October 07, 2008

HousingPANIC Stupid Question of the Day


Is the credit-addicted overspent American consumer dead?


Bonus: Does he know it yet?

101 comments:

Lamaria said...

Yes and yes, but I think the bonus question should have been whether retailers know it yet. The revelation people are finally having about the economy couldn't happen at a worse time- October.

This is going to be the worst holiday season ever and it will devastate chain retail and grocery stores across the nation. They're counting on people buying candy, turkeys, decorations, and expensive gifts when in reality people aren't even going to be buying what they used to before the holiday season.

Expect to see more of Target, K-Mart, and yes even Wal-Mart in the headlines later this year. It was bad last year? LOL!

Anonymous said...

Report from Florida.

I am a small business owner. I let the last of my employees go last week, and my spouse and I are running the show by ourselves. I had to close our other small storefront due to lack of business. At least we can't be fired, though I suppose we may have to fire ourselves if things get much worse.

We went to breakfast at a popular place on Sunday where a lot of people usually go after church. Typically we have to wait for a table. Not this time. The place was about half full and no one waiting.

Our favorite seafood restaurant, right on the water, is closed until the end of October. Many others have shut their doors for good.

The main business route through Ft Myers/Bonita/Naples is lined with closed, or never open, strip malls. The consumer is gone from SW Florida.

Agent 99 said...

Do retailers know it yet?
Clearly they suspect it. The Christmas stuff has been out since the middle of September! I really hated seeing the Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, before Halloween is truly appalling.

The retailers are trying with all their might to turn Halloween into a Christmas-like consumer event.

The American consumer isn't dead. Nothing like a little emotional upset to send them to the Mall for a little crap-buying emotional pickup.

Anonymous said...

Brevard County FL - same here anon from FL. But we started seeing empty streets and stores 1 year ago due to unempl. from the housing crash.

Locally, we had a semi-private golf course shut down last week. Those property values will tank more for GC front homes with no GC.

The local state park - Sebastian Inlet - can't afford to keep a ranger at gate all night, and have put a padlock on it and sent the combo to season pass holders...

I now do not know of ANYONE here that is not feeling some form of $$$ pain. The CC's are maxed. Christmas will be bleak.

Anonymous said...

I dont't know but I do know that this guy and his whole family are dead.

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-porterranch7-2008oct07,0,7721919.story

Andrew from Russia said...

Yes/Yes. Nevertheless, he deserves some credit (and I mean CREDIT!) for his bold attempt to consume the entire world's economy.
Welcome to the post-consumerist world Joe!

Darren said...

Do you see what is wrong with America. Anonymous is a clear example. He let his employees go and his profits are down and he is not sure he will make it, yet he still goes out to breakfast instead of eating at home to conserve money. His favorite seafood restaurant is closed and if not, he would be going there too. Most people in America follow that same path. My Businesss is doing very well , even better than last year and me and my wife conserve anyway. That is how you make it when times are tough. Most Americans I have seen in my town will continue to spend until the credit card runs out.

Bob Reno said...

It's not dead, but it was coughing up blood last night.
(shameless Monty Python reference)

Seriously . . . I think most smart business people see this one coming, there's just not a whole lot they can do about it. Some small business owners are cutting back on staff and inventory and hoping to ride things out. Their own other choice is to go out of business, but then what?
Look for one of the big name retailers (Sears, Target, etc) to fold after Christmas.

Anonymous said...

No, the American consumer is not dead. Not even close really. There needs to be REAL pain before people learn their lesson. I'm talking, out of work, can't find a decent job, have to work at some crappy job just to make the rent money. Not enough pain yet, not nearly enough.

eric in vegas said...

The consumer won't be dead until the credit card companies take their cards away and they can't get loans. It's going to be a mad dash to max out those cards this holiday season before they're cut off completely.

Miss Goldbug said...

Yes, definitely so.


Debt vehicles (leverage) isnt a money maker like it use to be.

Companies will have to cut back/reduce credit lines and monitor timely payments because debt will not be sold as an investment any longer.

Megs said...

Yes/No/Maybe (lol)

I "let" my husband finally buy an iphone last night. We dropped a lot of money at Best Buy.

My justification is I am dropping our 2nd line into the house because I don't need it since I got pushed out of my Fortune 10 sales job.

Luckily, I start my new job in a few weeks...and even thought I think our recession is going to hurt.. I don't think we're going to see 30% unemployment.

Ok, so back to the question -- we have an supersaturation of stores. So I envision that we need some bankruptcies to scale back on the largess we have.

The best will survive and ultimately, we will learn to do more with less.

I also recommend tag sales, goodwill and consignment shops to fill the need to "buy" something.. I love getting a new outfit for my kids for $1 or .50 .. it's a rush.

I also think that people will confuse wants with needs and until the housing prices move in line with realty..

Anonymous said...

I hope the American consumer is dead or at least dying. Credit-card fueled consumption is one of the most loathsome traits of Americans. Buy now, pay even more later, but who cares! Too bad this will be a blow to small businesses too, not only to big box retailers.

caseys bitch said...

have any of you noticed the price increases at mcdonalds?It is getting absurd.I am not eating there much anymore.I am eating more at wendys.they have a better dollar menu.
was at walmart yesterday getting oil and was amazed how many toothless wonders are still out spending money they don't have.MCD is a short canditate for sure.

Anonymous said...

Not where I live (zip 81503), the restaurants were packed this weekend and store parking lots were full. Car dealers are crying the blues though.

thomas jefferson said...

