Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quote of the Month in Detroit News Front Page Story on Black Friday; Speaking of Which - Massive Hype over Shopping Leads to Resounding +0.3% Year over Year Gain in Sales

To hear the CEO's and retail analysts exalting the 'super cool' action they were seeing in the malls of Cramerica Friday you'd think sales would have skyrocketed versus moribund 2009 levels.   After all, with the recovery in full swing and year over year comparisons very easy, we might be speaking 4% gains? 5%? Maybe 6%? (after all 7M American households are living 'mortgage free')

Bring out the Kool Aid folks - year over year Black Friday sales SURGED 0.3%.  Granted, accounting for inflation that means sales fell year over year, but let us not have these slimy facts deter us from the celebration going on during wall to wall shopping coverage on CNBC.

Via AP:
  • Shoppers crowded stores on Black Friday but spent just a little more than last year on the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, according to data released Saturday by a research firm.  
  • Retail spending rose a slight 0.3 percent, to $10.69 billion, compared with $10.66 billion on the day after Thanksgiving last year, according to ShopperTrak.


And this from the front page of the Detroit News yesterday, showing American are sick of 2 years of living within their means and trying to match revenues with expenses (the 'guberment' don't do it - so why should we!)  Enough! We're fed up!

  • "I've been shopping since yesterday," Donna Hamie of Dearborn Heights said Friday afternoon as she toted Macy's bags around the Somerset Collection in Troy. "We've spent a lot of money that we don't have. This is more of us spoiling ourselves right now." 

So with people spending money they don't have AND countless millions spending money that once used to go to their mortgage payment [Jun 2, 2010: (Even More) Anecdotal Benefits of Strategic Default], we still were only able to do a +0.3%.  Gosh, one wonders what happens when everyone once again has to live in a home they are actually making the mortgage payment on AND they are only spending money they have.

Conclusion? Buy stocks.  America is back to its old ways. Remember, when the credit card bills come due just explain it away as saying the banks tricked us into buying e-gadgets and shoes and bags this Christmas. No different than how they tricked us into buying homes we could not afford AND tricked us into taking 3 cash out refinances on said homes to get the granite countertop and take the cruise... and the new car.  Damn banks, always tricking us.  Can't wait for the future HAMP plan for credit cards... we'll call it the "Obama Christmas Spending Protection Act of 2012".  This will allow anyone who overspent on Christmas to receive a federal grant to offset the trickery by the banks and their 8 point credit card disclosure font, who via gunpoint took us to the malls and caused us to buy stuff.

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