Today, as we plumb the depths of the US economic food-chain in that last bastion for the improverished US consumer, dollar stores, we find that that staple for low-cost "everything" Family Dollar, which operates 8,100 stores around the country, will be shutting down 370 stores "as it tries to reverse sagging sales and earnings." It was not clear immediately how many thousands of workers would be affected by the store shuttering. We assume "many to quite many." And what do they say? Why, that "the US economic recovery is obviously stronger than ever" of course!
You may find what is happening at one Wal-Mart in Ohio very hard to believe. At the Wal-mart on Atlantic Boulevard in Canton, Ohio employees are being asked to donate food items so that other employees that cannot afford to buy Thanksgiving dinner will be able to enjoy one too. On the one hand, it is commendable that someone at that Wal-Mart is deeply concerned about the employees that are so poor that they cannot afford to buy the food that they need for Thanksgiving. On the other hand, this is a perfect example that shows how the quality of the jobs in this country has gone down the toilet.
Structural declines in miles driven, middle and working-class income and rising competition from dollar stores may be leading to Peak Walmart. Walmart's model of superstores built on the edge of town with an inventory/distribution system based on high turnover may have reached the point of diminishing returns. Peak Walmart may also presage Peak Mall Shopping and Peak Retail in general. The poaching of competitors' customers appears to be replacing real growth, and perhaps the impending demise of JC Penney is simply the first of many such victims of the retail shark pool.
- Opposition figure: major decisions on Syria expected within hours (Al Arabiya)
- Syria challenges U.S. to "produce the evidence" that Assad regime launched chemical attack (CBS)
- British PM says world must act on Syria, weighs response (Reuters)
- U.S. Treasury to Hit Debt Limit in Mid-October (WSJ)
- U.S. could look beyond U.N. Security Council in any Syria strike (Reuters)
- Nasdaq, NYSE at odds on outage cause as SEC seeks facts (Reuters)
- Ackman’s J.C. Penney Sale Ends Failed Saga to Agitate for Change (BBG)
- Zandi, LaVorgna, Blinder, Rattner all is one con puff piece (BBG)
- Best Buy Founder Schulze Plans Stock Sale to Diversify Assets (BBG) - "diversify assets" = dump overpriced junk
- Zero Worship: Credit-Card Firms Compete With No-Interest Transfers (WSJ)
- Len Blavatnik wins $50m in JPMorgan lawsuit (FT)
- Danone Finds Yogurt’s All Greek as Oikos Chases Chobani (BBG)
- Pimco Sees 60% Chance of Global Recession in Five Years (BBG)
- Global Tumult Grips Markets (WSJ)
- NSA Secrecy Prompts a Pushback (WSJ)
- ANA Scraps 787 Dreamliner Flight as Engine Fails to Start (BBG) - one of these days, though, it shall fly
- Kuroda’s April-Was-Enough Message Faces Markets Wanting More (BBG)
- S&P warns top US banks are still ‘too big to fail’ (FT)
- Democracy for $500 per plate (Reuters)
- Iran, the United States and 'the cup of poison' (Reuters)
- Japan grapples with lack of entrepreneurs (FT)
- Greece First Developed Market Cut to Emerging at MSCI (BBG)
- Asia's ticking time bonds; time to cut and run? (Reuters)
- Sony Outduels Microsoft in First PS4-Xbox One Skirmish (BBG)
Third Point Q1 Holdings Update: Reduces YHOO, AIG Stakes, Adds New Stakes In Virgin Media, Tiffany And B/E AerospaceSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/15/2013 17:05 -0400
With Paulson's star long gone down, there are few remaining "new generation" hedge fund wunderkinds, especially in a world in which the best performing hedge fund is Federal Reserve Capital LLC - Onshore Fund. One among them is Third Point's Dan Loeb, who continues to be one of the best performing hedge fund managers for the 4th year in a row. He just filed his Q1 13F, amounting to $5.3 billion in disclosed long equity positions, which are summarized below. Of note are the following changes:
- New stakes in Virgin Media ($538MM), Tiffany ($188MM), Anadarko ($105MM), Thermo Fisher ($99MM), Cabot Oil and Gas ($84MM), Hess ($72MM) and others. Some of these overlap with the initiations of David Tepper and David Einhorn especially Hess: did some "idea dinners" take place in Q1 we were not aware of?