Oh yes, dead, dead, all dead. But the zombie corpse still walks. Wait until the notices arrive from the credit card companies that their line of credit are being reduced or stopped. This'll probably happen after Christmas, to let the banks get one last slug of debt onto the monthly statements, which they will exploit later. Zombies who don't even know what they did to allow this to happen. What did they do? They internalized the lines of bullshiat from the banks and card companies that debt was normal and that anything worht having was worth going into debt to have. Generations of people have been conditioned to think debt is a good thing. FICO score, credit rating, being a good sheeple and paying on time, all these things have been sold as "good" and "normal" to the stupit wage slaves. And they're about to pay for their livestock-dumbness.

thomas jefferson said...

"The main business route through Ft Myers/Bonita/Naples is lined with closed, or never open, strip malls. The consumer is gone from SW Florida."

I visited the Naples area once for a few days. It creeped me out. Sort of like a Scottsdale AZ., transplanted into the swamp. No visible means of economic support, just retail and gated golf gulags. These types of comunities will be the first to become untenable in the "new economy." All the "wealth" that supported such places was only on paper,it turns out.

Mammoth said...

If you look carefully toward the back of that photograph you can see a guy with a shopping cart full of canned food.

Is that an HP'er?

Anonymous said...

Bought a new "$1300" leather recliner for about $500 the other day.

Salesman said that business had been dead and then proceeded to explain the bailout and how it was really needed to get things going again.

The whole time I was kind of laughing on the inside.

Anonymous said...

Braindead? absolutely. Dead? Not until the credit card is declined.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Report from Florida.

I am a small business owner. I let the last of my employees go last week, and my spouse and I are running the show by ourselves. I had to close our other small storefront due to lack of business. At least we can't be fired, though I suppose we may have to fire ourselves if things get much worse.

We went to breakfast at a popular place on Sunday where a lot of people usually go after church. Typically we have to wait for a table. Not this time. The place was about half full and no one waiting.

Our favorite seafood restaurant, right on the water, is closed until the end of October. Many others have shut their doors for good.

The main business route through Ft Myers/Bonita/Naples is lined with closed, or never open, strip malls. The consumer is gone from SW Florida.

October 07, 2008 11:02 AM


Oh stop the damn negativity please. I don't know where all of you pessimists live. But where I live (Sugarland, Texas right outside of Houston) people are shopping, people are eating out, etc....

Mr. Joey said...

the american shopaholic is dead meat, and so are the retailers who profited from her addiction.

shed no tear for the retailers. they are realtors who happen to sell clothes and electronics.

Stuck in So Pa said...

For those who do have cash, I think that the holiday specials are going to have price slashing like NOBODY EVER IMAGINED! Even with that, it's going to be a bad 4th quarter.

Oh yea, took a visiting relative down to our favorite restaurant over the weekend, only to find that it had closed, for good. Damn place had been there over forty years, good food too! Sad!

bewildered said...

They don't know it in metro New York yet. The parking lots are full and people are buying cartloads the most unimaginable, useless shit. Stupid 'festive fall' decorations, expensive sporting goods and all the bells and whistle accessories to go along, gourmet supermarkets still jumping.

Just watching it scares me, then I wonder if it's me. But yesterday i went to our local grocery store, I couldn't believe the price of a crappy box of 'Total' cereal. WTF. Our local county said the mortgage taxes were down from 2008 projections, their share of taxes have to go up by 15-18%, and they want to cut staff.

And then get this, a notice went out to all employees at our company, health care premiums are going up: 13% in 2009. THIRTEEN. Same old plan, no difference in coverage. They already get a $30/visit copay for everything. Go to PT 2-3 times a week for an sports injury, you pay 60-90 bucks/wk. on top of the huge premium.

So all this shit is going on, and i see people spending like it's 2004 No-Doc USA. Is this only me this is happening to????? It can't be, but it sure seems like it. While I'm putting back the stupid box of cereal until there is a sale, the $6/pound hotdogs are flying out of the refrigerator case.

We have no debt except a very small, fixed rate primary mortgage. We saved for years. i think we're going to see it evaporate, but no one around here seems to even think of these things.

Anonymous said...

It depends. Some are dead - others that have stable jobs and are "cash only" customers are doing just fine.

nnj said...

Not dead yet. The consumer will be dead after all means to borrow are shut off/not available. If the consumer is able to borrow, they will continue to spend.

George L said...

not everywhere yet,last Saturday here in L.A. we had 3 major sporting events.cubs-dodgers,UCLA at the rose bowl and USC Trojans at the Colosseum playing to capacity crowds.all and all there where about 220k people at these events and tickets are always overpriced here.

I do believe this will change but it's will be a while.

Anonymous said...

The media has hyped up everything. Everyone I know still has credit and jobs. We eat every weekend and shop every weekend. Stores and Restaurants are all packed every time! Sorry there is no Recession!
LOSERS!

Anonymous said...

I just had Sears completely close up my account. I had had it for 10 years, paid off, rarely used it. They checked my credit and saw current lates (i'm walking from my house, arm loan and heloc) and they closed up my account. I hear that is happening to alot of people, the credit card companies are checking credit and either closing the account of drastically lowering the credit limit.

Anonymous said...

Yes, why wouldn't they have laws to protect consumers? Blame can go both ways.
You sign up for a card, but you have no idea the interest rate can go up way up. The 30.00 late fee charges. The 30.00 over the limit fee charges.
The due date moves so that you are late.
Medical bills ruins you credit score, so if you get sick forget it.
You can have perfect credit card debt but a medical bill can cause your interest rates to sky rocket.
The credit card companies are at fault.
The politicians are criminal.
The consumer must go back to cash cash cash....No more credit.
So the next time the girl at the Gap wants you to open a charge account to save 20%, you know what to say.

