Holiday Spending Plans Collapse

Tyler Durden's picture


It seems, as Jim Quinn notes, the 99% are not cooperating with the 1% plan for economic recovery. As Gallup reports, average Americans plan on spending 10% less for Christmas gifts this year than last year. Not only that, but they are spending 19% less than they spent in 2007 and 18% less than they spent in 1999. The average American is spending less because they have less as the talking heads on CNBC and the rest of the MSM tell me that things are great. Opening stores on Thanksgiving will not save anyone and perhaps more critically, the last 2 times the November forecast for holiday spending slumped - the US entered recession!



(h/t @Not_Jim_Cramer)


and Jim Quinn's Burning Platform take on this...

So the stock market is at new all-time highs. GDP is at an all-time high, well above 2007 levels. Unemployment has supposedly fallen from over 10% in 2009 to only 7.3% today. Corporate profits are at all time highs. Wall Street bonuses are at all-time highs. The talking heads on CNBC and the rest of the MSM tell me that things are great. Interest rates, at least for some people and banks, are at record lows. Bernanke pumps $2.5 billion of heroin into the veins of Wall Street on a daily basis.


So why so glum average Americans? It seems average Americans plan on spending 10% less for Christmas gifts this year than last year. Not only that, but they are spending 19% less than they spent in 2007 and 18% less than they spent in 1999. Didn’t you people get the message? Stop with the goddamn austerity, whip out that credit card, and buy Chinese shit you don’t need with money you don’t have. Don’t you realize Wall Street bankers and mega-retailer CEOs are depending on your recklessness materialism to generate their $7 million bonuses?


It seems the 99% are not cooperating with the 1% plan for economic recovery. Maybe they are little depressed because their health insurance policy just got cancelled and their new Obama policy is going to cost 40% more. Maybe it is the $1,000 less the average household has to spend this year versus last year because the 2% Social Security tax reduction expired. Maybe it is because they lost their $80,000 per year job at Merck and are now working at the Dunkin Donuts across the street for $9.00 per hour – but they get free donuts at the end of the shift. Maybe it’s the fact that the real median household income is 10% below the level of 1999.


You see, reality is a bitch. Your owners can prop up the stock market and spew propaganda on the corporate media outlets, but they can’t create wealth for you. The average American is spending less because they have less. It really is that simple. And the less they spend, the more retailers will suffer. The JC Pennys, Sears, Radioshacks, Barnes & Nobles, Best Buys and many more will be forced to shutter stores, fire employees and in some cases file bankruptcy. You can smell the desperation among the mega-retail conglomerates. They over-expanded based on the delusional belief that this credit based fantasy could go on forever. They will pay the price.


Opening stores on Thanksgiving will not save their sorry asses. They fucked up and they will pay the piper. It’s a zero sum game. The average American is running on empty. The Wall Street/Hamptons crowd can not sustain the nation with their extravagant spending. I love the smell of desperation in the morning. It smells like bankruptcy and disgrace for delusional retail CEOs.   

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Fri, 11/15/2013 - 12:42 | 4158010 Glass Seagull
Glass Seagull's picture



This is where the planners attempt to extract a lb. of flesh from WTI, so as to "spur" holiday "spending"


Fri, 11/15/2013 - 12:45 | 4158029 King_of_simpletons
King_of_simpletons's picture

I want to shop till I drop. All this easy money is making me wanna spend, spend and spend.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 12:50 | 4158056 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Of course, back in 2007, everyone still had sky-high credit card limits, and had yet to max their cards out.

Today? Not so much.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 13:00 | 4158076 hedgeless_horseman
Fri, 11/15/2013 - 13:09 | 4158129 BoNeSxxx
BoNeSxxx's picture

I, for one, plan to spend $0 on Chistmas.

Nobody will get shit they don't want or need from me... in turn, i will liberate them from the need to buy me shit I neither want nor need.

I may bake some cookies with my wife and turn a good deed or two,... but that's it.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 13:27 | 4158177 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



i will liberate them from the need to buy me shit I neither want nor need.

It sounds like you feel that nobody buys you the shit you do want or need.  Is that right?

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:02 | 4158332 BoNeSxxx
BoNeSxxx's picture

I buy the things I want and/or need... I am not suggesting that thoughtful gifts are somehow offensive.

What I am suggesting is that exchanging gift cards with my brother-in-law out of some arcane sense of holiday quid pro quo is sheer idiocy. 

