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The More Depressed And Broke US Consumers Are, The More Worthless Trinkets They Buy

Tyler Durden's picture


We last presented the chart below following the most recent UMichigan consumer confidence data. We update it for today's Conference Board update, which regardless of how one looks at the data, confirms that either consumer confidence, or retail data is being either massively manipulated, or there has been a revolution in mass psychology whereby the more depressed and hence broke a US consumer is, the more they shop. But going back to reality, this divergence is absolutely unsustainable, and we are certain that any and all calls by fly-by-night journalism majors calling for an end to the US recession, driven purely by an overhyped short covering rally in the stock market, will shortly, and mercifully, cease.


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Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:29 | 1808674 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Shopping for bug-out bags, bitchez.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:41 | 1808724 Divided States ...
Divided States of America's picture

Like I said, the US consumers have no money so they have to get cheaper and cheaper graded junk made in China. But for the overseas consumers, its heaven coming over here to shop with the weak USD to buy truckloads of high end stuff. Goes to show the divergence of the living standards and lifestyles between Americans and Chinese.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:42 | 1808753 idea_hamster
idea_hamster's picture

this divergence is absolutely unsustainable

Au contraire: this type of divergence is what we see prior to currency collapse -- everyone knows worse times are coming but they don't trust cash to help.

As long as the graph is US$-denominated, it could continue to diverge.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:07 | 1808885 dearth vader
dearth vader's picture

I think you've a point. People who are depressed buy more stuff to console themselves and, of course, they'll spend more today, if they expect their money to be worth less, if not worthless, by tomorrow. There were no savers on the Titanic, neither teetotalers. I guess, they tried to clean out the bar before the waves closed above them.

It's time to max out the old credit card. Paying back debt? Who cares?

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:09 | 1808940 Don Birnam
Don Birnam's picture

Worthless trinkets, thy name is...

Home Shopping Club ! Slice of low socioeconomic Americana, bitchez !

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 15:53 | 1809671 trav7777
trav7777's picture

i bought one of my gfs a tiffany necklace, so I did my part to hold up the economy, bitchez

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 17:42 | 1810107 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

I bought some weed, does that count?

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 16:26 | 1809834 ResFam
ResFam's picture

Best Gewgaws of all:

1) Rejuvenique Electric Facial Mask

2) Facial Flex

3) Mobile treadmill (Jogging on a treadmill... with wheels... that propels you forward... just like jogging)

Gewgaws & Debt Pushers:


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 14:36 | 1809339 Let them all fail
Let them all fail's picture

Most people don't think their money will be worthless, only those few which have paid close enough attention to realize the inflationary risks of printing, people spend because they can, so that makes no sense.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:11 | 1808838 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

Makes perfect sense. Booze and entertainment expenditures go up historically during times like these. So do suicide rates and invsolvency. The US consumer will shop well past their debt limits and will stop only when credit is completely cut off. This consumer mirrors the way the gov and the fed are living today -- the collective is diseased and insane and one of the main traits of this BPD is blaming the other for your disease/problems/extreme narcissism/etc. It all makes perfect sense. And the shit will hit the fan, as it always invariably does when structural issues are ignored for quick fixes and FOSness, guaranteed.


Solutions and well-being involve no drama and require intelligent discourse. When you are drowning in debt while exhibiting insane behavior of continuous shopping, you are drowning in drama, and vice-versa. When you are not addressing structural issues you are essentially exhibiting fucktard behaviour, and vice-versa. When sinking is confused for treading, there is, best case, a massive disaster on the horizon. 

Thu, 10/27/2011 - 12:05 | 1817473 billsykes
billsykes's picture

No it doesn't. Check all the major liquor brands and casino stock during the 08 depression- they went down.Everything went down, nothing is immune except black market goods and even they slowed.


But- having recently quit smoking and looking at recovering lost capital I checked out a couple of tobacco stocks- I like this one.-

Lorillard Inc.



Tue, 10/25/2011 - 20:25 | 1810532 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Area is being over run by pawnshops and antique shops selling stuff at 1 dollar versus 30 in walmart.


I see it as a great dumping of the good stuff by those who are "Weak Hands" I buy only what we need and store what we can use later.


Depressed? Hell no. Materialistic? Finished.


(As Rodney Dangerfield) Pass the Silver please.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:39 | 1808725 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

The concept of HARP is truly genius, but if our government officials are serious about boosting aggregate demand they need to introduce similar programs for other consumer goods. One idea would be to allow Americans to pledge any goods in their possession as collateral for low interest consumer loans from our government. Americans can then use these loans to finance further consumption, boosting retail sales and stimulating the economy. These new goods can then be used as further collateral to borrow even more money from the government. Of course this will require further monetary easing and bond purchases by our Federal Reserve to accommodate the increased spending, but I believe Dr Bernanke is up to the task. The end result will produce just enough of a boost to aggregate demand to finally kick start our consumer economy.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:53 | 1808820 spiral_eyes
spiral_eyes's picture

Absolutely M$B — the only true recovery is a consumption led one.

Unfortunately, America will be the thing consumed — by its creditors. 

