Guess The Mystery Chart

Tyler Durden's picture


This chart shows the year over year change in a very important data series. Guess what it is.

* * *

If you said the underlying data is comparable store sales for McDonalds in the United States, which just dipped by 1.4% - the most since the Lehman crash - then you were 100% accurate. That's right: in Q4 the American consumer, obviously "because of the weather" just said no to the biggest US diet staple.

In other words, the chart above shows close to the exact moment when Americans could no longer even afford to eat at the golden arches.

And now, as the economists say, "assume a recovery..."

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Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:31 | 4358862 VD
VD's picture

that's great!

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:35 | 4358882 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

That will turn around soon, it's the time of the year for McRibs, Shamrock Shakes and $1 fish sandiwches.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:42 | 4358913 pods
pods's picture

I don't know about y'all but I'm Luvin' it.

Maybe they could bring in the JCP ad people and then go Ghetto Fagulous.


Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:49 | 4358944 American34
American34's picture

That is the scariest chart I have seen in a LONG time. When people can no longer afford the dollar menu, the consumer is truly tapped. Game over man, game over.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:52 | 4358965 economics9698
economics9698's picture

EBT cards don’t work at McDonalds’ but they work fine getting frozen French toast sticks at the supermercardo.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:57 | 4358985 TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

I am 100% commited to never going to such a shitty food place ever again. Kind of sad because I bet McDonalds in the 60s wasn't too bad.

Today? Talk about just another company itching to fuck over its customers by any means necessary. Ever heard of 365 Black?  A whole website devoted to propagandizing apparently one of their largest consumers. Their videos they released doing urban "rappin'" about how mcdonalds is good food is nausiating.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:58 | 4358995 pods
pods's picture

They went Ghetto a couple of years ago.  Guess the clown didn't sell enough burgers?


Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:10 | 4359044 forwardho
forwardho's picture

Bout the time They began calling themselves "Micky D's"

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:28 | 4359110 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

The "McEscolar Sandwich" will be rolled out soon.

The 'smooth feel of this tasty fish sandwich sliding siding down your gullet...mmmmmm!'

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:40 | 4359161 Four chan
Four chan's picture

i thought that was a global freedom chart. carry on.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:06 | 4359541 SamAdams
SamAdams's picture

Meanwhile, those burger places that use real ingredients are booming (Whataburger for example).  Can you imagine what would happen if your state passed GMO labeling laws (gasp)?

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:26 | 4359634 Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

I'm imagining it now: everything will be labelled as GMO free - just like that meat in europe wasn't horse meat, until it was.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 18:11 | 4360414 Nick Jihad
Nick Jihad's picture

In Los Angeles, the ghetto is where you'll find FatBurger. Those are real burgers -  you'll have to wait at least ten minutes from the time you order before you'll be served.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:36 | 4359146 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Nice clownpimpwagon, but if you recall from the rollout of McDonaldland in the early 1970s (Mayor McCheese, Hamburglar, etc), Grimace was originally called Evil Grimace, and for good reason:

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:12 | 4359051 MrPalladium
MrPalladium's picture

Back in the '60s the big mac patties were 100% real beef and bigger than they are today, the sandwich cost 90 cents and a combo meal $1.25.

But back then America was an entirely different country except the elites had the same contempt for the core population.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:19 | 4359075 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



Actually, I remember McDonalds having a big advertising campaign in the early 70's that touted getting an entire meal (i.e., Big Mac, Fries, and a Soda) for less than a dollar.

And, as you say, back then, the burgers were actually high-quality.

[I miss those beef-tallow french fries...]


Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:25 | 4359093 fuu
fuu's picture

$1.25 in 1960 quarters is about $18.25 by melt value today.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:46 | 4359178 Fredo Corleone
Fredo Corleone's picture

Even $ 1.25 in pre-'82 Lincoln cents is worth ~ $ 2.75.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:18 | 4359316 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

I think McDonalds and our government have a lot in common

They're based on a Kroc

Their heyday was decades ago

They've supersized everything

They produced more than one Grimace

They focus on fat people

Their kids meals are all toys and no nutrition  

Their spokesmodel is a clown 

and their local leaders are nothing but cheese 



Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:15 | 4359295 Blano
Blano's picture

McDonalds was a treat back in the mid to late 70's because 1) the food was actually good, and 2) I had to drive 50 miles round trip to get to one.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:23 | 4359346 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

I remember the first time I went to a McDonalds. My folks took us to drive-ins so rarely that each visit sticks fondly in my memory. It was a big deal. When my dad pulled into McDonalds for a special treat on that day in the '60s when McDonalds had just opened its first drive-in in St. Paul you could get a hamburger, an order of fries and a shake for $1. That may seem quite reasonable, but chicken was about 29 cents a pound back then and my mother protested the visit as she kept an iron grip on the family finances, and she could have made us a similar meal at home for much less, though the shake would not have shown up on her dinner table. 

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:07 | 4359548 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

come one had that kind of money to blow in the 60s...we wuz raised in a hole in the road, forced to eat crushed glass and our father would come home at night and cut off our heads with a butcher knife....but if you try to tell that to the kids today they just won't belive you...

