Monday, November 17, 2008

Dust Bowl Daze

I know we're all weary with the current economy. I'm ready for it to improve and I know you are as well. But when I hear people say they expect things to turn around in 2009, even late in 2009, I'm thinking to myself, don’t bank on it.
Citigroup Inc. is cutting approximately 53,000 more jobs in the coming quarters as the banking giant struggles to steady itself after suffering massive losses from deteriorating debt.

And if GM falls before the end of 2008, we will be facing grim times as Obama is being sworn in to the Oval Office. While there is talk that foreign automakers could take up the slack, there are no guarantees on timing or where those replacement jobs will land, and at how much of a reduction in pay from the jobs lost.
The transition to that new equilibrium would surely be painful. The big American companies employ about 240,000 workers, and their suppliers an additional 2.3 million, amounting to nearly 2 percent of the nation’s work force.

The outright failure of General Motors would eliminate the biggest auto employer and more than 100,000 manufacturing jobs. That is roughly the number of jobs already lost this year at the nation’s automakers and their suppliers.

This is the other version of trickle-down economics. I won't be surprised to see a complete reshaping of the retailing landscape which in the long run will be a good thing, just painful at the outset.

I wouldn't even be surprised to see another big department store chain bite the dust.
"I don't know if this company can survive the next five years as a free-standing company," said Howard Davidowitz of Davidowitz & Associates Inc., a national retail consulting and investment banking firm in New York. "Dillard's is a troubled company, and they're getting killed. They're going to somehow have to come up with some answers."

Buckle up! Just because the elections are over doesn't mean we're off the wild ride.

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