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Jim Cook

 

RUNAWAY SOCIAL SYMPATHY

Every once in a while I switch the TV channel from Fox to CNBC to see what the liberals are saying.  After listening awhile I get a deep sense of hopelessness and foreboding for our country.  The most important thing for the left is giving money to people.  They are happy to see the growth of food stamps, disability payments, housing subsidies, free healthcare and all the other welfare benefits.  They utterly fail to see the damage it is doing to the recipients.  Whole cities that once flourished have deteriorated into rotting eyesores populated with shambling hulks of chemically dependent drones.  These people are no longer employable.  They have become incompetent and helpless and the liberals can’t see that it’s their doing.

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The Best of Jim Cook Archive

 

Condensed Articles

May 10, 2017

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THE EVERYTHING BUBBLE

By David Stockman

(condensed)

This century’s third great bubble’s days are numbered. The remaining bullishness and buy-the-dips robo-trading that temporarily sustained the dotcom bubble through March 2000 and the housing bubble through September 2008 will soon give way. That’s especially true because the Fed is out of dry powder, and is raising interest rates and preparing to shrink its massive balance sheet in order to prepare for the next recession. Given that the global economy languishes under $225 trillion of debt and massive excess capacity, the stock market is surely in the midst of the “Everything Bubble.” The median stock is now trading at the highest multiple of earnings in history – including 2000 and 1929. To top it all off, the state of American retail is indeed perilous. With the recent Chapter 11 filing by Payless Shoes, it now appears that upwards of 3,500 stores will close in early 2017 alone.

The American consumer has been quasi-comatose for nearly three years now. Reported sales at general merchandise stores in February were no higher than they were 30 months ago in August 2014. Inflation adjusted sales are well into recession territory. More importantly, the plunge in department store sales – which comprise the anchor and driver of 70% of mall traffic – have not abated in the slightest. As of the most recent reading, the monthly sales rate was down 30%. In real terms, department store sales have fallen by upwards of 50% since the early years of this century. Moreover, debt-encumbered American consumers are dropping, not shopping. Despite all the Fed’s madcap money-printing the retail mall sector is facing insuperable headwinds and the worst of both worlds. That is, flagging demand and immense over-capacity.