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:29 | 4359645 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

Oh, you were there.

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 05:06 | 4361929 limit_less
limit_less's picture

Classic Python

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:18 | 4359600 Frank N. Beans
Frank N. Beans's picture

I 'member from my childhood in the 60s we went through the Jack in the Box drive through and heard a voice coming out of Jack.  I got my own little bag of fries and it was deelish.  It was a treat back then.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 16:20 | 4360048 Bobportlandor
Bobportlandor's picture

Back in the 6's MC fries were the best hands down.

Under the arches was a running tally 1 billion burgers sold...2...3...4...5...6 up to as I remember 15 billion.

The joke was 1 billion served using 1 lb of meet.

Today I dare anyone to eat a burger patty by it's self and not to gag on the gummy greasy slop.


Best burger I ever had was at a small little building just large enough two have a grill under roof, at the corner of Santa Monica bl and Virgil street, LA.

Owner said it's all in the meat and anyone who puts anything on the burger is just trying to mask the poor quality. He was right.

Owner is now dead, a Mexican took over and now it's out of business.

I found another in Hillsboron Or. Called Helvetia tavern, Country road winding thru farm land standing all by it's self


Thu, 01/23/2014 - 18:08 | 4360400 Barking Seal Troll
Barking Seal Troll's picture

Haven't had a Char Grill in decades, but that was the best fast food burger I've ever eaten.

Spent some time in the Research Triangle, fell upon a Char Grill, and probably ate a hundred of them thereafter.

Last time I checked the web they were alive and kicking and would send you a care package, but it was only the uncooked meat or something like that.  Whatever it was I said "pass". 

Haven't been back to that region since then :(

Back on topic - didn't an expose on McNuggets show that they contained ~ 5% calcium carbonate (aka 'chalk' or TUMS if you want to paint the shiniest face on it) and 2% cardboard?

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:57 | 4359492 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



Depends on what state they actually do take EBT (I think there may be more states now.  I didn't down vote you btw just pointing this out). 

Fast Food Chains Getting Into the Food Stamp Act
Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:55 | 4358984 therover
therover's picture

It's because the dollar menu is now a buck 69

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:20 | 4359022 Rainman
Rainman's picture

...and the " burger patty " is now about 3 inches diameter of yuk !

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:13 | 4359052 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Maybe the drop in sales is down to this: people who tend to eat there, tend to die younger too?

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:46 | 4359183 Occams_Chainsaw
Occams_Chainsaw's picture

Just think how healthy the folks who can't afford cheap food and start starving will be.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:25 | 4359360 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

But the FedRes has 9 seconds to insert another quarter.

"My wife got the house and car, but I got the arsenal and guillotine."

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:48 | 4358949 economics9698
economics9698's picture

But, but, but you barbaric relic people don’t seem to understand McDonalds’ is an inferior good.  The peasants were simply switching away from McDonalds to Victoria and Albert’s (WDW-Orlando) with their wealth effect DJIA money.  /sarc

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:07 | 4359028 Zigs
Zigs's picture

So, what's the balance between heating your home or heating your gut?

That sucking sound isn't liposuction.  It's increased fuel costs for propane, heating oil and natural gas.

Another shoe dropping on an already fragile economy.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:07 | 4359032 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

The tragically but eponemously named Ghetto Die-t super sized itself and imploded....

The golden arches just sagged...


Thu, 01/23/2014 - 16:49 | 4360143 Kayman
Kayman's picture

Holy Cow ! ORI, holy cow.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:50 | 4359194 spankthebernank
spankthebernank's picture

bbbbbbbuuuut whhhat aaaaboutttt the moat?.....

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:18 | 4359320 AngelEyes00
AngelEyes00's picture

Ever drive from Austin, TX to San Antonio, TX?  There are a phenomenal number of M's on the way.  People are hooked on oil and Mcanything's even if numbers are down.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:37 | 4359407 Hal n back
Hal n back's picture

cattle prices up 30% since November

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:32 | 4358863 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture


Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:41 | 4358891 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

When you say "assume a recovery" you're not implying that we should all bend over and take it in the Hot Carl shorts, are you?

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:51 | 4358966 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

I'm a Cleveland Steamer Man, myself....

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:00 | 4359005 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

I heard the Tony Danza was a real hoot!

"When you are giving it to a chick from behind, you yell out "Who's the boss?" She'll get confused, turn her head around, at this moment, you donkey punch her in the face and then scream TONY DANZA!!!"

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:53 | 4358970 OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture

That big "M"?

Means 'Mediocre.'

The absolute height of mediocrity in American fast food.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:57 | 4358987 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

When you're selling salt, fat, and grease you have to wrap it in fancy styrofoam to make it look purdy.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 15:29 | 4359876 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

I don't understand.. if you add sugar, you have all four major food groups.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:32 | 4358865 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Less fat asses in 'merica?

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:37 | 4358885 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Oh there is one helluva diet coming to these fat fucks...folks better learn how to grow potatoes.


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