I sense aggregate demand for a bloodbath.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:37 | 1809064 Zero Debt
Zero Debt's picture

Comrade, your plan is excellent yet it has a fundamental flaw, what if consumers decide not to take out these loans generously offered? They may be making decisions on the margin based on their own individual egoistic circumstances rather than the common good of the nation. Also, you assume that products are to be produced according to market demand. Market forces are inherently irrational and the "animal spirits" consistently leads to booms and busts. The solution must be to decide an appropriate level of aggregate demand and stick to it. Such conviction will increase economic confidence. The government should forcefully lead the way and pick the winners of the future with grand schemes, a close and intimate relationship with business leaders without scrutiny that may hinder quick implementation. You may for example set a production target of 5,000 steel bars per day, 10,000 tonnes of coal, 200 m2 of solar cells, whichever level is deemed to create sustainable employment in different glorious base industries for the sake of the nation. In this way you eliminate the uncertainty introduced by credit markets, consumer decisions and local leaders by creating a permanent level of aggregate demand. A stable production level will stabilize prices and lower unemployment. Therefore, federal intervention is not only desirable but essential to reinforce the dual mandate in the context of price stability. The central bank in each district may convene as deemed appropriate with industry leaders and production planners using operations research models to optimize the plans. The media plays the essential role of disseminating the plans promptly and frame the decisions in a positive and forward-looking manner to spur credit growth, purchasing decisions, housing purchases and lower inflation expectations across the bord so as to relieve us from transitory spikes induced by short-term speculation.</sarc>

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 15:38 | 1809599 trav7777
trav7777's picture

MiniTruth said we hit all of those production figures...exceeded them even

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 15:24 | 1809512 Stax Edwards
Stax Edwards's picture

This is pure genius.  

You know, our friends over at 33 Liberty could use someone with your keen insight.  You should really consider employment there, you would be hugely successful.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 15:30 | 1809546 HardwoodAg
HardwoodAg's picture

You're either one funny f**ker or the end product of the shallowest gene pool on the planet??

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:42 | 1808754 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Same thought as ZH, but expressed in Bloombergese: "Today's report shows surprising weakness with the index reading of 39.8 well under Econoday's consensus for 46.0. But weak consumer spirits haven't held back retail sales in the least, at least not in August and September."

Maybe the back-to-school season stimulated parents to actually spend a little on the little ones. 

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:03 | 1808888 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture



Why the fuck shop? Just get the fuck gone now.

I always find a certain level of preparedness silly. No one can prepare for the future, all you can do is react. When the shit hits the fan you best be ready to walk with whats in your pockets and the clothes on your back. You better have the kill or be killed mindset, cause ain't no one gonna wait for anyone to run home for their big ol bag of undies.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:52 | 1809115 poor fella
poor fella's picture

B.O.B.'s little sibling has to have a seat in the back, although, you might be fine with NOTHING to take except for the chonies you're wearing.

The 'Minimalist Survivor' technique - when the SHTF, nobody messes with a pissed off guy in his underwear looking for a fight.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 22:33 | 1810957 Andre
Andre's picture

You will be a cannibal in two weeks, if not dead before then.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:03 | 1808902 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

OT: It feels sleazy and dishonest to admit it here, but I bought 39,500 shares of NFLX at $73.89 in pre-market today.  The NFLX Schadenfreude yesterday on ZH was a little OTT, and I felt like joining Robo-trader for a day. 

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 15:29 | 1809542 Stax Edwards
Stax Edwards's picture

Excellent.  You sell today also?

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:29 | 1808677 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

I disagree.  Look at the major brewing companies.  The more depressed and broke they are, the more alcohol they consume.  Drinking is the curse of the working class after all.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:31 | 1808690 CClarity
CClarity's picture

And designer coffees and tea.

But today, they're also buying gold - trinkets, coins, ETFs, etc..

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:33 | 1808697 Shvanztanz
Shvanztanz's picture

That's just another form of short covering. As soon as I have to choose between booze and food, I'm going long on copper and building a still and boiling rice. 

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:34 | 1808706 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

I would drink to that assumption. Is it beer thirty yet?

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:38 | 1808723 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

One man's curse is another man's coping skill. If it wasn't for alcohol, and all the other diversions, society would be at each other's throats in times like these.

Instead, each of us hunker down knowing that ultimately, we're fucked, but at least it's not today. Besides, you may not even live that long.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:56 | 1808841 tahoebumsmith
tahoebumsmith's picture

And when they run out of Buds to keep the depression at ease, Benocide always seems to roll in on his horse just in the nick of time to bail everybody out and keep the party going.. Who needs trinkets just as long as we still got our Buds...

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:04 | 1808911 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Dude do you know what Vice investing is?

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:16 | 1808967 s2man
s2man's picture

Give wine to the poor, strong drink to the dying.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:31 | 1809030 CClarity
CClarity's picture

Double post. Apologies. A different vice ; )

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:32 | 1808678 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Paradox of Trinkets?