Anonymous said...

WHEN YOU KILL MIDDLE CLASS FOLKS IT'S OVER....FOR ALL OF YOU WHO ENJOYED BUSH'S FUCKING TAX CUTS...PAT YOURSELVES ON THE BACK.
GLAD TO SEE YOU CAN ENJOY THAT SEAFOOD RESTAURANT WHEN YOU LET YOUR STAFF OFF...NICE.
WE OWN A NICE BUSINESS NEVER ONCE DID WE LET GREED TAKE OVER. WE HAVE MEDICAL FOR OUR STAFF.
OUR WAGES ARE GREAT.
WE NEVER WENT OUT AND BOUGHT THAT 2ND, 3RD HOME THAT WOULD HAVE COME OUT OF OUR EMPLOYEES POCKETS.
WE HAVE HAD EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE BEEN WITH US FOR OVER 20 YEARS.
THE MIDDLECLASS IS WHAT MAKES AMERICA STRONG.
SO ALL YOU GREEDY CORPORATE ASSHOLES, GUESS WHAT YOU TOOK AND TOOK FROM AMERICANS NOW THERE IS NOTHING LEFT.
CREDIT CARD COMPANIES DID NOT WANT YOU TO PAY BACK YOUR PRINCIPAL THEY WANT TO COLLECT ON INTEREST AND LATE FEES. CREDIT CARD COMPANIES CAN GO FUCK THEMSELVES.

Anonymous said...

I AGREE WITH DARREN, SO TRUE.
EVERYONE IS OUT FOR THEMSELVES.

MY WIFE AND I MADE NO PROFITS LAST YEAR TO KEEP OUR EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE BEEN WITH US OVER 20 YEARS.
WE DID NOT GO ON OUR 1 VACATION A YEAR.
WE DID NOT GO OUT AND BUY THAT VACATION HOME WE HAVE DREAM ABOUT.
LOYALTY IS IMPORTANT TO US.
WE ARE SO FORTUNATE NOT TO WORK FOR A SCUM BAG CEO. WE HAVE OUR OWN BUSINESS.
MY WIFE GARDENS AND WE HAVE HOME GROWN ORGANIC VEGETABLES.
WE HAVE SAVED.
I DON'T WANT TO LOOSE ONE SINGLE EMPLOYEE WHO HAS BEEN LOYAL TO US OVER THE YEARS.
I WOULD SCARIFICE MY PAYCHECK WHEN TIMES ARE TOUGH.
I WILL TELL YOU THIS I HAD MY EMPLOYEES COME TO US AND OFFER HELP WHEN TIMES ARE TOUGH FOR THE BUSINESS.
THATS LOYALTY.

Anonymous said...

Once more for laughs:

"...Oh stop the damn negativity please..."

michael said...

just got a sales phone call at work saying that with the new bailout bill passing there may be opportunity to save money on my mortgage.

i wanted to reach through the phone and choke the mortgage dude on the other end.

foxwoodlief said...

Hardly. People may be conservative but still spending on vacations, homes, furnishings, cars, restaurants, but looking for value.

People need to reinvest in "Buy American" a theme Walmart lost a long time ago. American's and American business need to recognize that the high cost of transportation and fuel will require retooling to be "Made at home" in most nations. The old model will no longer work.

Spending is an essential part of the economy. We have to spend, just spend wisely and what we can afford. If people stop spending it is the same as the current freeze up in the credit markets and everyone will loose, schools, fire and police protection, military, industry, jobs will be lost by the millions and the spiral down will gain its own mind.

I save during the good times and spend during the bad. Why? First, value. You get more for your money when everyone else isn't buying. Second, patriotic. I want to help protect someone's job. Of course I try to not buy foreign, hard these days, but still, I try to spend where at least some American has a job.

Panic and retreat will only lead to economic collapse.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sad about it, but the rapid deflation caught me off guard. Does anybody have possible explanations???

Anonymous said...

There will be (some) consumption up to and after Christmas this year due to the usual reasons:
We can't deny the kids their Christmas, my wife really deserves something nice this year, after-Christmas sales (which will be huge), we still have a few dollars left on the credit limit, old habits die hard, etc., etc., etc.
But come January 2, 2009 - the only retail activity will be in the Returns lines.

Anonymous said...

not even close. i keep seeing tons of new cars around. i know they're new because they have those 30 day temp new car dealer plates on them. where i work every week there is at least a new car in the parking lot.

Anonymous said...

Not where I live (zip 81503), the restaurants were packed this weekend and store parking lots were full. Car dealers are crying the blues though.

---------

Atlanta is the same. Packed restarurants, bars, malls. Not sure about car dealers, but the everywhere else, people are spending like crazy still.

The Georgia unemployment rate is the highest it has been in 15 years. You'd never know it on a Saturday night in Midtown or Buckhead.

Anonymous said...

health care premiums are going up: 13% in 2009. THIRTEEN. Same old plan, no difference in coverage. They already get a $30/visit copay for everything. Go to PT 2-3 times a week for an sports injury, you pay 60-90 bucks/wk. on top of the huge premium.

======

Oh boo fucking hoo. $30 co-pay. Shut the fuck up and be happy it's only $30. Try living without insurance when the bill is $200 per visit.

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com said...