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:07 | 4158351 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

I have found it most joyous to give equal weight to all instances of giving. GIving with a pure heart is one of the sweetest things.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:23 | 4158417 Rubbish
Rubbish's picture

All I'm buying this Holiday Season is Gold/Silver/Food, if friends and family don't like the gift, to bad.  Someday they will thank me.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:41 | 4158492 U4 eee aaa
U4 eee aaa's picture

Give them toilet paper for Christmas. If they thank you, they get it and you have found another ally. If they get insulted, don't let them rent your basement unless you think you can turn them before any trouble starts

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:43 | 4159003 Doubleguns
Doubleguns's picture

Rubbish excellent idea.


I see this whole fiasco as akin to the CPI issue. No inflation if we move from Filet to ground burger so there should be no dissapointment if we move our shopping from 5th avenue to wallmart or emergency essentials like Rubbish is doing. We still shopped the same number of hours and ate the same number of calories. All should be good.....according to the govt and there CPI way of thinking. 

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:42 | 4158420 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



I am suggesting is that exchanging gift cards with my brother-in-law out
of some arcane sense of holiday quid pro quo is sheer idiocy.

How about making and exchanging ballistics cards?  Do you know his rifle's barrel length, ammunition choice, and scope reticle?  If you do, then all you need is excel, computer, internet access, printer, and a laminating machine.

Nothing says, "Season's Greetings!" like receiving a custom-crafted, beautifully laminated, ballistics card with reticle reference on the opposite side. 

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:24 | 4158558 BoNeSxxx
BoNeSxxx's picture

NOW we are tracking* Hedge.


*tracking as in 'on the same page'... not as in 'drawing a bead'.


And, for the record, anyone can buy me anything on the Hedgeless Horseman's Christmas list at any time... :-)

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:54 | 4158572 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

I think shooting lessons would be a great gift.

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 13:20 | 4160566 mkkby
mkkby's picture

Our family will be having a truly luxurious xmas with the savings we're getting on affordable health insurance. 

Oh wait -- no xmas this year or any of the following.  No money left.  Thanks dems.  Thanks repugs.  I'm saving some rope and lead for you assholes.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:33 | 4158737 Agent P
Agent P's picture

Dope dealer!!! 

Sat, 11/16/2013 - 21:48 | 4161565 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

I get it.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:28 | 4158437 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

"Stop with the goddamn austerity, whip out that credit card, and buy Chinese shit you don’t need with money you don’t have."

Too bad if it's come to this.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:09 | 4158367 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

amen brother....visit friends and family, share good food and fuck the rest

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 18:21 | 4159347 Race Car Driver
Race Car Driver's picture

Women 'feel'. Men think. Feminization of our culture is a huge part of our problems.

FWIW, I junked ya for it.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 13:53 | 4158300 Blano
Blano's picture

My kids will each get a C note, if that, since I'm unemployed.  Cash to survive is what they need the most.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:09 | 4158365 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

Indebting less?
What'ya some kind of terrorist or sumpthing?
You anti-Amerkin?
What in Sam Hill is wrong with you?
You want some little china kid to have to make Saudi donkey porn films to get older brother through NYU?

Please, think of the bond market. Think of the CDI traders. Don't you want them and their kids to enjoy their Vail/Bahamas Christmas?

Besides, not spending is a NSA red flag. ( could'rough' on you. Know what I mean? )

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:03 | 4158339 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Dude - you have a real **"fever" for an FAL.

** Fever - see Christopher Walken wanting more cowbell in Blue Oyster Cult sketch.  " I got a real fever for more cowbell!"


Elvis - Blue Christmas

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:33 | 4158976 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

There ya go Chuck, ah ah mean Freddie. Promoting that evil media again.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 12:58 | 4158091 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

I've heard from friends in the skiing  business that reservations and rentals are way way down now as well.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 12:59 | 4158094 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

When you have to drop a hundo every time you visit the grocery store, that 'luxury ski trip' (for the now dismantled middle class) seems to be a few years away.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 13:29 | 4158195 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Plus the increases in health insurance premiums

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:10 | 4158369 Freddie
Freddie's picture

When you have to drop a hundo every time you visit the grocery store, that 'luxury ski trip' (for the now dismantled middle class) seems to be a few years away.