“The money complex is the demonic, and the demonic is God's ape; the money complex is therefore the heir to and substitute for the religious complex, an attempt to find God in things.” Norman O. Brown

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:30 | 1808680 Syrin
Syrin's picture

US consumers put Snooki into the celebrity category.   Seriously, what else would you expect?

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:30 | 1808685 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Only one thing comes to mind... WTF?!?

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:42 | 1808751 mr_sandman
mr_sandman's picture

80/20 rule on the distribution of income and spending.  If you make a large wealth transfer to those with the highest marginal propensity to consume (hint: the rich) and they normally make up 80% of the aggregate number, it doesn't take much more to compensate for the lower spending in the 20%.

Basically, these spending numbers are naturally weighted by wealth.  However consumer sentiment is not-weighted, but a strict 1-person/1-vote polling mean over the population.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:14 | 1808954 Village Smithy
Village Smithy's picture

Bingo, and that has been the bernak's plan all along. What he didn't account for is the increasing level of social unrest that this inequality is creating. He will continue with this plan unless the social unrest gets to unaccepable levels.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:46 | 1809107 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

He didn't account for it, only because he doesn't care.  Also, he will continue with his plan (print more) until he steps down from power, regardless of social unreast (which is actually a benefit, as it creates a mandate for change).

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:31 | 1808686 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

But marginal consumption drives things!  We HAVE to buy "worthless trinkets": NetFlix, Little Debbie, CROX and Cheetos.  The economy won't run on people buying cabbage, heating oil and firewood.  Or gold...


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:34 | 1808704 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

We will not transition to a savings based economy until the economy breaks. it is unavoidable at this point in time.  The paradigm of live for today will be broken and then things can rebuild from more solid foundation.  A foundation which was learn by direct experience, rather than from old stories taught by our dying grandmothers generation.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:38 | 1808714 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

Well said!  Got gold? 

Have you ever wondered why Ebay, etcetera, pump, pump and promote pulp paperback fiction, automotive, CDs and DvDs to the skies?  Every prompt is to buy those!  Every discount applies only to those categories.

No encouragement to buy precious metals, valued collectables, tents, tools or used stuff of good quality...


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:47 | 1808780 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

And for a brief moment in time, people will once again realize that Keynes' "Paradox of Thrift" is a completely asinine concept on its face, as they watch their savings build along with their society. But the likely remaining legal tender laws will undo this education over time, yet again, unless fractional-reserve debt-money schemes are finally allowed to die.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:32 | 1808695 eBuddha
eBuddha's picture

Hey Here's an idea -- because CRAZY seems to be all the rage now:

why don't we just figure out the average amount of money that would make everyone in the country whole and just give EVERYONE that amount of money.

i was appalled while the bubble was building to see everyone getting bigger houses, new appliances, etc and now they're all getting bailed out. meanwhile, i'm not getting any funds from anyone and my taxes and future debt interest payments via inevitably increasing taxes will go towards all this bailing out.

if we're going to go into debt to literally give idiots free cash - why not just give everyone free cash.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:36 | 1808718 optimator
optimator's picture

"Give everyone free cash".  Whaaaaaa, and cut out the middle man (Bankster)?

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:49 | 1808798 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

What he meant was, give everyone free credit from a bank. Because, as we all know, only banks can create money from credit.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 14:13 | 1809241 FinHits
FinHits's picture

Maybe Ben's Friendly Bank could branch out to mainstreet?

As a bonus, customers could opt for the modern classic: helicopter delivery?

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 15:56 | 1809682 trav7777
trav7777's picture

well you know that such a plan would be administered to give anyone prudent $0, because they don't need it, and the "disadvantaged" would be made nigga rich only to blow it overnight making it rain on strippers and buying LV and purple sizzurp.  I mean didn't we learn our lesson with FEMA cards?

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:33 | 1808698 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Desire circles around "worthless trinkets" to better avoid the thought of dying.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:50 | 1808808 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

And/or to avoid wasting precious money to pay off dead-beat lenders.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 16:11 | 1809751 andybev01
andybev01's picture

Nailed it.

We fill our lives with glorified notions like 'work', 'progress', 'success', etc...only to discover with your last breath that all of those things are avoidance measures.

Accumulating material goods and 'wealth' (whatever the hell that is), studying for and executing a profession for most people is just something to do between the cradle and the grave.

There is a kernal of truth in the old saying 'he who dies with the most stuff wins', except it isn't the 'wins' bit...

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:35 | 1808707 PositivelyNegative
PositivelyNegative's picture

Retail Sales figures arent adjusted for inflation..So its all inflation, mostly in the stuff we need..Food, energy, clothing...The top 20% earners(who are doing fine) account for the majority of spending, so they are carrying the load, while all the government handouts(soon to end) make up the rest as those people spend more on food, etc.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:35 | 1808709 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

Invest in:

1. Prozac;

2. whiskey companies (the cheap stuff); and

3. KY Lube.


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:35 | 1808710 Julien Sorel
Julien Sorel's picture


Dudley Moore: Yes, indeed. Do you feel you've learnt by your mistakes here?

Peter Cook: I think I have, yes, and I think I can probably repeat them almost perfectly. 


