Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Everything Must Go!

Remember when I talked about how terrible the retail picture was for the holidays? Worst holiday shopping in nearly FORTY YEARS.

Somewhere around 150,000 stores closed in the US this year. Another 200,000 is expected in 2009. 2000-3000 malls expected to close, most in the early Spring.

If I said I was surprised, I'd be a liar. Granted, the actual numbers are dumbfounding.

Here's a list of retail store closings. How many of these were near you?

So, with retail numbers down, stores closing, malls closing, and companies tightening belts, that means HUGE retail sector job losses, defaulted commercial mortgages, and the small banks that rely on those mortgages collapsing.

Not to mention the towns like Wasilla that are heavily financed by sales tax from their big box plazas and malls. They'll find themselves in debt or even bankrupt, cutting municipal services and public sector wages and benefits to stay afloat.

Towns go bankrupt, malls and stores close, jobs are lost, small banks collapse? Means more lost houses, more tough times, more saving, less spending, and more reliance on government help.

Military enlistment is up, which is where people flock for job security now. This costs the government more in defense spending, which is exactly where they should be CUTTING funds to try and save the US economy (since they're currently spending more than they make, which makes getting out of hock impossible). I'm sure Canada would buy Alaska and Florida off you for the right price.

So please, if anyone talks about a quick recovery... smack them... HARD. This ain't over by a long shot. 2009 ain't going to be much better than 2008.

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