- Fully exited stakes in Tesoro, Morgan Stanley, Nexen, Symantec, Herbalife, Illumina, Coke, PVH, Abbott Labs and others.
- Reduced positions in Yahoo, AIG, New Corp, Murphy Oil, Delphi, Lyondell and others
- Added to stakes in International Paper, Abbvie, Dollar General, Constellation, and Ariad
This is what the most brand name US hedge funds bought and sold in the third quarter.
Standing in Legoland in Carlsbad, California in 2011, fulfilling a promise to my then eight-year-old son William, it hit me. I was strolling around a Blackstone-owned property. We'd woken up in a Homewood Suites, owned by Blackstone-backed Hilton. We'd driven to the park in a rental car from Hertz, owned by private-equity firms Carlyle and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Practically every time I'd opened my wallet that day, it had been to a company owned by private equity. Even on vacation, I couldn't escape. A few months later, I had dinner with Greg Brenneman, who'd held top positions at Continental, Burger King, and Quizno's, all private-equity-owned at the time he was involved. Brenneman is now the chairman of CCMP Capital, whose investments have included 1-800-Flowers.com and Vitamin Shoppe. We talked at length about the ubiquity of PE ownership -- my J. Crew sweater, the Dollar General store in my wife's hometown in the Catskills. I started a running list on my BlackBerry that quickly grew to dozens of examples. Brand names piled up, from Toys "R" Us to Petco. The more I looked, the more I found it. The numbers are staggering. Private-equity firms globally and collectively had almost $3 trillion in assets at the end of 2011. The companies they own account for about 8 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product by one estimate.
- Canada GDP prints at -0.4% on expectations of 0.0%, first contraction since Q2, 2009
- Italy Living on Borrowed Time (WSJ)
- Choice for EU: Bail Out Greece or Bail Your Banks (WSJ)
- Economy Deeply Divides Fed (Fed Mouthpiece)
- SEC Lawyer Blew Whistle Before (WSJ)
- Noda promises action on surging yen (FT) ... again... always
- White House could unveil mortgage plan next week (Reuters)
- Greek Bailout Talks Face Hurdles (WSJ)
- Panama Canal upgrade sparks US ports battle (FT)
- Japan Finds Radiation Spread Over a Wide Area (WSJ)
- High pressure on Sarkozy-Merkel talks (Reuters)
- Noda to "watch" "one-sided moves" in the USDJPY to parity soon enough - Yen to Reach Record Amid ‘Downfall’ of West, Sakakibara Says (Bloomberg)
- Eurobond Debate Rises in Germany, France (WSJ)
- China official paper calls for widening of yuan trading band (Reuters)
- China Economy Slowing ‘Significantly,’ Conference Board Says (Bloomberg)
- BOE's Miles: No Need for More QE (WSJ)
- Christine Lagarde: Don’t let fiscal brakes stall global recovery (FT)
- Zoellick: Governments should deal with global debt woes (Reuters)
- On Midwest Bus Tour, Obama Jabs at GOP (WSJ)
- U.S. debt still safest place for China reserves: top banker (Reuters)
Top Retail Analyst: "I Think What’s Going On ... Is That We Are In A Depression For 80 Percent Of Americans"Submitted by George Washington on 07/12/2011 12:51 -0400
But things are G-R-E-A-T for the top .1%!
All you need to know by www.thetrader.se
Jim Chanos is short China and solars. I say it's time to short Chanos...
John Maynard Keynes once said of inflation:
"There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."
- Ireland downgraded to BBB+ by Fitch, outlook stable, market yawns
- Asian stocks, Aussie gain on jobs growth, better-than-forecast Japan GDP.
- Bank of Korea leaves benchmark interest rate unchanged at 2.5%.
- EU fines Taiwanese, SKorean LCD panel makers €649M on price fixing charges.
- India's inflation holds above 'tolerance level,' Indian Central Bank Chief says.
- Japan’s Q3 GDP grew at an annualized 4.5% - faster than the 3.9% reported last month.
- Greek loan repayment extension possible in early 2011.
- More than half of Americans want Fed reined In or abolished: Bloomberg survey.