Crash2: fat fingers in leaky dykes still can’t stop the truth seaping out


Only dramatic data become news. But it’s the lots of little signpost data points that keep me sane….that is, keep proving to me every day that the 3% obesity sector are wrong, we’re right – and half at least of the buggers are lying 100% of the time.

Here’s a few you may have missed. (Data points, not liars)

The Swiss make very good, very expensive watches for the upper end of the collaborating flunkey class. In Q4 last year, Swiss watch sales – with Christmas coming – collapsed. They haven’t done so on such a scale since….2009.

Apple make very good, very expensive Macs and Iphones for people who are reasonably well off in the young exec and retired sectors. They aren’t people who buy their clothes at Primark. The Apple CEO told the media this morning, “Right across the Bric world from Asia to Brazil and also in Europe, we saw Q4 sales softness the like of which we have never experienced before”. (According to IDC Research, global pc shipments fell a staggering 10.6% in the fourth quarter of 2015)

Investor withdrawals of the Shiny Stuff from the Shanghai gold exchange leapt by 38% in Q4, a sign that many Chinese (who culturally distrust all paper currencies) see something nasty lying ahead. Following last week’s new wobbles on the Composite, a huge surge took place last Thursday and Friday, continuing last Monday. 12 hours ago, the PBOC abruptly stopped issuing the data on withdrawals. The fear now is that Beijing may stop all withdrawals, or ration them. That fear caused gold imports from Hong Kong to leap by a whopping 67% during December. When the better off, savvy Chinese are buying all the gold they can find to the point of near-panic, it’s time to ignore the 3% balm….and instead ask yourself why gold trackers still show falling gold values. (Answers: 1. with a surging dollar, the US markets prefer it to gold. 2. The market trackers are bent)

Two things are now starting to happen. First, upmarket consumers are betraying doubts and caution. This means that awareness of impending disaster is diffusing down from the 1.5% liar space to the 20% collaboration sector. And second, the ‘mismatch/disconnect’ narrative – “the data do not support this wild market volatility” – is gradually being seen for the bollocks it is.

The bottom 40% falling behind in the wage stakes have been changing their consumption habits rapidly for a decade; the most obvious hole in the Camerlot ‘more people are secure under the Conservatives’ lie is the dramatic growth in discount supermarkets, and the hard times being suffered by both M&S and Tesco. Only Sainsbury has hit the right tone – ‘live well for less’ and their ads and pricing structures on quality goods paid dividends for them last year. Shoppers everywhere in the EU – and especially the UK – are buying the food they need, not the luxuries they desire. Big retail combines are in trouble, and sooner rather than later one of them will go under.

Who might they be?

Abercrombie & Fitch are on many analysts’ lists as a good bet for liquidation, but after an appalling 2014 they clawed back share last year, having lost out bigtime to the expansion of the Nike brand. But things are not good, with both Macy’s and Kohl’s badly down on the year: the US National Retail Federation was forecasting a 4.1% industry sales growth at the start of the year, but the word on the sidewalks is that the outcome was probably under 3%….and at lower margins. The shift away towards internet sales isn’t making things any easier.

Here in France, the supermarket giant Casino is being hit hard. Having personally spotted them closing some shops in my region, I did some digging and discovered they have a very heavy exposure in Brazil, where sales are down badly as the country begins to look more and more like a basket case.

Further, its ecommerce division Cnova has been accused of breaching US securities laws in connection with its initial public offering at the end of 2014. The class-action lawsuit filed by investors in New York alleges that the division issued misleading information related to its inventory management. The latest development is that the co-chief executive German Quirogao has resigned after an investigation of inventory mismanagement.
In the UK, Tesco goes from bad to awful on several dimensions. Accused in 2014 of price-claim cheating, and then last year of ‘reporting irregularities’, this year it is at the centre of a row about screwing suppliers. All these obvious examples of jiggery-pokery suggest things are somewhat desperate. The company confounded analysts by a 1.3% rise in like-for-like sales over Christmas, but sales are not margins, and it’s obvious that Tesco is struggling – caught as it is between Sainsbury and Waitrose on the one hand, and Lidl on the other.
As always in these matters, you never know who’s really in the mire until it’s too late. But with or without news of an imminent distribution collapse, it is nevertheless very clear that with discount retailers gaining ground, upmarket product fields collapsing and gold hoarding going into orbit, the neoliberal long-term plan is not working as advertised.
Of course, it never was as advertised. As for what it was really intended to do, it’s working better than they could’ve hoped. The only minor problem they’re left with is what to do with all the redundant consumers. Maybe they’re going to eat us. Anything’s possible in 2016.



