Friday, November 25, 2005

Black Friday: Consumerism Unleashed

Today is Black Friday. According to Wikipedia "Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, is historically one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year. Many consider it the "official" beginning to the holiday season. ... Most retailers will open very early. "

The above picture shows crazed shoppers fighting in a Walmart story in Orlando, Fl [ a bubble city] . CNN has this story. Minimum credit card payments are about to rise.

Will this be a solid holiday retail season for retailers? Will consumers refinance again to fuel one more materialistic binge? Will fears of a housing bubble, high home heating costs and new bankruptcy laws curtail spending? Will consumers continue to spend more then they earn? How much debt will be raked up on those credit cards?


  1. Got up this morning at my ussual time
    had breakfast, went to the gym. Looked at the ad blitz from my Hartford Courant (thursday) did not want to fight the traffic to the mall east side of the Connecticut river. Drove by the K Mart in Vernon CT, totally mobbed- came home and made some great dinner, along with Vodka Martini's and relaxed. Do I really need this stuff they are peddling?

  2. "The "black" in the name is a spoof of the term "black Tuesday" of the 1929 stock market crash."

    This isn't correct. It is called "black Friday", because it is the start of the retail comanies from operating in the red (or in debt) to being profitable (in the black). Almost all news articles talking about today gave the above as the explanation of why it is called "black Friday".

    That is the problem of using Wikipedia as your source...

  3. Thanks for pointing that out.

    For now the controversial section as to why it is called 'Black' Friday has been removed.

  4. I wish the merchants well. Unfortunately, the more they cut prices now -- early cuts were predicted -- the more they take business from future months, except for seasonal mdse. Seems like they then risk the same sort of dilemma that GM, Ford And Chrysler did.

  5. "I wish the merchants well."

    I disagree. The consumer binge has caused enough distortion to the US and world economy. The situation is unsustainable. The hangover will be harsh. It needs to end sooner rather later. We need to start working on tradables and technology.

  6. I hope this kind of behavior (fighting at stores) is not typical.

    I know how it feels in crowded malls. It's annoying.

    But we are adults. This continued juvenilization (is that a word?) of the United States is disgusting. What kind of message are these adults sending to their kids? Honey, you should always get what you want, and I will fight to get it for you because you deserve it. Is that a realistic message to send little Johnny out into the world with?

    People like that are the types that will get a negative amortization loan to buy a house they can't really afford. These are un-serious people, and I hope they are not typical of my countrymen.

  7. David -- is not the binge the fault of the consumers, not the merchants? Stretching it, but only a bit, is the ABC at fault because the alcoholic is buying by the case?

  8. The binge of consumerism is primarily the fault of the consumers. However, other are also to blame:

    1) Feds for lowering short term interest rates for such a long period of time.

    2) US Education System for not teaching enough about finances

    3) The media for not exposing the binge of consumerism and its long term problems to a suffient degrees

    4) Others.

  9. I have a friend here in Connecticut who has around 80K in equity- well Jack only buys the best, and has once before been bankrupt.
    So recently he went out and bought a new Hyundai Sonata, bought all new furnature, and a new HD Widescreen TV- plus other assorted items of upscale quality- I am sure he has taken equity loans on all this stuff- this type of activity is what is keeping the US economy A float- when it comes to an end and the music stops-Where will we be?

  10. What worries me is how long to stay in cash before buying back into housing. I'd hate to get wiped out by the helicopter, for waiting too long, but is that 1 year, 3 years, longer?