Black Friday Deals, Credit Card Burn (CCB)

No, I won’t often put in two Amazon ads, but this is Black Friday and already the whole fate of the nation seems to hang on how much money you spend over the next few days, or so news reports make it seem.  Hell, I’m just doing my part to help try to save the Republic, right?

To be sure, a lot of people did venture out after turkey looking for deals, but here in the East Texas Outback, most of the stores in town were closed.  Family values (like spending time together) are still important in this part of the world.  Even the local Lowes was closed.  Wal-Mart was open, though.  And wife Elaine spied plenty of workers stocking like crazy and putting up fresh end-caps (those displays at the ends of the aisles if you’ve never worked retail).

She didn’t run into any of the wristbands or Segways on patrol.

She had a delightful time of it, since there was virtually no one locally out shopping, too.  Seems that she wasn’t the only one to make that observation, either.

This morning, the whole nation gets into the swing, and as always we like to mention the fictitious injury called “credit card burn”  (CCB) which arises from using your plastic so fast that friction can cause painful “burns.” 

Some people will miss them initially since the severity of the burns are often slow to appear.  In fact, usually (and this is what makes CCB such an odd disease) the burn doesn’t show up until statements arrive in January.

As luck would have it, the only salve that works is a thick poultice of cash, applied quickly to the burn source.  If not treated promptly, credit card burns can fester into collectionitis and bankruptus.

I’m expecting holiday sales to come in a little above forecasts this year.  For one reason, the rising market gives the illusion that things aren’t all that bad.  Although, when questioned by CNN, seems people on reflection have grokked that that things maybe aren’t all that good.  You might want to read into the details over here about why almost 60% of those polled think things aren’t going so well.

And they may be going poorly, but the Obama administration is – at least in one sense – lucky because of the shutdown of government.   Here’s why:  As a result of the shutdown, government economic reports which would normally be out on “Cyber Monday” (like the employment situation for the month) have been pushed back to December 6th.  Little things like that may help peddle a few more trinkets.

Another area where the administration is lucky (so far) is that the coming January-February timeframe for a resumption of the budget talks/disaster seems momentarily missing from the public mindset.  Oh, sure, it leaks out in a few places, like this recent mention in the Op-Ed Part of US News’ site, but that was more than a week ago.  It’s almost like the mainstream media are complicit in keeping people from thinking about the hard economic realities of the day. 

Lest it screw up sales, which in turn will make retailers poor, delay ad revenue payments to media in January/February, and all the rest of that knock-on, ripple effect.  In other words, mainstream media have only money to lose from a crappy (but perhaps more reasonable) high spending period. 

Can America “Christmas its way” into financial recovery? 

No.  Not a ghost’s chance in hell, or even Christmas’ Past.

But don’t tell anyone down on Wall St.  With only “noise trading” and an historical trend to rally gong into the holidays well entrenched, the bulls are looking to put another 50-points on the Dow scoreboard and 5-more possibly on the S&P. It’ll be a shortened trading day.  Even Streeters gotta shop.

So please do your part:  Get out there are get the worst case of Credit Card Burn you can this weekend.  The fate of bankster mansion class depends on it. 

Just one word of moderation here:  You don’t want them coming after your Ho Ho Home….especially when the hangover of financial reality arrives in late January 2014. That’s just after the chickens come home to roost again in Washington.

More after this…

SuperRich: Their Own Private Idaho?”

A quick lesson in how to read this news this morning which you may learn something from.

We will start with the story writ large in the UK’s Mail Online which goes into marvelous (and dreamy) details about a proposal to build  an “…incredible mile-long floating CITY – complete with schools, a hospital, parts, and an airport for its 50,000 residents.”

I hope you see “the deal” here?

No?  (Did you swear off coffee or something?)

OK, here’s what’s up  methinks:  Scroll down to the map about half way down that page…study it for a second, then I’ll tell you what I see in this…and I think you’ll agree it’s cute!

you see the ship will be making its way in a nice leisurely way around the world every two years, right? 

And you saw the price, right?  $10-billion?  Which works out to $200K per person as a buy-in, not counting ongoing operating expenses which could be humongous.

This gets us to the first thinking point of the story: 

1.  Is this floating place/Freedom Ship idea for…

a.  Rich Folks

b. Poor Folks

c. Middle-income Folks

I’m just guessing  (a.).

So here comes the sales and marketing punch line:

2.  Although this ship will be making ports of call, will residents of the ship…

a.  Pay no income tax, since Freedom would be flagged Caymanian or Turks and Caicos

b. Or alternatively be flagged  a real flag and be subject to some taxing authority?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess (a.) again.

Seems to me that the ship could come in for whatever, and then blow out in under 30 days and become (arguably) a tax-free haven for its residents. 

Gotta give the folks who came up with this credit for thinking Big.  Hell, there’s nothing I can find in the UN Charter which would prevent them from declaring themselves to be a floating country…and who knows, maybe they could have a mission to the UN, too.

Lesson:  Look for tax angles behind the news and ways for the rich to get richer and keep ever more of what they have and argue against paying their equal share.  I don’t know how many millionaires you know, but none of them pay overall rates as high as mine.  Such is the penalty for being small and honest, I suppose.

Still, I’d like to put in an ap to be an onboard blogger/shill.  Retiring to a floating country is a nice prospect…which would…uh….not tax our retirement plans.  Hell of a marketing deal…

Oh, and for those who are easily sea-sickened?  Forbes has a nice article on “Billionaire Bunkers” you ought to check out.

Spy Vs. Peeps

Out rolls the report that the US spied on the G20 in Toronto.

Just to make things easier, I’m gong to put a webcam  in our bathroom next.  I mean if they’re that anxious to get into everyone shit, it’d be patriotic to help the effort, I figure.  You know, flush out America’s enemas enemies…

(pardon this) Speaking of Turds

Remember going out and buying extra Polaroid’s so you wouldn’t be blinded by the passage of comet Ison which had the dust-bunny-under-the-bed crowd worried about catastrophic disaster?

What’s left of the formerly “big deal” is now maybe coming out from the Sun.  Dehydrated by the look of it.

Sub Watch?

Keep an eye out for damaged submarine reports in the wake of the WaPo report about a high speed ferry striking an underwater object

Iran/Tick Tock

Dark of the moon earlier next week and while Iran says they will begin implementing the “nuclear deal” by earlier January, we’re still just a wee bit skeptical.  Too much happy talk about this for it to work out well, seems.  But that could just be my natural-born cynicism peeking out…

Only in ‘Merica

Could we see a sports coach fined $50,000 for intentionally spilling a drink to delay a game.

Back in my big city news days Wednesday’s “Sportswriter’s Lunch” at the local Italian joint was where stories like this would get kicked around.  I’ll try to follow up on this because I’m a ‘follow the money” guy.  Shoot, I used to know sportswriters who would follow up on this kind of thing.

Instead I’m sitting here wondering where will the money go?  If it goes to local “’po folks’  of Los Angeles and Brooklyn, then it would be a nice move by the NBA.  I’d praise ‘em up one side and down t;other.  But, if it goes into the League’s pocket, then I might have a different opinion.

So if you catch any follow-up on this that explains where the money actually goes, I think that would sure speak reams about the state of “sportsmanship” here in ‘Mercia.

Oh:  It might also say something about MSM if they don’t follow the money…which doesn’t get followed often enough to its final resting place in certain pockets, if’n you follow.