EC A Different Look Behind The Retail Apocalypse

This survey, while quite compelling in my mind, certainly isn’t conclusive. But I think it an important piece of the story for not just the retail apocalypse, applicable for more than just analysis of the state of Commercial Real Estate. It is this wide disconnect between what’s happening today and what is supposed to happen tomorrow (but never does) that we find in all things macro. Related factors like consumer confidence would apply in this fashion, where consumers are sky high, according to surveys, yet they are spending like it has been a depression (as shown on the charts above).

I guess the real question, then, is why does anyone still listen to Economists? You can understand why they receive attention in the media, since that is according to acceptable mainstream practice and the editorial standards that place more emphasis on credentials than anything legitimate. But why in a business setting where everything is eventually on the line do things like the useless Blue Chip Economic Survey still get passed around so readily when it comes time set future projections?

Corporate bonds and leveraged loans might be one answer, but there’s no way to really tell. It might just be the lack of alternative. I can’t help but think of Milton Friedman right before he passed away:

The difficulty of having people understand monetary theory is very simple—the central banks are good at press relations. The central banks hire people and the central banks employ a large fraction of all economists so there is a bias to tell the case—the story—in a way that is favorable to the central banks.

It sure hasn’t been favorable to the retail industry, meaning the whole economy.

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Beating Buffett 1 year ago Member's comment

While certainly many retail stores are suffering (#ToysRus immediately comes to mind), I do recall reading that many stores like #Macys were benefiting from a rebound and increased sales. $M