Retail Apocalypse Gains Momentum: ‘Everything Will Grind To A Halt’ After March 15th

J.C. Penney and Family Christian Stores are the latest retail giants to announce widespread store closings. As you will see below, J.C. Penney plans to close between 130 and 140 stores, and Family Christian is closing all of their 240 stores. In recent months the stock market has been absolutely soaring, and so most people have simply assumed that the “real economy” must be doing well. But that is not the case at all. In fact, the retail apocalypse that I have been documenting for quite some time appears to be gaining momentum.

J.C. Penney is not in as rough shape as Sears is just yet, but it is definitely on a similar trajectory. In the end, they are both headed for bankruptcy. That is why it wasn’t too much of a surprise when J.C. Penney announced that they are getting rid of about 6,000 workers and closing at least 130 stores

J.C. Penney (JCP) plans to close 130 to 140 stores and offer buyouts to 6,000 workers as the department-store industry sags in competition with online sellers and nimble niche retailers.

The company said Friday that it would shutter 13% to 14% of its locations and introduce new goods and services aimed at the shifting preferences of its customer base.

Meanwhile, many observers were quite surprised when Family Christian Stores decided to fold up shop for good. They were known as the largest Christian retailer on the entire planet, but now after 85 years they are going out of business forever

Family Christian, which bills itself as the “world’s largest retailer of Christian-themed merchandise,” announced Thursday it is closing after 85 years.

The non-profit company, employing more than 3,000 people in 240 stores in 36 states, said in a brief statement that the retailer had been facing declining sales since filing for bankruptcy protection in 2015 and had no choice but to shut down.

These two announcements are part of larger trend that we have been witnessing all over the country. As I have documented previously, Macy’s announced that it would be closing 100 stores earlier this year, and about the same time Sears said that it would be closing another 150 stores.

Back in 2010, Sears had a staggering 3,555 stores.

Before their recent announcement, Sears was down to 1,503 stores, and now this latest round of cuts will leave them with somewhere around 1,350.

Of course it won’t be too long before Sears has zero stores, and my regular readers know that I have been talking about the demise of Sears for a very long time.

The cold, hard truth of the matter is that the “real economy” is a total mess, and that is one of the primary reasons why these ridiculous stock market valuations that we are seeing right now are not sustainable.

One expert that agrees with my assessment is former Reagan Administration White House Budget Director David Stockman. In a recent interview, he explained why he believes that “everything will grind to a halt” after March 15th…

Stockman, who wrote a book titled “Trumped” predicting a Trump victory in 2016, says, “I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in the hot place that’s going to happen. This is delusional. This is the greatest suckers’ rally of all time. It is based on pure hopium and not any analysis at all as what it will take to push through a big tax cut. Donald Trump is in a trap. Today the debt is $20 trillion. It’s 106% of GDP. . . .Trump is inheriting a built-in deficit of $10 trillion over the next decade under current policies that are built in. Yet, he wants more defense spending, not less. He wants drastic sweeping tax cuts for corporations and individuals. He wants to spend more money on border security and law enforcement. He’s going to do more for the veterans. He wants this big trillion dollar infrastructure program. You put all that together and it’s madness. It doesn’t even begin to add up, and it won’t happen when you are struggling with the $10 trillion of debt that’s coming down the pike and the $20 trillion that’s already on the books.”

Then, Stockman drops this bomb and says:

“I think what people are missing is this date, March 15th2017. That’s the day that this debt ceiling holiday that Obama and Boehner put together right before the last election in October of 2015. That holiday expires. The debt ceiling will freeze in at $20 trillion. It will then be law. It will be a hard stop. The Treasury will have roughly $200 billion in cash. We are burning cash at a $75 billion a month rate. By summer, they will be out of cash. Then we will be in the mother of all debt ceiling crises. Everything will grind to a halt. I think we will have a government shutdown. There will not be Obama Care repeal and replace. There will be no tax cut. There will be no infrastructure stimulus. There will be just one giant fiscal bloodbath over a debt ceiling that has to be increased and no one wants to vote for.”

In that same interview, Stockman also predicted that “markets will easily correct by 20% and probably a lot more“, and he noted the glaring disconnect between current stock prices and how the U.S. economy is actually performing

“The S&P 500 has been trading at 26 times earnings while earnings have been dropping for the past six or seven quarters. There is no booming recovery coming. There is going to be a recession and there will be no stimulus baton to bail it out. That is the new fact that neither Trump nor the Wall Street gamblers remotely understand.”

It is very difficult to argue with Stockman on this.

There are some people out there that seem to think that Donald Trump can miraculously turn the U.S. economy around just because he is Donald Trump.

It doesn’t work that way.

We are 20 trillion dollars in debt, and we are currently adding about a trillion dollars a year to that total. There is no possible way that Trump can cut taxes, increase military spending, build a border wall, spend much more on veterans and spend an extra trillion dollars on rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.

We are flat broke as a nation and there simply is not money available to do everything that Donald Trump wants to do.

So we shall see what happens after March 15th.  Unfortunately, I happen to agree with Stockman that economic reality is about to come knocking and Trump and his supporters are about to get a very rude wake up call.