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:38 | 1808717 Incubus
Incubus's picture

I think it's a sort of reactionary process:  if banks and corporations can just reach their hands out for funds because they're "too big to fail" -- what happens when the consumer runs up debts and defaults on that shit?


That's right: show 'em who's boss in this pretend bullshit game. The rules got thrown out when the facade of a "free market" went down the drain--so there's no reason why anyone shouldn't play dirty. 

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:47 | 1808779 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Moral hazard is a bitch.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:39 | 1808722 FMR Bankster
FMR Bankster's picture

People buy what they have too (food, school clothes, gas) which are not inflation adjusted. Then they cut back on sevices consumption to offset their expenses. That's why consumption spending no longer tracks well with retail sales. Look for retail sales to collapse no later than January.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:39 | 1808726 YesWeKahn
YesWeKahn's picture

Tyler, I think you got it wrong. The retail numbers include foreign buyers, although the confidence number is all american or residents.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:45 | 1808766 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Yes, it's mostly German and Chinese tourists who are doing the buying in the USA--the malls just bus them in nowadays with bilingual guides.    

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:39 | 1808727 optimator
optimator's picture

If one is going belly up one may as well max the old credit card.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:43 | 1808756 TheSilverJournal
TheSilverJournal's picture

Yup, might as well go out with a bang and get the free stuff.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:41 | 1808741 0cz
0cz's picture

I send a mass text message at least once a week to all my contacts with a simple message:  'Stock up on non-perishable food while you can'. 

Judging by the prevelant response of 'Huh?  Why?  What's happening?' I have to believe that the majority of the population, at least the population I am in contact with, has no fucking clue what is happening and how their lives will change very soon. 

Most of these people are too busy posting pictures of their Halloween constumes on Facebook to realize they are going to be making rice and pinto beans a staple in the next few months to year. 

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 15:41 | 1809617 trav7777
trav7777's picture

in a year they will think you are just as crazy as they do now

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 17:18 | 1810037 xcehn
xcehn's picture

I think it has a lot to do with the way Americans are inculcated from day one that the US represents an exceptional nation and people, i.e., economic collapse is something that affects other countries.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:41 | 1808742 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

I think the real deal is that people that had money did not manage it for shit. They are depressed and want to buy stuff to pacify their retail fever.

There are tons of you, out there. Pharmacists, lawyers wifes, joe schmo spending like zombies.

THis has gone bad to worse. But, it will never end. enjoy the journey.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:58 | 1808850 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Mal-investment is not only present in the capital goods economy, but at the consumer level as well. It's hard to blame financially uneducated people for not understanding the false signals of prosperity that emanate from the Fed. While the housing bubble became obvious over time, at first it just seemed like the best way to get ahead, as the success stories of their family, friends and neighbors became commonplace.

Given that the amount of financial education available to most students consists of Budget 101 (and even that's flawed, as one cannot budget for varying losses of purchasing power over time), this reality is hardly surprising.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:43 | 1808744 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Brick and Mortar stores are literal ghost towns. You could film a Walking Dead episode in most stores in almost any city (excepting Washington D.C. and New York City - the capitals of parasitism that lives off of taxpayer blood) and no one would even notice.

Consumers are buying clearance priced goods and cheap trinkets online (and yes, many still eat out on Weekends, even now, as they did during the Great Depression) in a hollow attempt to lift their spirits WHILE the U.S. Ministry of Truth (Orwell would be amazed) massages every statistical data point, including retail sales - hey look, raise prices on what people NEED to live  and buy EVERY DAY by 8% a year [gasoline, utilities, food, medical care, etc.] while consumers cut back 7% a year on spending on more discretionary items, and there's some nominal growth!

On top of this, the retail numbers are mercilessly manipulated. Ask your friendly mall manager.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:44 | 1808761 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Your on it today, Truth :-)

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:53 | 1808771 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Even Apple same store sales were down by 9% last quarter (while Apple is now planning a slashing of prices 'growth' strategy going forward).

That should even send a red, flashing warning signal to the brain 'deadest' of people like RoboMomoLowLow.

Another point: Take away credit cards (and title shops, pawn shops and payday loan shops), and I guarantee that mass civil unrest would sweep the United States within two months, if not sooner. Don't even get me started about the 47 million SNAP card holders.


House of cards, bitchez.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 15:42 | 1809624 trav7777
trav7777's picture

need to get in on pawn and title biz...that is gonna be some serious acquisition of stuff business going forward

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 16:03 | 1809715 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 16:58 | 1809963 sellstop
sellstop's picture

Since I bought that Kindle I can't believe how much I have spent on "books". That is not a bad thing, reading. But it is like Coca Cola in the last century coming out with pop machines in order to get the product at arms reach of the consumer and make it easy to buy. It is working.


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:42 | 1808749 Jena
Jena's picture

Shiny objects, bitchez!

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:42 | 1808752 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

All part of the Japanification of America plan. I see a bull market coming in....trinkets shaped like bulls!

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 18:06 | 1810163 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

So the plan is to mold America into a homogenous society whose cultural values center around order and cleanliness, and an export driven-economy?  I'll believe it when I see it...

