When a month ago the CEO of Wal Mart Americas told the world to "prepare for serious inflation", the Chairman laughed in his face, saying it was nothing a 15 minutes Treasury Call sell order can't fix (granted net of a few billions in commissions for JPM). 4 weeks later the Chairman is no longer laughing, having been forced to hike up his inflation expectations while trimming (not for the last time) his economic outlook. "U.S. consumers face "serious" inflation in the months ahead for clothing, food and other products, the head of Wal-Mart's U.S. operations warned Wednesday talking to USA Today. And if Wal-Mart which is at the very bottom of commoditized consumer retail, and at the very peak of avoiding reexporting of US inflation by way of China is concerned, it may be time to panic, or at least cancel those plane tickets to Zimbabwe, which is soon coming to us." In light of that perhaps today's words of caution from Wal Mart CEO Mike Duke will be taken a tad more seriously (yes, even with the $50 billion in "squatters rent" that the deadbeats spend on iPads instead of paying their mortgage: that money is rapidly ending). Warning is as follows: "Wal-Mart's core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried. "We're seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure," Duke said at an event in New York. "There's no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact." Tell that to Printocchio please.
Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in.
Lately, they're "running out of money" at a faster clip, he said.
"Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year," Duke said. "This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern.
Also remember that long-running joke from the NBER short bus that the recession ended in late 2009? Turns out they were just kidding, as well as blatantly lying.
Wal-Mart which averages 140 million shoppers weekly to its stores in the United States, is considered a barometer of the health of the consumer and the economy.
To that end, Duke said he's not seeing signs of a recovery yet.
With food prices rising, Duke said Wal-Mart is charging customers more for some fresh groceries while reducing prices on other merchandise such as electronics.
Wal-Mart has struggled with seven straight quarters of sales declines in its stores.
Here's an idea: how about we let someone with actual business experience, who runs the one company employing more people than even the Federal Reserve, Mike Duke, control US monetary policy for a few months and see what happens? Surely it can't get worse than what that other insane sociopath is doing, as with each passing day we are now moving closer and closer to a hyperstaglfationary conclusion, and even the collective cheerleading crew of Cottonelle bearing monkeys, half of whom were reading "Monetary Policy for TV Reporters" (just two steps down below idiots), from yesterday's FOMC conference are finally starting to realize this.