What "Rosy" Job Numbers? Wal-Mart CEO Slams Recovery Mirage

Tyler Durden's picture

When the CEO of the world's biggest company doubts the veracity of US economic data, you know you have a problem. After quarters of disappointing growth in the face of miraculous equity market performance; Wal-Mart CEO Bill Simon warns that shoppers aren’t returning at the pace one might expect years after the recession peaked, despite mainstream media interpretation of the data showing unequivocal growth. Simply put, he exclaims, "the unemployment numbers particularly have been difficult to read with the number of people dropping out of the work force," adding that if we see a further drop in the participation rate it would fit with the fact that "middle-class and lower-class are still economically challenged, only spending during holidays and for family occasions," adding that traction has only come at the top-end.



CNBC: "The US unemployment rate fell 6.1%. but walmart sales and traffic has been pretty sluggish. what's going on? where's the disconnect?"

Wal-Mart CEO: "I think the economic numbers - unemployment numbers particularly have been difficult to read with the number of people dropping out of the work force - and I think it's going to take a while - six months or a year - for those numbers to balance out. You'll see drop in the rate, and then - as more people come back into the workforce - that might change again. Hopefully after six years we start to gain traction in the US. That traction is coming at the top end but I think the middle down is pretty challenged.

CNBC "Is that the problem with sales, your consumers don't have as much disposable income to spend?"

Wal-Mart CEO: "Yes - Retail in general has not been robust in the last six years, in the last year particularly."

*  *  *

“This is obviously an economic problem,” said Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global. “Wal-Mart is a big bellwether, so it’s worth looking at to understand what’s happening.”

*  *  *

This is not a tin-foil-hat-wearing blogger or ranting Chicagoan (or former GE chairman) - this is the current CEO of the world's largest revenue-producing firm casting doubt on the reality of the jobs picture the government is painting and furthermore confirming things are anything but back to normal...

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Roger Shermanator's picture

The goverment's solution? Create more holidays and family occasions.

Duffminster's picture

Perhaps Wallmart should boost their wages and set an example for other companies.  Then the working and middle class would have a bit more to spend at Wallmart.

Did anyone see the article at the Financial Times

Short selling drops to lowest level since Lehman



Is this bullish or bearish?

Da Yooper's picture

The Ford Motor Company of retail




Is that bullish or bearish ?


I just replaced the rear leaf spring mounts on my van because they rusted away.

not good

ZerOhead's picture

I'm surprised that Obama hasn't sent Walmart some BLS accountants to help them massage their numbers.


Nothing would trigger a stampede faster than a couple of quarters of declining sales. Especially to the sporting goods section where they sell the ammo...

El Oregonian's picture

Nothing but a big fat joke! The economy is dead. The future prospects are bleak. Our leaders are all lying. Stick a fork in it, we're done, folks...

economics9698's picture

Duffminister Hoover boosted wages, worked real well.  /sarc

SF beatnik's picture




Especially to the sporting goods section where they sell the ammo...



What ammo?  Here in CA try finding .38, .357, .22LR. Nowhere to be found. Feds buy it all, now. Don't want you to have any. 


mkkby's picture

A couple of months ago I bought 2 of those callibers at walmart.  They had plenty and I wasw the only one shopping that section.

NoPension's picture

If they found a way to consistently keep their ammo shelves stocked ( .22, .223, 9 mm, .45), that alone would probably level off the numbers.

Salsipuedes's picture

And a kush kiosk! (None of it will help but it might make it more memorable.)

crazybob369's picture

AAAAAAAAARGH!!! You people drive me crazy with this Walmart/McD/Exxon/fill in blank, should do this, or do that and we'd all live happily everafter. Company's do what they do based on consumer demand. Consumers demanded cheaper and cheaper crap that Walmart,etc. happily provided by going overseas (China) and paying local workers the least they could get away with. WE ASKED FOR IT! Want to blame anyone, look in the mirror if you shop at Walmart. If you don't, look at pretty much any random person you walk by, I guarantee you that they do. We did this to ourselves. We screwed ourselves in the butt, now we complain that it hurts. What did you expect?

