Batten Down the Hatches

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\"\"All hands on deck!  Those clouds on the horizon are darker than they look.  The entire world is on economic thin ice.  And, if you think the political blather you’re hearing from across the pond promises any more substantive action than the blather we’ve been hearing from our leaderless bureaucrats in Washington, forget it.

Anger, frustration, fear, and angst define the toxic mix of emotions bubbling up among consumers as they wake every morning in a rudderless, leaking ship with no one at the helm.  It’s leaking unemployment that moves sideways at best.  It’s leaking the housing market, which can’t seem to find a bottom.  It’s leaking debt, now at 100% of GDP, while our bureaucrats spend August blathering for bucks at local picnics. Forget leaking, the ship is taking on water.

Please, someone give me just one reason why consumers should feel confident about spending their money on anything that they do not absolutely need.

Goldman Sachs’s Chief Economist, Jan Hatsius, downgraded GDP growth for the rest of the year to 2.5% and says there is a 33% chance of a double dip recession.  I think this is way over-optimistic.

The “Grinch” won’t wait for the Holiday season.  The “Grinch” is hiding right around the corner called back-to-school.

If your inventory is baked in for the last half, start your algorithms for planning the promotional bloodbath that is sure to come.

And luxury?  Roaring back, right? It too will hit a wall when households in the top 1% of income watch their portfolios tank.  After all, a 15-20% drop in a “gazzilion” dollar portfolio is still a 15-20% loss.

This is spoken of in hushed tones over foie gras at the Four Seasons with one’s spouse, who then speaks of same in hushed tones at her “ladies who lunch” gathering the next day.  Following which, the swing by Bergdorf’s gets cancelled.



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