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:43 | 1808755 peteym80
peteym80's picture

I think those retial numbers include a false stimulus because many are people are not paying their mortgage. It would be nice deleting your housing cost. Now I can buy a new flat screen!

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:46 | 1808769 PositivelyNegative
PositivelyNegative's picture

Good point!

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:43 | 1808760 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

Jobless recovery...LOL and other Keynesian fantasies...

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:46 | 1808776 Incubus
Incubus's picture

don't forget the recoverless jobery, too:  stagnant wages for 40 years.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:46 | 1808772 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Alisdair Macleod (of the clan Macleod) nails it again. Love this guy. There can only be one. Does #OWS even know what they're doing, or just working for joints?


Macleod said:

"Firstly, it is a basic human right to choose to save without our savings being debased by the tax of monetary inflation. Those who are worst affected by this inflation tax are not the rich -- they benefit -- but the poor and the barely well-off, which is why monetary inflation undermines society and why the right to sound money should be respected. If government gives itself a monopoly over money, it has a duty to protect the property rights vested in it.

"Secondly, it is a basic right for us to own our own money rather than have it owned by the banks. For them to take our money and expand credit on the back of it debases it. It is an abuse of an individual's property rights and a banking licence is a government licence to do so. If anyone else was to do this, they would be guilty of fraud. Banks should be custodians of our money, and it should not appear in their balance sheets as their property."


Alasdair Macleod: Why sound money is a basic human right | Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:04 | 1808909 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Excellent speech.

Remember though, OWS is a collective, so it "knows" nothing. The only relevent question is how many individuals associating with the movement know what they're doing? (besides the non-leader meme spinning leaders, that is)

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 14:05 | 1809198 yogy999
yogy999's picture

Simply an awesome post. Thnaks gwar5


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 17:07 | 1810001 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

+ Quadrillion

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:48 | 1808773 DosZap
DosZap's picture

When you are not plannng on paying it back, tey could care less( I see the GREEK) mentality staritng to take over.

People are SICK or the Wall st crew, and Banksters steal us blind, and have decide 2 can play this game.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:48 | 1808790 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Eerie parallels to the 1930s: a dustbowl in TX, armies of out of luck consumers, a global financial crisis that keeps cascading down. 

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:49 | 1808795 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Look for retail sales to collapse no later than January.

I anticipate a bubble as well; factory orders from slave vendors in China are down, and forecasts have been cut by at LEAST 33%.

Amazon/EBay though going tomake a killing, as consumers who do buy want to slash and cut by any means.  The convience will help as well as the last thing the over-worked US consumer wants to do is deal with bullshit at the mall.  This will, in order to keep up with volume, result in US retailers slashing cost just ot move inventory, as supposed to making those nice profit margins around XMAS time they so covet.  Nevermind the effect of the usual "jobs on-jobs off" approach retail has been known to do around Sept-Jan of each year since the 1990s.

What happens when the consumer runs up debts and defaults on that shit?

Thanks to our friend Orrin hatch, who (along with Biden) sided with MBNA-written legislation to make bankruptcy harder (creating the serfdom state we live in today), it is 100x's harder to default on debt except for one way:


Like, if Anonymous started an #OPCreditCard campaign, and got 1m, 5m, even 10+m people to say, "Fuck this, I ain't paying your bill with the exploitative interest rate anymore!" and actually did it.....I think it would create a rolling thunder effect that would be incredibly lulzy.  And effective; what would the governemnt do then, considering debt prisons are supposedly banned in the USA.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:30 | 1809035 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I see a debt revolt as the only form of Jubilee that can work. Right now, those millions are paying the CC bill trying to protect their credit score. At some point though, a credit score is of little value, as they are already too deep into debt to utilize it, other than refinancing it at a lower rate. As time passes and things get worse though, the refi option eventually disappears, leaving a debtor with little reason to continue to pay.

Align the interests of a few million of these maxed-out people, and suddenly, leverage appears.

So... perhaps it's time to introduce this meme to the OWS crowd? Or will that be the trigger to start busting heads?

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 14:01 | 1809177 RichardENixon
RichardENixon's picture

Damn. I'm gonna miss all those great commercials.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 15:32 | 1809558 Julien Sorel
Julien Sorel's picture

Yes. (Though whispers make their way through the halls and institutions like wildfire or plague.)

We can only help them help themselves. (And, I believe the kids would be quite receptive. It's non-violent, after all, they won't guillotine a thing.)


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 15:04 | 1809447 poor fella
poor fella's picture

Somewhat on-topic of getting 'X' amount of people to say, "FUCK THIS" - I watched the movie 'Sir, No Sir!" last night and was amazed at how large and vociferous the anti-Vietnam voices were within the military. This period was a little before my time, but seeing soldiers imprisoned in Vietnam and then burning a prison down in revolt was new to me. As well as soldiers fragging their superiors..  whoa.

Here's a blurb from the movie's website [my emphasis]:This is the story of one of the most vibrant and widespread upheavals of the 1960's–one that had profound impact on American society, yet has been virtually obliterated from the collective memory of that time.

