Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Next It's Soap
In the U.S., the company said its promotions failed to drive growth, and revenue at restaurant open at least 13 months dipped 0.1 percent. The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company also says it faced a tough comparison from a year ago, when it launched the mango pineapple smoothie.The figure dipped 0.6 percent in Europe because of weakness in Germany and several Southern European markets. It fell 1.5 percent in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region — a key growth area for McDonald's. Sales in Latin America and Canada, which are not reported separately, helped pull overall results even with last year.
Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied has averaged 8.7 million barrels per day, down by 4.2 percent from the same period last year. Distillate fuel product supplied has averaged 3.6 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, down by 2.8 percent from the same period last year. Jet fuel product supplied is 3.6 percent lower over the last four weeks compared to the same four-week period last year.
- The first is that individuals in aggregate larded themselves up with an overload of debt already.
- The second is that the state and local governments, in aggregate, larded themselves up with implicit debt in the form of pension and retirement medical benefits, so they are constrained.
- The third is demographics. As our population steadily ages, the ability of individuals to take on new payable debt drops, in aggregate. It is one thing to take out a mortgage when you are 32. It is quite another to borrow $150,000 when you are in your later fifties. You just don't have the time to pay it back.
- The fourth is that the federal government implicit liabilities have risen so high, and are so unsupported by the current tax basis, that we all know we face changes in the future.
- The fifth is, paradoxically, the result of the Fed's attempts to pump gas into sputtering economic engines. Dropping interest rates so far makes it easy to finance spending, but it also massively undercuts returns on accumulated assets, which means that aging segments of the population naturally either must constrain their spending/increase their savings to be able to sustain their own lifestyles. The effect of low interest rates to stimulate the economy is extremely moderate when it can only address costs of servicing debt already accumulated.
Pasta, eggs, all that stuff. Not even meat. Just the basics. It kind of makes me want to cry - there are a lot of people for whom this is going to be a terribly rough winter.
In the meantime, Payless is advertising $14 shoes. The economy is weakening right before my eyes.
Oil prices are going to collapse, but I think it's going to be be too late to prevent a more rapid downward trend.
As long as they're leather shoes. When it gets real bad you can eat them.
The dems who are shilling for Agenda 21: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzEEgtOFFlM
don't get how their actions are crushing economic activity.
Agenda 21, if carried out, will propel us to a becoming Kenya or worse.
It's going to get ugly before things can change.
Things can lock up a lot harder than people now realize.
For example, we are now in the first real round of municipal defaults, led by some CA innovators. This is going to begin to weaken the bond insurers, and there is the potential that losses can shove through and show up in other insured sales of less-weak authorities.
Now that would really blow up the game, as the flow of money to public authorities cut more deeply into spending and investment.
It's not just CA places. You have the publicly funded housing projects, etc, that are going to return deep losses.
The insurers never reserved or charged for the types of losses we are beginning to see, so they are going to run out of $$ quickly, and then their returns on invested funds are lower along with everyone else's.
Lastly, the muni bond market overlaps with the pension fund space, so when things weaken there you have a harder job funding pensions. Recent legislation to let companies underfund their pensions on theory that all this will be temporary is going to throw a spanner in the works later.
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