They don't know it in metro New York yet. The parking lots are full and people are buying cartloads the most unimaginable, useless shit. Stupid 'festive fall' decorations, expensive sporting goods and all the bells and whistle accessories to go along, gourmet supermarkets still jumping.

There is a lot of real wealth in NYC. Sure, there are plenty of credit phonies living in Manhattan, but they're offset by tons of old money with deep pockets that will go unaffected by a recession.

On the opposite end we have places like Naples, FL and Scottsdale, AZ, where old-money people would never dream of living and everyone was partying on credit. Party's over.

Then here in coastal Orange County, CA I'd venture to guess about an even 50/50 mix of credit phonies and real wealth, though most of the credit phonies seem to be outta here already and on their way to a new cheaper life in Arizona or Nevada. There has been no slowdown as of yet (unfortunately) ... still can't get into a nice restaurant on the weekends, stores are packed, etc.

Anonymous said...

Max out the credit cards, buy as many guns and ammo as you can!

Anonymous said...

Keith,

Start a life thread for the second crash of the week, this baby is going down!

Anonymous said...

yes and its good... why do you need a shiney new car every year..

k.w. - Southern Ca. said...

I'm sorry to hear about your struggles, but it's an all too common occurance across the entire nation.

Here, along the west coast, we're seeing the same problems - less-than-half full restaurants, closed restaurants and minimal waiters and waitresses - it's not looking good at all.

Ironically, the junk food outlets (McDonalds, Jack-in-the-Box, etc...) will do much better as the American consumer has to cut back even more on spending.


Anonymous said...
Report from Florida.

I am a small business owner. I let the last of my employees go last week, and my spouse and I are running the show by ourselves. I had to close our other small storefront due to lack of business. At least we can't be fired, though I suppose we may have to fire ourselves if things get much worse.

We went to breakfast at a popular place on Sunday where a lot of people usually go after church. Typically we have to wait for a table. Not this time. The place was about half full and no one waiting.

Our favorite seafood restaurant, right on the water, is closed until the end of October. Many others have shut their doors for good.

The main business route through Ft Myers/Bonita/Naples is lined with closed, or never open, strip malls. The consumer is gone from SW Florida.

Stanley said...

At least in Southern California, the answer is yes and no, respectively. Just this past weekend I was at the mall and was surprised to see it packed. It seems that people won't stop spending until they're unemployed. The American Consumer is running full tilt into a brick wall. When the shit hits the fan, they're going to have no savings, no safety net, just a mountain of credit card debt. It's sad watching people spend every last cent they make when they should be saving for a rainy day. I feel like the kid from the Sixth Sense, "I see dead people. Walking around like regular people. They don't see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don't know they're dead."

k.w. - Southern Ca. said...

Well, I have to differ with you.

It really depends on your business.

Many hard working business men may take offense to what you are saying because they've tried everything to just stay afloat and it just won't work - regardless of what cost-cutting measures they try.

Fortunately, there is still a need for your services/products, so enjoy it while it lasts.


Darren said...
Do you see what is wrong with America. Anonymous is a clear example. He let his employees go and his profits are down and he is not sure he will make it, yet he still goes out to breakfast instead of eating at home to conserve money. His favorite seafood restaurant is closed and if not, he would be going there too. Most people in America follow that same path. My Businesss is doing very well , even better than last year and me and my wife conserve anyway. That is how you make it when times are tough. Most Americans I have seen in my town will continue to spend until the credit card runs out.

k.w. - Southern Ca. said...

Well, I'm fortunate to still be doing well, but that doesn't mean I should ignore what is happening to more and more people across the nation.

Speaking about what's going on is not complaining, just being aware of the truth.


Oh stop the damn negativity please. I don't know where all of you pessimists live. But where I live (Sugarland, Texas right outside of Houston) people are shopping, people are eating out, etc....

Anonymous said...

Credit addicts are dead here in Los Angeles. High end stores are ghost towns. The salesmen are like trolls under a bridge waiting to attack any customer that walks in by hard selling them anything they can at a reduced price.

I actually think the consumer is learning for the first time.

I want to thank you Keith for this Blog. You were the only one for so long speaking of this years ago. I remember all of the realty trolls that came here and called everyone top raman eating apt. dwellers. Haha the tables have turned and everyone wants to know how i was able to call this 3 years ago.

gutless and lazy said...

Yes and yes. MBNA just sent him a notice that his limit has been reduced and his bank just notfied him that his HELOC has been cancelled.

Hence the consumer doesnt have 2 nickles to rub together, so to speak.

When do we hang the lawyers and bankers?

Anonymous said...

To the Editor of your local paper:

Perhaps this is premature to ask, but prudence dictates the following question:

If we have a multi-staged emergency plan in place for hurricanes and other such disasters that are so prominently disiminated to the public days before a storm, for example, do we have similar emergency preparations in place for what the media is now calling "the perfect storm" in our economy?

I could not find a plan on A.A. County's website regarding this matter, and I have not heard officials telling the public what they can expect from their local government should the worst case scenario that might be developing in our economy come to fruition.

Is our local leadership prepared with a multi-staged plan for the downward spiral in our economy (or possible depression) that federal, state and local officials, including the President of the United States, amongst others are now declaring to be inevitable on some level?

