I've been warning of economic storms approaching for some time now. Some of my readers have accused me of having a Cassandra complex, repeatedly prophesying doom and gloom: but I've always tried to back up my predictions with solid facts and figures.
Now it seems that unfolding events are proving me correct.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had the worst sales start to a month in seven years as payroll-tax increases hit shoppers already battling a slow economy, according to internal e-mails obtained by Bloomberg News.
“In case you haven’t seen a sales report these days, February MTD sales are a total disaster,” Jerry Murray, Wal- Mart’s vice president of finance and logistics, said in a Feb. 12 e-mail to other executives, referring to month-to-date sales. “The worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.”
. . .
“Have you ever had one of those weeks where your best- prepared plans weren’t good enough to accomplish everything you set out to do?” Geiger asked in a Feb. 1 e-mail to executives. “Well, we just had one of those weeks here at Walmart U.S. Where are all the customers? And where’s their money?”
. . .
Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said during a Feb. 1 officers meeting, ... Even with a slow January, Wal-Mart is gaining market share steadily ... “That points to our competitive landscape, which means everyone is suffering and probably worse than we are,” Simon said, according to the minutes.
There's more at the link.
As to where the customers are; we're all still here. As to where our money is; ask the Federal Reserve, that's cheapened the dollar through its quantitative easing programs, and the Obama administration, that's hamstrung the US economy through its disastrous economic policies. (Blame, too, US administrations since the 1980's for unreasonably growing the deficit in the first place. The Obama administration has merely accelerated its growth unimaginably.)
Brace yourselves, folks. This is just the beginning.