Tuesday, January 13, 2009

More from the NRF conference

No, not the National Rifle Federation, although I'm sure there are some investors who wish they had a rifle if they still own retail stocks. I'm talking about the National Retail Federation conference. Women's Wear Daily, again, is saying the following this morning:

The prospect of a new consumer order was echoed by Carl Steidtmann, chief economist at Deloitte, who addressed global trends and forecasting at a subsequent NRF session. “The recession will create a very different economy when we come out of it than the one we had when we went into it,” he said. “Real wages are up 6 percent since July. Consumers have the means to spend, they just don’t have the will.”

You're right that there's a new world order coming out of this. But the comment about the wages. All I can do is shake my head. Dude, consumers are digging out from years of over spending. Did you conveniently forget that?

Just because more money is coming in doesn't mean that they can spend it. Consumers spent this year's "means" 5 years ago trying to keep up with the Jones'. And now the credit card companies are starting to look a little like Guido the Enforcer (or is that Carlo the Collector?) They want their money NOW, thankyouverymuch. We're reliving my favorite line in one of my favorite movies, Trading Places: "Margin call, gentlemen."

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