I suggest people watch this, the parallels are revealing to the depths the media, government, and the beneficiaries of the status quo will go to silence The Majority..

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 16:54 | 1809940 sellstop
sellstop's picture

It hasn't been obliterated from memory. Just shouted down.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 17:36 | 1810090 poor fella
poor fella's picture

Would be hard to shout down a movement or large mass of people. Perhaps once the 'loss' was counted by the powerful, we were able to 'move on' too easily. By not holding those responsible fully accountable, we never learned anything about the wrongs in our system. By not learning from crisis and having a real (or ANY) perp-walk if applicable - we will repeat the wrongs and protest those wrongs over and over. While those with the least power will lose a small foothold every iteration.

We will be seeing more resource and ideological wars of empire until the endgame. It's up to the people to call BULLSHIT and not put up with this crap. BULLISH Disobedience!

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:50 | 1808809 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

NFLX blames OWS and the Tea Party for his own stupidity...LMAO:

"Twice in the interview, Mr. Hastings linked the hostility toward Netflix’s price change and proposed breakup to the angry mood of the country, even citing the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement by name."

Typical...blame anyone (and everyone) else for your own mistakes.


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:51 | 1808811 Dick Darlington
Dick Darlington's picture

It's all inflation. Remember, retail sales figures are not adjusted for price changes.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:00 | 1808875 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

They're allegedly adjusted for inflation, but the methodology used by the BLS & Fed is tragically flawed, and doesn't come close to capturing the true portion of 'sales' that were produced from simple inflation.

Here's a stellar example of this horrid system at work (citing a real world example):

Calculated Risk: Real Retail Sales
Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:51 | 1808814 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

"...any and all calls by fly-by-night journalism majors calling for an end to the US recession, driven purely by an overhyped short covering rally in the stock market, will shortly, and mercifully, cease."


History has proven you should never, ever underestimate the length and depth of unadulterated sheer shilltardology the MSM will blindly pump to the sheeple masses. (i.e.-read: Buy Bear-Stearns, by one soundboard punching uber-idiot)

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:51 | 1808815 Carlyle Groupie
Carlyle Groupie's picture

"The More Depressed And Broke US Consumers Are, The More Worthless Trinkets They Buy"

Should I say it? Oh ok.

Thank you from China!

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:53 | 1808829 GubbermintWorker
GubbermintWorker's picture

My newest trinket.....a Russian Saiga 223.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 18:45 | 1810282 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

12 ga.   Up close and personal, hard to miss with 00

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:56 | 1808842 pauhana
pauhana's picture

Been buying ammo and canned goods.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:57 | 1808851 BurningFuld
BurningFuld's picture

Humm people could be buying meaningless things like better schools, improved transport systems, cutting edge medical and technology research, but that would just be some Socialists wet dream. Continue buying worthless crap everyone! Forward Hoe!

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:12 | 1808948 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

How can people buy those things when they've all been collectivized and purchased for us, in some Bizzaro World Socialist's dream?

Do you really not understand how socialism has destroyed our free choice? Do you really believe these flaws could exist in a free society, rather than a Socialist Hell on Earth?

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 16:51 | 1809929 sellstop
sellstop's picture

I hear that 1890's were the paradise years in this country. Yea, good years. If you were J.P. Morgan. Then it all went to hell. And look what happened. Roads, cars, airplanes, heart stents, Viagra, steaks on the BBQ, telephones, computers, the internet, and don't forget Dunkin Donuts! Yea, this socialist trend has been a disaster.


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:59 | 1808858 unionbroker
unionbroker's picture

relative works for the California gov in their dept they let most of the people go and now are asking those that are remaining to take wage cuts

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 12:59 | 1808859 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

You know that old saying:  "When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping"

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:00 | 1808871 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

I need to buy a gun.....will that go down in price for holidays?

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:17 | 1808970 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Doubtful. A local auction last week of an estate of a gun collector saw all guns go at retail or higher.

Other things he collected were Native American artifacts, gold and silver. So, while all valuation is subjective, it is certainly recognizable if you know what to look for.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:42 | 1809080 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Generally, there are sales on commonly used hunting rifles prior to deer season...  you might find some common handguns close to cost in various deals, but generally speaking, the deals are subtle (springfield's present promotion for free mags is about the extent of it).  Margin in the gun business, on generic guns, is nil...  often times, you can catch guns from the major e-tailers as cheap or cheaper than you can from wholesalers...  same thing happened with computer components.  Class 3 is a different ball of wax...  as are custom guns...  but these are a much smaller part of the market.

What type of gun were you "needing?"  Home defense?  Plinking?  SHTF?  Long range?  Spray and pray?  Concealable?

PS, gunbroker is also a good look...

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:01 | 1808876 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Everybody buying beans bullets and band aids is what's keeping the economy afloat.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:02 | 1808887 El Viejo
El Viejo's picture

Spending tends to remain constant.

Its kinda like going bald. the amount of hair tends to remain constant. (hair length, beard etc.)