I realize we are all in unchartered territory here, and we all hope for the best, but residents should know what an existing plan includes if there is one and at what point it might be implemented. If there is no plan for this type of emergency, then given the recent developments here in the U.S. and abroad, we may want to come up with one sooner than later.

what recession said...

what credit crunch?I have 200k availale on cards.i can live like a king for 5 years as you toothless wonders cut back.I will then file for bankruptcy and do it all over again in 3 years.I love america.Off to walmart for some eye candy.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said...
health care premiums are going up: 13% in 2009. THIRTEEN. Same old plan, no difference in coverage. They already get a $30/visit copay for everything. Go to PT 2-3 times a week for an sports injury, you pay 60-90 bucks/wk. on top of the huge premium.

======

Oh boo fucking hoo. $30 co-pay. Shut the fuck up and be happy it's only $30. Try living without insurance when the bill is $200 per visit.
_________

Excuse me you nasty thing, but we pay $6,500 in premiums /yr., (for 2 adults) and we have to pay $1000 before any benefits kick in. Then it's $30 for each doctor 'in network', and there aren't that many where we are. so then it's 80% of their 'usual and customary', which is a lot less than the actual bill amount. This is the so called 'good' plan available. Frankly, that's pretty pathetic and a 13% increase is only lining their pockets.

Last year, our out of pocket was $20,000 due to a knee injury i had, and that was AFTER the premiums and after what the plan covered. There was no choice in the matter. Thank God we live frugally and could pay it. God help us if someone gets really sick.

My point was, which you didn't seem to want to notice, was necessary cost are going up like crazy and people seem to be spending like they are on a Vegas vacation.

I'm sorry if you're completely uninsured, it must be hell. And i know there are others with worse situations. But your lashing out was not necessary.

Cash Lady said...

Just last week Citibank sent me a notice that they were increasing my line of credit. I am not really sure why, I didn't ask for it. I just thought it was weird during the credit crunch.

Anonymous said...

health care premiums are going up: 13% in 2009. THIRTEEN. Same old plan, no difference in coverage. They already get a $30/visit copay for everything. Go to PT 2-3 times a week for an sports injury, you pay 60-90 bucks/wk. on top of the huge premium.

======

Oh boo fucking hoo. $30 co-pay. Shut the fuck up and be happy it's only $30. Try living without insurance when the bill is $200 per visit.

October 07, 2008 6:39 PM

_________________
To this person who left the 2nd post. Go Fuck yourself.
I paid over 100.00 a week for my family's health insurance. It is not my fault you have to pay 200.00 for a visit.
That 30.00 co pay adds up. Not to mention the 100.00 or more a week.
The 3,000. deductable.
And oh yeah getting cancer well thats when the FUN begins. They will DENY DENY DENY your bills...Guess what the Dr. sells off your bill to a fucking scum of the earth collection agency. They harrass you...Mark your credit... Credit cards raise the interest because you have cancer and the medical bills have murdered your credit score.
I played fair. I had 1 visa and very few credit cards that I paid off. I had cancer and thats when everything went down.
So we are all in this together. No insurance, Insurance...Go watch Michael Moore's movie again Sicko...Maybe now you will listen.
You should not be posting instead calling your congress and tell them to fuck themselves because we demand the insurance that they have given themselves.

Anonymous said...

did i just hear BAC just cut its dividend by 50 percent..............crappers? just had my buy theory altered......... down 27 percent for the day

brokersleaveyoubroke said...

Just to put things in perspective, a recession means the economy is shrinking. Normally it's growing by around 3 to 4 percent so the difference between a good economy and a recession can be less then five percent.
Most people I know are doing OK. A few are in trouble. Most are being a little more careful with their money. All the people who didn't listen to me about getting their 401K money out of stocks are pissed.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine could be Exhibit A on why the USA is in this spot:

– My friend and his wife combined make 60% of what I make;
– He has a sailboat that is larger than my house.
– His house is almost four times the size of my house even though we have the same sized family;
– Even though he just had to take a big pay cut to keep his job, he re-newed his own country club membership and just bought a separate membership for his son.
– He leases two cars- one is a Cadillac for his wife.
– He has no retirement savings; instead, he is relying on a state retirement pension awarded to him for fifteen years of (yawn) hard work. (He “retired” after 15 years and now works in the dreaded private sector bitching about the fast pace)
– He put his son into a pricey private school not because of the better education, but because his son could more easily make the private school’s golf team. His other son– the one without golf talent–goes to public school.
– When his son without the golf talent decided to join a school honors math club, he told his son he was committing social suicide and should stop hanging out with nerds.

Anonymous said...

.




Obama gonna git me a check!




.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that 38% of the population doesn't pay taxes, according to IRS records.

And that the top 5% can hide their income in tax-free investments like Munis, right?

Guess who's going to pay for all the welfare and bailouts? Prepare to spin that hamster wheel faster, geniuses!

Anonymous said...

I am a small business owner. I let the last of my employees go last week, and my spouse and I are running the show by ourselves. I had to close our other small storefront due to lack of business. At least we can't be fired

But Hussein will raise your taxes. He promised several times already.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

"Oh stop the damn negativity please. I don't know where all of you pessimists live. But where I live (Sugarland, Texas right outside of Houston) people are shopping, people are eating out, etc...."

----------------------------------

You see, this is what happens when an economy is based on a real industry, rather than housing and credit. Energy, in this case. Let's hope the oil doesn't run out.

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest here. Most of this crying business owners lived from rolling debt that subsidized a fake high lifestyle, especially those pink wannabes in Florida that arrived from the Northeast.

I bet that they were flipping properties and time shares, or participating in the fraud like crazy, until the ponzi scheme ended and they're caught with the pants down.