ZerOhead's picture

The current situation is way beyond anything that can be "helped'.

It's tear-it-down and redesign it time.

P.S  End the Fed.

Salsipuedes's picture

'Tis all terribly sad and painfully true. (Except the Fed part).

SF beatnik's picture

We have WAY too many people for private sector work to be decently monetized.

Hence, millions of Americans working p.t. for minimum wage. Means no discretionary income.

And Obama lets in MORE uneducated, unskilled people to fight over shit jobs? WTF? Is this a deliberate effort to destroy our nation?


daveO's picture

Yes. It reminds me of the Cuban boat 'crisis' when Carter was in office. It's been done before.

mkkby's picture

BINGO... WE HAVE A WINNER.  Yes, there are way too many people than there can ever be useful work.  In the US it's probably 2:1.  Globally more like 10:1.

Watch out for that walmart CEO asshole.  All he's doing is complaining his customers (ie free shit army) need an increase in benefits.  How can this poor honest businessman increase his sales if welfare queens don't get regular raises.  /s

daveO's picture

Corporate Congressional whores gave them MFN in 1999. Along with the '2 for the price of one'(yes, he said that) Clintons. How many times did the Chinese rep's sleep in the Lincoln bedroom? The sheeple went right along with the lower prices as long as they had jobs. Oops. 

Mike in GA's picture

 "Is this bullish or bearish?"



Cruel Aid's picture

Import Walmart customers. The new lower and middle class are being processed as we write.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Well that may help the permethrin cream and Rid sales but I'm not sure if they can afford it. I guess we need another subsidy. I'm sure Walmart won't protest the idea.


Cruel Aid's picture

Oh walmart benefits directly from free money. Not the dow 17k effect but the ebt effect.

Free now pay later... holy shit Batman this time its different.

Ebt comes in the welcome packet.


TheRedScourge's picture

They would make a decent profit with or without the existence of the EBT program. Don't shoot the messenger.

Mitzibitzi's picture

I'll go you one better; they'll pass a law stating that anyone holding funds or unused hard assets in excess of a few hundred dollars value for a consistent period of, say, 90 days, is amassing funds for anti-capitalist / anti-government purposes. Then they'll be 'visited' by an agent and given maybe 72 hours to spend/dispose of them in a commercially beneficial fashion (which will be defined as you have to walk into a store and buy new shit - no second-hand, yard sale, ebay, etc allowable!). If you don't do so in the allotted time frame, and produce a pretty convincing receipt to prove it, the funds and assets will be subject to immediate seizure as a penalty for non-compliance.

Just you wait. Something along those lines in in the pipe, I betchya!

Duc888's picture



Wait till interest rates spike.  He's gonna get a Chinese enema.

pupdog1's picture

An hour later, he'll want another one.

GoldRulesPaperDrools's picture

LOL!!! Okay, so I gotta ask ... how is a Chinese enema different from a regular one?  Do they use hot soy sauce instead of water? ;)

buzzsaw99's picture

WalMart, the leader in gutting America like a fattened hog. Then, when the going got rough they turned into the biggest welfare baby on the planet top to bottom. Get fucked MalFart.

Da Yooper's picture

other people will soon run out of "THEIR" own money


Then China mart be really fucked


They going to learn they cant do business with people who have no MONEY $$$$$$$

laomei's picture

China has a play it is currently in the process of making.

"China mart", sells garbage for export because that's what the importers demand at rock bottom prices which result in razor-thin profits for the actual makers.  The parasitic importers then slap a sticker on it, apply brand pricing standards to it and charge a healthy 10x the import cost.  A "sale" might be cutting that markup to a mere 5x cost.  As a result of this, China really does not have much care for the US export market.  But... what if factories make higher quality, sell it direct under their own brand at a mere 2~3x cost?  That's what is happening now.  The parasites are screwed.

