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Showing posts from December, 2007

Consumer Co-dependency

It appears that the abused average American has finally had enough. Target reported that Christmas sales were very weak and lowered their revenue growth numbers for December quite a bit. Add in the margin pressure from discounting and earnings in that sector should be a mess. The problems seem to be widespread and for once, stocks actually seem to be reacting to obvious fundamental problems. This should really be no surprise at all but sadly, equities have ignored fundamentals for so long that it's a shock when reality intrudes on the feeding frenzy.

Here at Financial Jenga, we've been documenting the many pressures facing consumers for some time now. Housing and mortgage debt were covered in Where to Start? We wrote about the deteriorating employment situation and failure of government statistics to reflect it in Behind the Numbers. The collapse of personal savings and explosion of total household debt was the theme of First Principles. Why is anyone surprised that a consumer …