Now it's Bush's fault, it's everyone else's fault, as usual...the American way!

C'mon, what kind of business person are you who don't prepare for normal down business cycles? Do you think that, even without bubbles bursting, you won't have mild recessions once in a while?

I hope all of you get fleeced. Now go vote for Obama to really get screwed and get your welfare check.

Anonymous said...

You will have to pry this credit card from my cold dead hands.

American Consumer

Anonymous said...

American Express just offered me a Platinum card by email, pre-approved. They gave me a Blue a few months ago with a $20k limit, 0% rate for 1.5 years.

I've been using the card for financial arbitrage, while earning 6% APY on my Credit Union. I can finance any car I want, through the same Credit Union, with a very low APR.

There's no credit available? What a joke! Only if you're a moron who lives beyond your means or have rotten credit. The same morons who pay $2k for the 24 months contract on an iPhone because is eye candy and because of peer pressure.

As a matter of fact, I've just deposited another $3k in that account that earns 6%. Sold my house at peak in 2005, renting something for $800 since then, my cell bill is $16 /month, car insurance is $400 /year, A/C is $30 /month, all cash since 2007, etc. When I need to buy movies, Books, or CDs, I buy used lots on eBay for less than $0.10 each. Now we're just waiting for the Euro to hit around $1 USD to make a trip to Europe, during their European badass recession.


Meanwhile, the B. Hussein voters:

wahhhh...wahhhhh... i want my iPhone...wahhhh I want my favorite seafood restaurant open to eat lobster every week...wahhhh I want a check from Obama to buy rims for my Escalade...wahhh...I want to buy a McMansion and lease a Camry with no income and rotten credit...It's all Bush's fault!

Anonymous said...

I visited the Naples area once for a few days. It creeped me out. Sort of like a Scottsdale AZ., transplanted into the swamp. No visible means of economic support, just retail and gated golf gulags.

Naples is a vacation spot for the wealthy, like the Hamptons. That's why you won't see so much commerce or industry. Lots of old money there.

tater said...

"The main business route through Ft Myers/Bonita/Naples is lined with closed, or never open, strip malls. The consumer is gone from SW Florida."

Go on upstate to Panama City and surrounding areas. It's the same way. There are so many lots and homes for sale. Man, it's looking bad! House prices are dropping like a rock around here.

Oh yeah, you still have a lot of those overpriced shitboxes for sale where the real-estate agents/flippers are headed for bankruptcy, but nobody is buying those. In fact, not many people are buying anywhere around here.

Panama City and surrounding areas are a good example of greed run amuck. Back in 2004, you couldn't get a real-estate agent to return a phone call, unless you were willing to pay beyond asking price. Now, they'll run you down to just give you a flyer. The real smart sellers are dropping their prices so fast, that it leaves the greedy asses to rot on the vines with their overpriced shitboxes.

Oh, and I don't know if the consumer is dead or not. If he ain't, he's getting might close.

Anonymous said...

If you look carefully toward the back of that photograph you can see a guy with a shopping cart full of canned food.

Is that an HP'er?


Nope, real HP'ers would be buying MREs

Anonymous said...

"This is going to be the worst holiday season ever and it will devastate chain retail and grocery stores across the nation".

This is the best quote of the thread and it will happen in my opinion.

After Xmas, cash will most certainly be King. Especially for "high end" merchandise.

patrat said...

Many people are still using credit cards. In fact more than ever. My sister is a bookeeper at a major grocery store and that's what she sees. But I do think that very soon the consumer will have to to wake up to a new reality. I think this is what they call a "sea change".

Anonymous said...

Use to be that a Stainless Steel Rolex Daytona was hard to get unless you bought several other Rolex watches first. Now, as long as you have 10,0000 cash you can find one first hand. Wait list use to be years for this watch, now you will get a call right away. Downsized my Rolex collection from 8 to four watches two years ago thinking of the carnage to come.

wings said...

Darren said...

Do you see what is wrong with America.

Anonymous is a clear example. He let his employees go and his profits are down and he is not sure he will make it, yet he still goes out to breakfast instead of eating at home to conserve money.

His favorite seafood restaurant is closed and if not, he would be going there too. Most people in America follow that same path.

My Businesss is doing very well , even better than last year and me and my wife conserve anyway.

That is how you make it when times are tough. Most Americans I have seen in my town will continue to spend until the credit card runs out.
_____

Darren, let the man and his wife eat out. It's patriotic to go out to breakfast and lunch at your favorito fish shack.

Whazza matta you?

wings: Walks over to Darren's house and knocks on the door (knock, knock, knock).

Darren: Who dat?

wings: Me. It's me, wings.

Darren: What do you want?

wings: I want you to man up to being an American, damn it, and take your wife out to breakfast, you little cheapskate.

Darren: No! I own my own business and we cook chow on our own griddle.

wings: Grabs Darren by his ears and says, "squeal like a piggy. Squeal like a little piggy, Darren. SQUEEK!"

Darren: Darren squeals like a plump little piglet, "Squeek, Squeak, Squeeeeek."

wings: Suuueee. Now we've got ourselves a happy little piggy here! Alright!

KAGUNGA!

WTF1920 said...

Were those granite countertops worth it? What about that SUV? What about that Mcmansion?

Have we all learned a lessen here? If THIS doesn't teach the people, nothing will. In that case, nothing will change and nothing will ever get better.

That's it! This is what needs to be thought about. No more downplaying the dangers of debt. No more "optimism". The time to "think positively" is over! Now it's time to think realistically! The glass is NOT half full- there are 4 ounces in the 8 ounce glass and it's evaporating very quickly. It is what it is-and THAT'S IT!