Salsipuedes's picture

That would be lovely. Except, how much shit of any kind do we really need?

laomei's picture

You fail to understand... the whole "american way of life" is based on acquisition of shit.  Down to the oversized homes made of cardboard designed explicitly to store the surplus shit.  When that is overloaded, there are even shit-storage units.. that's an actual sector.  After ther 70s when things started going to hell, there was a push to get dual-income seen as normal... to supplement this buying of shit.  Once that failed to keep up it went to credit cards, then to HELOC.  You see, failing to buy shit means failure to "keep up with the Joneses", which means "you're poor".  Americans simply cannot afford domestic shit anymore, offshoring it allows for it to go unnoticed by most.  The big brands see crazy profits, the consumer gets to keep living the lie.  What happens when the brands, who are nothing more than parasitic middle men get cut out? You see, the US economy literally relies 100% on people buying shit they do not need.  There will be another "new normal" as direct sales become more common, allowing for lower prices and then it gets interesting.  In the 80s it was all about Japanese cars getiing rebadged as domestic... and the end result was the death of the US makers once the rebadging ended.  You'll be seeing the deaths of many US brands in the near future.

daveO's picture

You can find examples on Ebay. The Chinese are selling many things directly, now. It won't take long for the Corporate Congressional whores to propose tariffs, now. Now that there's no real domestic competition.

laomei's picture

It's really easy to circumvent tariffs though, I mean, really easy.  To the point that the costs associated with attempting to enforce them will exceed any revenue gained.  Furthermore, it would only encourage direct shipping, of which some would get caught and taxed, and most of it not.  The perception then shifts from blaming the brand for high prices, to the government for essentially stealing money.  The entire sector is going to be cannibalized and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it really.

Dr. Engali's picture

I think there is a lesson in there somewhere.

stormsailor's picture

must be yogi berra day,  if you come to a fork in the road, take it.

grunk's picture

"We aren't getting enough government money."


Dear Billy boy- when your workers can't even afford to shop in your own stores, then you've got a problem I'd say. 

Chuck Knoblauch's picture

It will be someone else's problem.

pupdog1's picture

Nice try at diffusing focus from how you changed what was a good/great store chain 15-20 years ago into total devil-spawn shit today.

You got rid of every  quality product you used to sell, and replaced them with ching-a-ling crap that's defective right out of the box.

And two checkstands open for a store the size of a goddam football field.

All of which goes to the bottom line--your bonus.

It's not complicated Bill, you two-bit grifting ponce.

The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

How long before there are no employees in the stores? Shopped at Large grocery store earlier one of those huge MFs and there were a shitload of people shopping n like hardly anyone working there. If I could figure out how to weigh and measure fruits and veggies I could check out on my own. Gonna start growin em myself that would be easier...

franzpick's picture

How long before there are no SHOPPERS in the stores? is the question.

Except on bi-weekly paydays and the monthly midnight EBT crowd,  our WalMex empty aisles now look like a bomb scare.

WMT store racks have shown many empty shelf spaces since 2009: I told the manager then how bad it looked, and he explained then that WMT had eliminated their in-store warehouses, and were saving money by relying on "Truck-to-Shelf" delivery.

Worse, our likely-soon-to-be-closed WMT sits right next to the biggest, closed, defunct, ghost retail store anyone has ever seen - the relatively new, 8 year old, desert cities CA, Sam's Club, closed 4 years ago after the post-Lehman retail collapse.

Closing our failing WMT, adjacent to the already closed Sam's Club, razing the 2 buildings and clearing the parking lot fixtures - would provide already paved space for a new desert cities metropolitan airport.

To bring in 1000s of disadvantaged latin american children per day, for processing at the nearest ICE center

pupdog1's picture

I hope your new airport has ebola scanners.

nmewn's picture

CNBC: "The US unemployment rate fell 6.1%."

First issue in the CNBC Most Retarded Mirage Challenge Question posing as a statement of fact is...

...what is U-6?

(Its 12.1%,)

Termin8or's picture

dronning near Bentonville coming in 5.... 4... 3.... 2....

sethstorm's picture

...and not a thing of value was lost.

AcidRastaHead's picture

I choke-laughed at the picture before I even saw the headline. Then after I read the article and saw that people are saying "hey, I don't think things are as good as they're represented to be, well then I sigh-laughed.