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:33 | 1809049 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Don't forget the additional back, chest and neck hair. ;-)

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:45 | 1809101 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Na, it remains constant, like he said...  your head goes bald and it ends up on your back and ass.  Definitely intelligent design.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 18:26 | 1810222 Jena
Jena's picture


Pssst, check your ears.  For some reason, it finds its way there, too. ;)

 (Women have plenty of their own issues.)


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:04 | 1808890 homegr0wn
homegr0wn's picture

Seems to be a correlation between when students receive their loan money and when retail sales spike. Weird, eh?

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:03 | 1808897 NDXTrader
NDXTrader's picture

Anecdotal: A girl that lives in my building recently lost her job at a big Chicago law firm where she was making $265,000/year. In the past 6 months she has taken at least 3 extended Carribean vacations, a European month long vacation, bought a new Range Rover, has packages delivered literally every day from Nordstrom, Zappos, etc...and the other night told me she had blown through about $100,000 in those six months, but still had "some" money leftover. When I asked her what her plan was she said "That she had worked hard for 8 years and wanted to enjoy the time off"...then she said it was no big deal because she figured she could get a job pretty easily when she ran out of cash. We moved on to talking about who she was voting for on Dancing With the Stars

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:20 | 1808984 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Her likely plan: parents.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:50 | 1809117 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Sounds like she'll be living with them while going back to school for her MRS. degree...

I stayed the fuck away from romantic interests with prospective women lawyers...  in my experience they're either completely sexually inept or mean enough to back down a grizzly bear and desperately try and prove they can.  Best of luck to whomever she tracks down and clubs over the head.  Hope he likes to wear a saddle.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 18:44 | 1810273 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

There's always another option........ though wih all the attorneys being laid off lately ther market for dominatrixes is getting crowded.  

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:26 | 1809013 TheLooza
TheLooza's picture

fuck. that girl is doing what I'm planning on doing too.  Except instead of shoes, I'm buying overpriced puts.  same result.  buy them, go out for a while. get fucked.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:38 | 1809068 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

You've got to realize that this isn't a market, or a casino, but a scam. All you're doing by playing is to continue to feed the beast.

Jamie Dimon laughs at your efforts as his pockets get fatter.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 15:48 | 1809653 trav7777
trav7777's picture

she's screwed because she got bounced off the partner track at the end of the rail.  That's a huge issue because other firms aren't going to put her on it.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 16:44 | 1809909 sellstop
sellstop's picture

Just curious. What color is her hair?


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:05 | 1808917 stant
stant's picture

yep cheap wolf 223 and evan williams instead of knob creek. the good stuff i keep hid

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:22 | 1808997 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I bought 1000 rounds of wolf one time. I could't stand firing that stuff through my gun. I fired about 200 rounds and sold the rest. I haven't touched is since.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:51 | 1809124 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

great for aks bad for ars...  if you're gonna pony up the cheese for a decent AR, why not throw brass through it?

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 14:08 | 1809214 Vergeltung
Vergeltung's picture

yep. my AKs eat anything.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:21 | 1808988 Cone of Uncertainty
Cone of Uncertainty's picture

I don't what is more embarrasing, the dumb shit joe fuckface buys on a daily basis, or, Anthony DiClementi's $125 price target on NFLX, that he came out with TODAY!!!


Hey Anthony, you muther is calling for you.


Hahahah, nice call buddy!!

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:22 | 1808998 Fourth Horseman...
Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse's picture

Alan Greenspan once said that cares not what consumers believe but what they do.  This statement is one of the few things Alan and I agree on.  American consumers will spend until they are told not to spend.  September saw good retail sales and auto numbers.  The view of October is good again for autos and a good Halloween season.  Meanwhile, we see credit card debt slowly rising and savings falling moderately faster.  The October consumer sentiment numbers may just reflect fatigue with three years of slow or no growth.  It may reflect a delayed reaction to the fall in the stock market.  So far, it does not reflect a slowdown in spending.  


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:30 | 1809019 Bob
Bob's picture

When is somebody going to break out consumer confidence differentiated by income level? 

The top 5% is doing 37% of the consuming . . . perhaps they are the people we should be looking at to figure this shit out. 

Has anybody else noticed that television commercials now almost exclusively pitch upscale products? 

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 16:42 | 1809899 sellstop
sellstop's picture

That is where the biggest margins are. The can afford to advertise. The Walmarts of the world are selling "commodities" with inelastic demand...


Wed, 10/26/2011 - 00:28 | 1811273 JMT
JMT's picture

That means that the 'other 95%' is doing the rest of the 60%+ of 'consuming'.. And most of it is being done on credit cards anyway, that and student loan money .

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:30 | 1809031 Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

Wait... Silver Maple leaf(s) are worthless trinkets??

Since I have been broke and depressed over the last 2 and a half years... that is what I have been buying...

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:30 | 1809034 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

what else are people supposed to with all the money not going to pay the fraudulent mortgages

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:32 | 1809044 Cranios
Cranios's picture

Perhaps bullion purchases qualify as "retail spending"?

