14 October 2015

Walmart Stock Craters On Profit Warning - The Fatal Blindness of Greed

"America's great now -- it's never been greater.

Our kids are going to live so much better than we do now."

Warren Buffett

“Among 21 countries in the study the U.S. ranks second-to-last in the percentage of its GDP spent on benefits for families, despite one of the highest relative child poverty rates of the comparable high-income countries. [only Turkey was worse because it failed to provide any data]”

Child Trends, World Family Map 2015

Walmart warned on its profit outlook for 2016 and the stock dropped about 8 percent.

As the pampered princes of financial television put it:
"To say that Wall Street was surprised by what Walmart had to say is an understatement.'
The spin is that Walmart is 'brick and mortar' and that it is losing ground to Amazon.

And amongst the worst analysis, Walmart ought not to have given its employees, who are among the lowest of the working poor, a raise in wages.

Walmart merely needs to 'reinvent' itself.

Maybe that is true.

Or maybe it is tied into the overall retail results which we saw this morning.

Walmart is at the sharp point of the failing US consumers, who are un- or under- employed with stagnant wages and shrinking benefits, pinned by rising rents and healthcare costs, possessing little discretionary income, almost no savings, and living virtually paycheck to paycheck.

In the new retail models, like Walmart and Amazon, the vast bulk of the income goes directly to the top, to a fortunate few like the Walmart family and Jeff Bezos, with a little to shareholders, and crumbs to the employees who are driven harder to be 'competitive.'

There will be many more surprises for Wall Street, and for the very comfortable ruling elite.

The banks must be restrained, the financial system reformed, and the economy brought back into balance, before there can be any sustained recovery.