Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Black Knight Economy

Retail sales doesn't just suck it sucks something fierce -
...Unadjusted data set: the plunge from $459.8 billion in December to $361.4 billion in January, or -$98.5 billion in one month, was the biggest one month drop in retail sales in history.

Denninger clears it up a bit more -
Grocery stores were 45,833. Last year was 44,538. Here's the problem -- the CPI on food at home is claimed to be 6%, so the price-adjusted parity level is 47,210.

In other words this report sucks when adjusted for price changes on food -- people are either unable or unwilling to maintain their food spending due to price changes. You pick, but the facts are what they are.

Gasoline is up 10% year over year as well. Gas station sales, however, went from 38,216 to 40,991 and should be 42,038 on a parity price basis. We have heard about a collapse in demand for gasoline -- well, here's your proof folks, as on a gallons-sold basis it sure isn't going in the northbound direction. And gasoline is not used for heating purposes, so this is all travel (by car.)
Finally, dealing with the energy issue, ZH makes it clear that this is not an isolated commodity problem with oil -
Mark W.also forwarded these charts of Electrical power consumption. Not only has electrical consumption never recovered the levels of mid-2008, it peaked in mid-2011 and has begun a sharp decline in late 2011.
The Real Effect
I had originally intended to make this into a much larger, comprehensive post, however the news dictates that this needs to be dealt with now. The forthcoming article will show up later, but for now we need to look at some of these issues.

Last night, a large swath of Europe was downgraded by Moodys, Greece continues to be a thorn in everyone's side and fraud continues to be rampant with no sign of slowdown. So the consumer is doing what he should do in this situation which is to reclaim his natural right to protect himself from the government by removing himself from the marketplace.

This is why air travel has collapsed, sales of CD's has collapsed and the Greeks continue en masse to remove their money from the banks. (As do we) If a person contracts with company X for $100 to perform a service and company X assesses a 'fee' and takes the $100, rightfully the consumer cries foul and stops conducting business. At this point company X cries poverty and goes to the government for a 'bailout'. In reality, this is the company forcing you to do business with them via the government. Even further, the government often tries to re-engineer the industry to make it 'profitable'.

Then when confronted about the reality of the situation, the government lies to the people in an attempt to keep their racket going as well. We dealt with some of this in this post, over 2 years ago -
What we have here is a scene out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in which The Black Knight of government being mortally wounded states that it’s "merely a flesh wound". This attitude reveals the attitude and perhaps the intent of our great leaders.
What I and the people of the world should tolerate to an extent is ignorance. Everyone is ignorant of all knowledge at some point in their lives. What should not be tolerated in any way shape or form is outright fraud.  This economy is in the tank, it continues to be in the tank and is getting significantly worse. As a nation, we have barely begun to look at step one of the 12 step recovery process -
We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable. 

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