Our entire mindset towards debt needs to change. It needs to go from "Wow, only 10 more paychecks and I'll have this puppy paid off" to "Holy crap, I have to pay 10 more paychecks just to break even and have NOTHING in my savings account".

That's what needs to happen, and if it doesn't then we are fucked!

ATL Northeast Ga 'burbs said...

in response to anon 6:37 pm 10/7:
In the 30519 Buford Ga area there are lots of strip malls half empty, oddly enough still some construction of a few more going on as well. Mean while Bill Heard Chevrolet with, I think, 15 dealerships all over metro atlanta was closed down due to the back not extending credit. Meanwhile, the Mall of Georgia is still busy as ever. Lots of people shopping and eating.

Anonymous said...

"But where I live (Sugarland, Texas right outside of Houston) people are shopping, people are eating out, etc...."

Yeah, Tex, we know. Everything is bigger and better in Texas.

Too bad living in Texas clouds ya'all's perception of reality.

But, I think ya'alls getting ready to feel some of the economic pain real soon.

All Ya'all.

Anonymous said...

"Do you see what is wrong with America. Anonymous is a clear example. He let his employees go and his profits are down and he is not sure he will make it, yet he still goes out to breakfast instead of eating at home to conserve money."

First of all, I am a "she" and I get sick of cooking every day while working full time (because I don't have any employees).

Second, I take my lunch to work every day. The $20 I spend on a breakfast out once a week would not have paid my employees. Sunday is my only day off.

I live in a cheap rental house in a neighborhood full of foreclosed homes and drive a 97Ford Ranger pick up truck with no AC. Don't tell me about conserving.

If I ate at home every Sunday morning I would not have been able to hang on to the employees. We are a small retail business, and I saved $3000 by laying off two employees. That makes the difference between going out of business in the slow times and hanging on by our teeth.

Labor costs are the easiest thing to cut and it has an immediate impact. If you don't believe me, ask EBAY. I think they are laying off 1000 employees.

Anonymous said...

I own a service business in the Mid-West. These past 2 weeks have been the worst I have seen in over 15 years.

Residential Business is very very light. Down 74% from same period a year ago.

Commericial Business is so bad that if it got any worse rigor-mortise would set in. :(

BUT THE MOST SUPPRISING CHANGE IN THE LAST 2 WEEKS IS that people have stopped using credit cards.

A few of my customers asked me if I could hold their check until they got paid. At that point, I pushed for a credit card, because a guaranteed payment is much better then trying to collect on a bad check. I am getting all kinds of sob stories about how the card company cut thier credit lines below their outstanding ballance for no reason at all.

When you hear this sob story the first time, you think... yea right.

When you hear this sob story the fifth time, you think... damn what is going on.

When you hear this same sob story more than 20 times per week, and you notice that your total card volume is crashing, you think... damn it to hell the banking system must be exploding or something. All that doom and gloom on CNBC the past week or so must be true.

Anonymous said...

McCain announced he will buy up everyone's mortgages if elected. Well done HPers. While you were driving the 1983 Honda and renting a hovel, we were all driving a shiny new Escalade and living in a mcmansion. And now you will pay for it all. And we will continue to live in the mcmansion while you continue to live in the hovel.

DOPES
DOLTS
MORONS

Anonymous said...

health care premiums are going up: 13% in 2009. THIRTEEN. Same old plan, no difference in coverage. They already get a $30/visit copay for everything. Go to PT 2-3 times a week for an sports injury, you pay 60-90 bucks/wk. on top of the huge premium.
=================================

yea, I know what you mean. I had to pay $5 for a prescription the other day! WTF? what good is insurance!

can't wait till obama is in the white house. Obama and a dem congress will get this country back on track!

Anonymous said...

"...Sorry there is no Recession!
LOSERS!"


The proper term to really disgrace yourself is whiners.

Not me. I'm a maniac cheering this whole ugly debacle on. ;^D

edd said...

The First Americans lost
the land to a concept loosely
called America;
a land inhabited since by various
refugees/slaves, but validated if
they advanced some mission of a
refuge/resource for the World.

Now, those who are not part of solutions
are complicit in unthinkable failure and
a permanently-decayed legacy.

knifecatcher said...

This consumer isn't dead. Hell, just yesterday I splurged and bought a bag of Santitas(whitecorn) chips.
WooHoo

Anonymous said...

Keith.

Thanks for all of the insight through the years. You have been spot on.

The currency traders I support have all told me repeatedly that "I called it".

I shake my head back and forth and tell them, "No, Keith at HousingPanic.com called it."

Sadly, there's real fear in their eyes. One of our traders said that "This is like a fire in a movie house and everyone's trying to get out".

Anonymous said...

.



"....buy as many guns and ammo as you can"!


How many can you shoot at one time?


Ammo (lead) is very heavy, you need to be light and ready to run,

Shotguns and rifles are effective but cumbersome,

a pistol you can keep close and tight and concealed!

.

.

Anonymous said...

.



I just returned from Las Vegas from a convention

I noticed all the high-end stores (Gucci, Fendi, Prada, Fred...) at the Forum at Caesar's where empty....


THEY ALWAYS ARE!


Who in there right mind can or wants that over-priced eurotrash shit!

I mean, Who cares if your wife's purse or shoes didn't come from Macy's?



.

Anonymous said...

