June 9, 2017

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (060917)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.



  1. Question, is this a sector disruption due to changing patterns of customer purchasing because of the internet OR is this an economic sign of the weakness in the retail sector in general?

    Moody’s: Number of distressed retailers tops total during financial crisis


    I suppose it could be both due to the idea that Americans are re-prioritizing their purchases due to the lack of high paying jobs limiting upward mobility and small wage raises being stuck in a particular job? Inflation is insidious, you must incrementally scale back purchases of discretionary items like non work clothes and shoes to maintain the non discretionary ones like rent and food.

    Comment by dscott — June 9, 2017 @ 9:09 am

  2. It’s definitely both. The Internet cannibalizing is real, but Zero Hedge recently noted that 80 percent of ALL store openings in the ENTIRE country this year are DOLLAR GENERAL stores.

    Comment by Tom — June 9, 2017 @ 9:18 am

  3. In addition to the internet shifting where purchases occur, there is also the drag on Disposable Income due to high college debt and the housing collapse. (a) Housing over-regulation led to govt interference in the market; a bubble that has burst. (b) The college debt bubble is showing signs the balloon is leaking. Apparently enrollments are down and surveys are showing an significant attitude-change in younger generations about college as a worthwhile Return On Investment.

    These two areas have inter-dependencies effecting the economy. The recovery from the housing bubble is not as strong as it could be. The young are delaying the traditional housing purchases due to college debt. They may even be delay car purchases due to college debut, see the rise of Uber.

    College over-subsidization — parents are expected to pay — has greatly distorted the natural market forces of the education industry. Administrative bloat at colleges is another swamp ripe for discussion and reform.

    Comment by Cornfed — June 10, 2017 @ 11:57 pm

  4. Well, SOMEONE has also built record vehicle loan debt too, and I think millennials have been a significant part of that, and their inability to genuinely afford it is why we see 72- and 84-month loans.

    Comment by Tom — June 11, 2017 @ 12:25 am

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