idea about energy.  Dent makes his money bamboozling sheep who go along with this general & basic forecasts.

This is the problem with the market today.  There are way too many analysts who are completely FOS, but get a great deal of press. 

I have such a bad taste in my mouth with the SUBSCRIPTION MILLS such as Casey Research and Porter Stansberry.  They sell subscriptions based on BIG MONEY to be made in juniors.  Let me tell you, hardly no one makes money trading those damn DOGS.... ZIP.

Also, juniors are not really the place to be in the future.  If anyone wants to own mining stocks... then by GOD... own the damn producers, and stay as far away from penny fricken junior mining companies. 

The energy situation is much worse than what is being put out by the official media and even many of the alternative sources.  The Oil Industry spent a fortune just to keep production flat the past several years.  Even though the Shale Oil Boom in the United States has thrown a few more million barrels a day supply on the market, this is not a supply that will last very long.

ALL THE NATURAL GAS FIELDS IN THE U.S. ARE IN DECLINE except for the MARCELLUS. 

Basically, the Marcellus is holding up the whole country.  If we do get a crash like Dent predicts, and with it oil price deflation, well then we can kiss the SHALE OIL BOOM in the U.S. goodbye.  Dent has no clue about the falling EROI - Energy Returned on Invested.

Watch for Natural Gas prices to continue higher to $5-6 mmbtu as demand outstrips supply.  Even though higher natural gas prices may bring on more drilling, it will take quite a while to get that supply up and running.

This still does not include the fact that the break-even for shale gas is $7+ mmbtu. 

LASTLY... I wanted to let everyone know that I will be starting a REPORTS PAGE on the SRSrocco Report site.  There will be FREE & PAID reports.  My first paid report will be the U.S. & GLOBAL COLLAPSE REPORT.

In that report will be information not found on any other single website.  While the information did come from many websites, it will be presented in one REPORT to connect the DOTS.  

bullion only's picture

I live in Santa Monica, CA

I live in Santa Monica, Ca. Business is booming, the city is wealthy from tax revenues, a metro stop from downtown LA is being built(not sure what that will bring in). Boutique stores in the richer part of town are doing well. The city is loaded with yuppies, dinks, movie people, doctors and lawyers. The rental and housing market is through the roof. Gas is expensive, whole foods markets are packed and jewelry and clothing specialty stores are thriving.

The next city over where those that can't live in Santa Monica live is the location of Sony studios. Massive downtown redevelopment. Restuarants galore and at high prices but the next city over you start to see the vacancies.

The disparity between the haves and the have nots is becoming more apparant. The poor are many and the rich are few but they congregate in certain cities, certain parts of town, behind gated communities with guards. How much longer can this last? The wealthy here are wealthy by normal standards. They drive highend cars but not 250K and above. They fly first class but not private. They have vacation homes but not private islands. Where are they to go when the sh*t hits the fan?

Sure the Beverly Hills and Santa Monica police force is like a private army and will make a valiant stand but with Inglewood,place of the LA riots, and south central flare up will the rich be protected this time. Will we start to see walled cities along with gated communities?

Things always begin at the margins. I think 2014 we will see things move from the margins towards the center.

With so many now losing food stamps and unemployment benefits I feel storm clouds are gathering.

RT

Turd Ferguson's picture

Thank you, Steve

MODERATOR

Yes, Harry Dent is one of the alltime slimiest of the snake-oil salespeople.

How's that Dow 36,000 by 2008 prediction working out, Harry?

http://wealthmanagement.com/news/dent-doesn-t-back-down-still-predicts-dow-hit-36000

tyberious's picture

Seattle

We are also doing pretty well. also. Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures, Amazon, Boeing and biotechs all seem to be doing well. Housing market stable. Though during Christmas I saw less people carrying bags and post Christmas waste and trash. I'm afraid that there really is a bifurcated economy, with businesses that cater to higher incomes doing well and those that depend on blue collar jobs going the way of Sears, K-Mart and JCPennys. Maybe they can move to China, that were the factories are :(

SaratogaPrepper's picture

SRSrocco

Thanks for doing that research into Mr. Dent. I worked a 24 hour stint yesterday and was listening to Coast to Coast in the wee hours. I had planned on looking into him when I woke up the afternoon. Most of the things he was talking about seemed fairly plausible, but when he mentioned $5 silver my BS detection meter pegged.

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