28 thoughts on “Crash2: fat fingers in leaky dykes still can’t stop the truth seaping out

  1. In the days of ever tightening “cash flows” internet shopping has to be easier than high profile “Bricks & Mortar in retail parks and the rents thereof. Not to mention the cash tied up in duplicated stock levels in each of those stores. Working from a central distribution point with at least a degree of computerisation / automation to have 24/7 customer supply available & with most customers feeling some delivery charge is acceptable, shopping for anything other than from the “local corner convenience shop” is changing away from physically going out and getting


  2. Should anyone wish to educate themselves on the smoke and mirrors aspects of gold trading, they would be well advised to read this:

    Since the above article was written the COMEX has crashed and about to immolate.

    I will soon be off to granny’s house to pull out all of her gold teeth.


  3. People often walk around the shops because they are bored and it also fills a social need to interact. Most people also like to physically see what they are buying and to try things on etc.

    If all shopping is done online, then this experience will be lost and replaced with what I wonder, longer working hours and no time off!

    The retailers may well like the idea of closing all of their high street stores and employing robots to carry out most of the work in huge, faceless warehouses, but I am not sure if this is the answer to falling revenues.

    How about cutting taxation and leaving people with more money in their pockets, you may be surprised at the result!

    Anyway, I believe we have far bigger problems facing us right now……


  4. Is China not a great illustrator of Keynesian circular flow. They have no welfare state , so they save a huge % of their salaries and do not spend it on the goods they make , add in that they are investing their savings in the stock market and driving up the prices of the stocks beyond sensible yield /price levels and the explanation of the market crashes becomes clear.
    I read a story from the late Robert Beckman (of Into the Downwave and Into the Upwave) years ago in which he tells of a Wall Street friend who told him there were to many suckers in the market and it was time for him to get out , bit before the 87 crash. In china the same is happening, to many people who are not big enough sharks to survive in the pond. It’s all going to end in tears for many of them and they maybe will never understand even what hit them and where their money went.


  5. Stevo the problems of today are mainly because of reduced taxation,but that doesn’t mean high taxation is good! if a deal is wrong & one side gains then either supply or demand must fall because it stops the wheel of activity turning a small group & it is hardly noticeable,but has the transfer of wealth is drained from on sector others have large amounts of money & this creates bubbles & further slows economic activity noticeable,i hope you can see that cutting taxes is has bad has high taxation,the other problem is if a optimum deal is agreed taxation (high or low) effects it,maybe rewarding good trades with low tax is better than either high or low tax


  6. …Stevo the problems of today are mainly because of reduced taxation,… LOL

    Too many overpaid jobsworths need to taste some jobseekers allowance while they retrain ( doing spelling and maths lessons to begin with) for a real job. Look at this on a euro scale, where you have armies of continental twerps milking their respective taxpayers while they dither and dawdle over important strategies and decisions that actually work.
    Taxes need to be reduced, allowing profit to be reinvested rather than squandered on socialist/marxist dreams.


  7. Ricoh “Taxes need to be reduced, allowing profit to be reinvested rather than squandered on socialist/marxist dreams” – well that would be true of countries lacking any proper regulation. Like Britain.

    Strange as it might sound to a British person, there are countries whose governments look to the people who voted them in; what’s more, their bureaucrats do their job – if only because there are regulations to enforce this – one example is the Dutch tax office who are required to respond to a letter within 10 working days. The chance of getting ANY response from the Inland Revenue is asking for trouble. You’re lucky if they don’t lose your letter… and whine when you ask them about it, who dealt with it and who lost it and all the rest…

    Mind you, Ricoh, you’ll be happy when TTIP is brought in: it’ll allow businesses and corporations to undermine the socialist/marxist dreams of any European government – and reduce the burden of taxation on them to boot.


  8. Rioch are you blind ,we have had decades of lower & lower taxation & the only investment it creates is in asset bubbles!


  9. Gemma
    You obviously haven’t heard of ‘wiggle room’, probably not experienced it either. Try it luv, it might give you a hot flush.
    Competition is good for the consumer – and that’s better for all our quality of life than a bunch of migrants overzealous continental muppets grinding down the wealth producers as fast as they can who will eventually flee the country to somewhere like UK that allows people to have hopes and dreams without first consulting with the imbecile elites running the european circus.


  10. Britain open to competition !!!!!! LOL all those corner shop independent supermarkets & so many other SME crushed by being under cut by tax avoidance,(another 100yr old business being closed has i write)the ghost high streets of “To Let” ,you have just proved you are blind,please don’t add foolish to it or is it already to late for that!


  11. Ricoh, which “imbecile elites” are you speaking about? The ones in the EU or the ones in serious, democratic government?