I hope it is the worst holiday season. It is ridiculous what retailers are selling and the prices they offer. I give you an example..."Lids", a store who sales caps of different sport teams. My son thinks it is cool to pay up to $45.00 for such nonsense and I don't understand how they stay in business. These types of retailes need to go away....In the last 7 years, new restaurants have been popping up everywhere. There is too many, we could do without so many chains...save American's save your money...don't teach our children it is okay to want, want, want. Teach them the concept of needs vs. wants.

Anonymous said...

The American consumer is dying a slow depth. For those out there that think they will have enough on their credit cards to get John and Sally everything they want, think again.......or better yet, check your statements, they may have lowered your ability to borrow.

Anonymous said...

Actually, McDonalds' has lowered the price of the Big Mac Meal. I am here in the DC area and it always was $5.00 or more but the last few months I have noticed they have dropped the meal below $5.00. It's ironic that other places are keeping specials to around $5.00 (Subway, Quiznos, Boston Market). Eat for cheap and stop paying more than you have to...

Anonymous said...

Who cares whether the restaurants are full or the malls are crowded...people are spending what they don't have anyway. Living from paycheck to paycheck and using those stack of credit cards is what Americans do best. Banks are going to really chop off those limits soon if not already. They are not going to let Joe Six Pack continue to borrow this Christmas knowing that he will default and not pay when January 2009 comes around.

Lost Cause said...

I havn't seen much difference in the OC, but a few things are noticable. Traffic is lighter. That is a sure sign of an economic slowdown. It usually means people don't have jobs to go to. I don't think there were as many summer tourists either. Certain stores are dead, but in general people seem to have a lot of money to spend. But people are very fearful. I think the spending could stop very quickly, and it doesn't depend on the credit limit. People will do what the herd is doing. It is about to get spooked.

Newport Coaster said...

Orange County - CA: Went to the Balboa Bay Club for brunch this past Sunday - the place was dead. The server informed us it is totally slow. We don't wait for tables anymore, for that matter, at the popular spots at Fashion Island, etc. So, this is even affecting those places the real estate agents said were invincible. Stores are dead in South Coast Plaza - Bloomie's, etc.

Anonymous said...

The media has hyped up everything. Everyone I know still has credit and jobs. We eat every weekend and shop every weekend. Stores and Restaurants are all packed every time! Sorry there is no Recession!
LOSERS!

That's funny, I was in a store with a friend of mine who was looking for a couple recliners. We were the only people in the store. They were listed at $2400, The salesman offered them for $2000, I Had a sidebar with my buddy, and said "Dude, offer $1000". He did, and they said "Can't do it" as we started walking away, that manager came up and said, "OK, we will take it" Yea, no recession, your an idiot!

Anonymous said...

"Many hard working business men may take offense to what you are saying because they've tried everything to just stay afloat and it just won't work - regardless of what cost-cutting measures they try."

Like Casey's Jamba Juice deals?

I could work hard, as you noted, and try everything, as you noted, and cut costs as you noted, with my custom crocheted coaster business, and it would still fail. I would be dumb to think that such a business would succeed. Yet, it would be OK to be offended by someone saying that their business is doing fine?

Sorry, but I don't get it. Success is not guaranteed. Not being offended is not guaranteed. Going into business is not a sure thing.

Anonymous said...

Are those people supposed to reflect the so-called the fat pasty white "Joe Sixpack and Jane Zinfindel" that allegedly shop at Walmart and are ruining this country?

I sure do see a lot more shades of brown and yellow than I do white.

Anonymous said...

"Off to walmart for some eye candy."

Dude, you need help. What possible kind of "eye candy" is running around "Wallmarts?"

Anonymous said...

You stole my, "'Bama gonna gits me a checks," wtf?

Anonymous said...

Bought a new "$1300" leather recliner for about $500 the other day.

No,,,he was laughing at you!!! In the furniture and jewelry business there is a term called 'Keystone' --- Some things are '4 Keystone' and other things are 3 Keystone.
You can bet he bought that leather recliner for $300. So selling you this depressed item,,he still made $200.
With autos,,,the 'wholesale invoice' includes the dealers profit and overhead.
Don't feel bad,,,,we're all such jerks with retail pricing - we have NO IDEA what this crap was purchased for.
In a local 'Luxury Botique' in NJ - the owner buys nothing for over $5 - (straight from their mouths) absolutely nothing,,,and sells it for between 30 and $120. It's all imported goods an it does look good.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
McCain announced he will buy up everyone's mortgages if elected. Well done HPers. While you were driving the 1983 Honda and renting a hovel, we were all driving a shiny new Escalade and living in a mcmansion. And now you will pay for it all. And we will continue to live in the mcmansion while you continue to live in the hovel.
DOPES
DOLTS
MORONS
October 08, 2008 4:11 AM"

Hey Asshole, John Herbert Hoover McCain is dead. We have your url and we are sending the boysin black to you for a visit.

Sleep Tight.

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...
I dont't know but I do know that this guy and his whole family are dead."

Its a Good Start. Let's hope he was a member of the REIC.

Anonymous said...

went to a doctor after escaping the hospital after emergency room enterance and for every one seen was given ten referals each referaling to ten more and wanting more than a thousand after insurance kicked in...........obviously i did not comply.....

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
went to a doctor after escaping the hospital after emergency room enterance and for every one seen was given ten referals each referaling to ten more and wanting more than a thousand after insurance kicked in...........obviously i did not comply.....

October 09, 2008 9:34 AM"

Keith, please. Only non-retarded,, ritalin free english speaking posters please.

Thank you.