That would break the paradox.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 13:45 | 1809100 zebra
zebra's picture

Americans are well-known to consume to feel good, espeically when feeling depressed..


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 14:18 | 1809259 peekcrackers
peekcrackers's picture

 My dirty trinket secret   ... New reality TV show this spring.



Tue, 10/25/2011 - 14:19 | 1809266 Cone of Uncertainty
Cone of Uncertainty's picture

75% of people driving the retail sales numbers are flush with cash.

75% of survey repsondents don't have a fucking job.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 14:30 | 1809314 wang (not verified)
wang's picture

take my car, take my house but don't take my iPhone for in it I find fulfillment

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 15:27 | 1809524 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

there once was a time i had lot's of principle's,... now my only interest is maintaining my sanity

a real life gutter ball that ironically gets you a spare-strike in the debt column 

time to move the house to another alley

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 16:38 | 1809886 sellstop
sellstop's picture

Consumer confidence has been going down since 1996? I wonder what consumer confidence would look like if the $US had been going up since then. S&P sideways since then so it's no wonder......

I actually think that the S & P may do a major upmove over the next few years. The talk is so bearish that it should be in the gutter, not at breakeven for the YTD.....

That would be the black swan, wouldn't it!


Tue, 10/25/2011 - 17:01 | 1809978 crosey
crosey's picture

We spend, because that's what we do.  We do not save.  We deny ourselves nothing.  We are stuck in a big rut.  Shopping makes us feel good because of a false sense of prosperity it gives.

I had a refreshing conversation with my youngest...he's 23...and pretty damned frugal.  I applaud him.  However, I still cannot persuade him to realize that the approaching train wreck is the only corrective first step left.  We've ignored logic, so we're left with tragic.

Tue, 10/25/2011 - 18:40 | 1810264 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

If you're going to go bankrupt anyway, might as well max out the credit cards.......   the banks are so damn greedy they're still sening out new card offers even as hey're cutting limits on existing cards.    I'm getting a half dozen offers a week.

Wed, 10/26/2011 - 00:26 | 1811230 JMT
JMT's picture

Yes, I was on my way there up until 2008 when I lost my job and was over $75,000 in credit card debt. I was able to pay much of it off and now only have about $15,000 or so outstanding on the cards.

As I say, it is & was typical for the 20-35 year old demographic --- after student loans they just turn to credit cards --- I only took $20,000 in student loans that were paid back since they can never be discharged in bankruptcy. I was literally throwing around $2,000 a month out the door on credit card payments back then.

My expenses were probably about the same in total as now (around $7,000 a month or so ) but I was just burning up available credit on those 'must have' discretionary items. I think I was about $40,000 in debt back in 2005 and then the balances just kept growing

Wed, 10/26/2011 - 00:01 | 1811221 JMT
JMT's picture

RE: From this post

Anecdotal: A girl that lives in my building recently lost her job at a big Chicago law firm where she was making $265,000/year. In the past 6 months she has taken at least 3 extended Carribean vacations, a European month long vacation, bought a new Range Rover, has packages delivered literally every day from Nordstrom, Zappos, etc...and the other night told me she had blown through about $100,000 in those six months, but still had "some" money leftover. When I asked her what her plan was she said "That she had worked hard for 8 years and wanted to enjoy the time off"...then she said it was no big deal because she figured she could get a job pretty easily when she ran out of cash. We moved on to talking about who she was voting for on Dancing With the Stars


It is similar with most of my neighbors...  I live about 10 miles outside of Boston in what would be considered a working class blue collar area where it still costs over $2,000 a month to rent an apartment...  All of my neighbors are similar to the above and it makes me sick.  I scrimp by on just less than $100,000 a year, expenses come close to $7,000 a month (I am single with no wife, child or parent to support) and don't have much extra to spend on clothes, a new SUV every year and $200 a week for booze.


Wed, 10/26/2011 - 00:02 | 1811222 JMT
JMT's picture

RE: From this post

Anecdotal: A girl that lives in my building recently lost her job at a big Chicago law firm where she was making $265,000/year. In the past 6 months she has taken at least 3 extended Carribean vacations, a European month long vacation, bought a new Range Rover, has packages delivered literally every day from Nordstrom, Zappos, etc...and the other night told me she had blown through about $100,000 in those six months, but still had "some" money leftover. When I asked her what her plan was she said "That she had worked hard for 8 years and wanted to enjoy the time off"...then she said it was no big deal because she figured she could get a job pretty easily when she ran out of cash. We moved on to talking about who she was voting for on Dancing With the Stars


It is similar with most of my neighbors...  I live about 10 miles outside of Boston in what would be considered a working class blue collar area where it still costs over $2,000 a month to rent an apartment...  All of my neighbors are similar to the above and it makes me sick. They are all in their early 20's, I am in my mid 30's and only drive a 2008 Honda Accord with 30,000miles on it and most of my clothes come from Macys or Banana Republic.  I scrimp by on just less than $100,000 a year, expenses come close to $7,000 a month (I am single with no wife, child or parent to support) and don't have much extra to spend on clothes, a new SUV every year and $200 a week for booze.


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