    Whatever else, the way you speak tells me you’ve never experienced a government that works for YOU. After all, the only reason the Continentals give British people screwdriver jobs on their assembly lines is because worker regulations are so weak in the UK… they can hire and fire at will. No investment needed.

    PS A little less of the personal slagging off; I know you’re a bloke and blokes are allowed to do it on this site – for all the statments claiming otherwise. Even so, there’s no need to show that you’d rather use insults than your intelligence when making a response.


  12. Ricoh
    Well said. After 50 odd years in manufacturing…., watching the post war slide into Keynesian led socialist stupidity; the ‘Thatcher’ wrecking ball; the growth of the ‘jobsworth’ bureauocrat and the neo-Marxist policy of destructive taxation…the sheeple of this country deserve everything coming down ‘the pipe ‘. And if it wasn’t for the future of my grand children , I’d probably die laughing at how stupid human beings can really be.


  13. “Gemma
    You obviously haven’t heard of ‘wiggle room’, probably not experienced it either. Try it luv, it might give you a hot flush.”
    oh matron,please.


  14. Gemma has a point. Holland is a country, probably like Germany, where the politicians (until recently) actually have to look after their people. When I visited a planning office in Rotterdam (boring reason why) I was so impressed at how the govt looks after its people there.

    A reason you never get any angry rock bands in Europe is there isn’t the visceral hatred of the Crown out here as we experience in the UK. Incompetence yes, but not malice.


  15. Jeremy, isn’t it understandable for a Briton to be unable to see the scenario you’ve painted?

    After all, they grew up under a tyrrany where the government did everything possible to please big business… the sort of tyrrany they fought long and hard to oppose??? They actually thought they’d won the war.


  16. Gemma

    You might invest some time in reading up your history.
    De Germany surrendered TWICE unconditionally to Great Britain in the 19th century. The gentlemen of the empire gave the losers as much help as possible to rebuild, which they did. The British were infiltrated by the soviet doctrine which was quickly recognised as a destructive element, and the more nimble minds emigrated to the Colonies of the Empire. As their descendants have matured, so they have been affected by the ‘if it gets too tough get going’ and attracted by the easy laissez-faire european socialist attitude developing through carbon taxes have returned to settle with opinions that talk rather bigger than they walk.


  17. Ricoh, I do wish people would read my comments with the thoroughness with which they were written, because, and I quote: “They actually thought they’d won the war.” Emphasis on “thought”.

    As to Germany surrendering twice in the 19th century… do you need reading glasses or to check your facts again? After all, most people tell me to do the very things they need to do themselves, and the British are very good at it. Perhaps a little light reading of a few historical novels? ;)

    After all, the history books were written by the winners, and are rather suspect on that account. Soviets and all that…


  18. I think you should say 20centry…common enough if your brain like mine struggles and all kind of stuff comes out of my fingures .The benefit is, it makes me keep things short .


  19. oops! did not spot correction.
    My main problem is my friends and contacts are thinning out …..but we did agree that there was a disconnect with folk who did not go to school in with ww2..this includes our spouses! The web is the first place ever, one could put ones experiences to examination…without being pulled up for spelling or worse still! being shouted down and called bigots for saying what one had seen.
    So it is holyhox time. They will have to bring in zio/nazi censorship to stop the full facts coming out. I do not hold out much hope, as according to Ca moron, it’s a matter of faith!
    And their chief spokes person is recently dead.


  20. Anonymous

    January 27, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    You obviously haven’t heard of ‘wiggle room’, probably not experienced it either. Try it luv, it might give you a hot flush.”
    oh matron,please.

    John,not sure what happened there as I put that post up. mro.


  21. Nick Riley, if i see someone walking towards a cliff ,it is my nature to warn them,shout at them to stop & yes give them some homes truths in a attempt to shake them from there foolishness,Sorry you see this as insulting them but am trying to help them,its in my nature!


  22. In the UK there has for far to many years been an ever growing attitude towards “short termism” in most things related to the growth of money, ie in manufactured items a large single item profit on a ever reducing quantity of consumed items, Going along with this has been a reducing concern for accompanying quality of said items. JW has seen plenty of this (ever further Europe wide with his gite conversion)

    The other side of this coin is continued cost cutting (often workers) to such extents that in a lot of cases “proactive”activity has been reduced to reactive (Panic?) just to try to keep things going but being compared to lower wage economies where the employment rates are lower in the first instance

    Now whatever remunerance a person receives the basic NECESSARY cost to live are going to be similar in the same country. Thus the long advocated practice of wage rises in % terms of present salary and the arguing of “low pay” or differentials (maintained, or increased) hasn’t helped


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