A few Light Years away pal.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:45 | 4158512 j0nx
j0nx's picture

This can't be. I keep hearing the government tell me that inflation is minimal and contained. Obviously you guys lie and are racist.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 15:43 | 4158778 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

OK, I'm a racist, I wouldn't lie about that.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 17:03 | 4159071 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Back in 2007, I had a really good job in manufacturing. Today? Not so much.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 13:01 | 4158102 Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture

I convinced my BIG family that it didn't make sense for each family to buy gifts for every child in every household.  It is frustrating to know what they want, you spend less on each child as you have to buy so many presents and the time it takes to get and wrap all this stuff is a waste of time.  Conclusion: Elfster for the kids...I will be going from buying 18 presents to 6.  I can naturally buy better presents and save time and money.

Fuck you 1% and all you fuckin retailers that have made a mockery of the true meaning of giving and caring with your advertising.  i hope they all have dismal earnings and go out of business

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 13:48 | 4158275 Mr Kurtz
Mr Kurtz's picture

Have gone the Elfster route as well. Wife handles the logistics and the upside (for me) is instead of having to buy Christmas shit for twenty people for whom I other wise can't stand being in the same room with for more than twenty minutes, I'm now down to two. An otherwise 90% improvement in my holiday economy.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:59 | 4158599 Snoopy the Economist
Snoopy the Economist's picture

We stopped buying gifts for extended family 10yrs ago. We still get together for the holidays - much better this way. I told my wife this year that we should not buy each other a gift but instead buy gifts for the needy children - still waiting for her reply.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:35 | 4158986 FightingtheFed
FightingtheFed's picture

Regardless the finanicial raping of the Middle Class continues..

Obama and Congress turn  a blind eye like they don't understand..

So join the damn Orgy as the 1% continues to fuck the Middle Class.. While seeking to import 10s of millions of Mexicans and attain visas for millions of Asians and Indians in order to maintain there Margins in their Tech companies..


About time to burn the fucking place to the ground!

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 12:46 | 4158032 Upswaller
Upswaller's picture

"Disposable income" has been disp....  well, you know.

Thanks, Bernanke.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 16:46 | 4159015 1223pm
1223pm's picture

We are planing to buy some meat to cook this Christmas.

Dec 17,2016

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 12:42 | 4158011 suteibu
suteibu's picture

I see deep, deep discounts. 

And a boon for Wal-mart and Dollar General.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 12:59 | 4158095 SubjectivObject
SubjectivObject's picture

Deep discounts for ammo?

Dream on.  Probably the only thing Wallofmart won't discount.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:35 | 4158467 Osmium
Osmium's picture

I picked up some Federal 9mm at Wally World the other day for $14.47/box.  Cheapest price I have seen in awhile.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:47 | 4158521 j0nx
j0nx's picture

Still utterly outrageous compared to a year ago.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 13:09 | 4158128 max2205
max2205's picture

Here's the shopping plan


Dine and dash

Flash mob at dept stores


Five finger discounts

Breaking into your house while you're at midnight xmas mass

Car hijacking

Apple picking

Ocare scamming

Bank hold ups

Home invasion


Sat, 11/16/2013 - 13:25 | 4160572 mkkby
mkkby's picture

Yep, avoid crowded stores/malls ESPECIALLY WAL MART during the holidays or you might just end up in a dangerous situation.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 12:48 | 4158012 yogibear
yogibear's picture

It's bullish in this market. It means more Fed QE by Bernanke and QEeen Yellen.

Wall Street layoffs coming should boost profits. Massive layoffs should send bullish signals to traders.

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 12:49 | 4158052 TheRideNeverEnds
TheRideNeverEnds's picture

I agree, this is super bullish news QEInfinity!!!!  I am surprised that we are only up a couple points.


I think most people are waiting for Yellen to announce her plans to quadruple QE. 

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 12:52 | 4158068 kralizec
kralizec's picture

More hookers & blow for the survivors.


Fri, 11/15/2013 - 14:44 | 4158504 Bindar Dundat
Bindar Dundat's picture

@KRALIZEC -- You must be a poker player.


Come to think of it the entire world is a freakin poker game!

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 12:46 | 4158033 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Does this mean I won't have a stocking stuffed with TWTR, FB shares and a banner that reades "S&P500 hits 2200"

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 12:46 | 4158034 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Moar "beating expectations" all the way down...

< meh > looks like lunchtime to me.

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