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  • JohnDille

    WELL… AT LEAST NOW YOU UNDERSTAND WHY AMERICA IS SO DEEPLY DEEPLY DEEPLY DIVIDED!!! REAGAN AND GEORGE BUSH JUNIOR’S POLICIES DESTROYED MANY TENS OF MILLIONS OF FAMILIES… AND THE MEMBERS THEREOF! THE PROBLEM IS…. HUGE NUMBERS OF THOSE FOLKS HAVE BEEN BRAIN WASHED BY THE FAR RIGHT TO BLAME THEIR PROBLEMS ON DEMOCRATS, INSTEAD OF ON THE TRUE CULPRITS… THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND ITS SUPER RICH OWNERS AND CONTROLLERS! AND THEREIN IS THE REASON FOR THE DEEP DIVIDE….. WE DEMOCRATS KNOW THE TRUTH…. BUT WORKING CLASS REPUBLICANS REFUSE TO EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THAT TRUTH… SO THEY KEEP VOTING FOR REPUBLICANS… AND THUS KEEP MAKING THINGS EVEN WORSE! AND WE DEMOCRATS ARE GETTING DOWNRIGHT SICK OF THAT!!! WHEN THE HADES ARE WORKING CLASS REPUBLICANS GOING TO WISE UP AND START THINKING AND VOTING LIKE REAL ADULTS AND LIKE REAL AMERICANS??? MEANWHILE, RICH REPUBLICANS JUST KEEP ON GETTING EVER RICHER AND EVER MORE POWERFUL… AND EVER MORE TOTALLY IN CONTROL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA…. AND ITS LONG TERM FUTURE!!! THAT GRIM REALITY IS JUST FLAT OUT TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE TO DEMOCRATS AND OTHER REAL AMERICANS!!!

  • Michael Hershey

    I’m sorry to hear of your plight. I hope you have come out stronger for it. I work as a union tradesman and have for 25 years. I have also started my own business trading futures and forex as I saw 2008 coming. I will trouble you no more. I wish you only the best and thanks for being so honest. God bless.

  • JohnDille

    MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN THE CORP!!! I AM SURE THAT REAGAN AND THE BUSH’S COULD HAVE PUT YOU AND YOUR FELLOW MARINES TO GOOD USE, DEFENDING ALL OF THEIR RICH BUDDIES CORPORATE ASSETS ALL OVER THE WORLD!!! AS FOR ME… I SAW THE REAGAN REVOLUTION UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL… IT LITERALLY DESTROYED ME AND MY FAMILY!!! BUT… ONE STORY MAKES THAT WHOLE ERA STAND OUT FOR ME….. I SPENT 2 YEARS ON THE STREETS BACK IN THE EARLY 1970’S…. I WANTED TO SEE AMERICA, UP CLOSE… AND I SAW IT LIKE MOST AMERICANS HAVE NEVER SEEN IT! IN ONE STRETCH, I SPENT 5 MONTHS LIVING UNDER AN INCOMPLETE OVERPASS COMPLEX IN SAN JOSE CALIFORNIA… AND IN THOSE 5 MONTHS, THERE WAS ONLY 1 NIGHT WHERE SOMEONE ELSE STAYED THERE… I RAN INTO A GUY WHO NEEDED SOME PLACE TO STAY FOR THE NIGHT, AND I SHOWED HIM MY CAMP SITE. A DOZEN YEARS LATER… I SAW THAT EXACT SAME PLACE ON THE EVENING NEWS… AND THERE WERE MORE THAN 500 PEOPLE LIVING THERE, MANY OF THEM WOMEN WITH KIDS!!! THAT WAS LATE 1983, AND REAGAN HAD BEEN IN OFFICE FOR ALMOST 3 YEARS… AND UNEMPLOYMENT IN SOME STATES WAS NEAR 20%, AND OVER 12% NATION WIDE… NOT COUNTING ANOTHER 10% WHO HAD TOTALLY SAID TO HADES WITH IT!!! I GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE… AFTER I HAD GOTTEN OUT OF THE NAVY’S NUCLEAR POWER PROGRAM… IN 1980… BUT DID NOT FIND STEADY WORK… UNTIL 1992!!! AND MOST OF THE PEOPLE I WORKED WITH BACK THEN HAD ENDURED THE SAME KIND OF ENDLESS NIGHTMARE!!! YOU RICH REPUBLICANS APPARENTLY DID REALLY WELL UNDER REAGAN AND UNDER BUSH JUNIOR…. BUT FOR MOST WORKING AMERICANS, THE REAGAN AND BUSH JUNIOR YEARS WERE ENDLESS NIGHTMARES!!! I GUESS MOST OF YOU REPUBLICANS ARE NOT ACTUAL WORKING PEOPLE… SO YOU FOLKS HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE REAL ACTUAL WORKING PEOPLE HAVE HAD TO ENDURE UNDER PRETTY MUCH EVERY REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT IN THE LAST 100 YEARS OR SO!!!

  • Michael Hershey

    Sorry you’ve reached such a ripe old misinformed age. I got out of the Corps in the 80’s and saw the unemployment as well. Reagan did pull us out of it. You must get your information from MSNBC or “The View”. Listen to someone like Mark Levin; you may get the education you desperately need.

  • JohnDille

    I LIVED THROUGH THE REAGAN NIGHTMARE,,, AND SAW FIRST HAND HO MUCH OF A DISASTER IT WAS… AND HE DID NOT INHERIT THAT DISASTER… HE CREATED IT… ALTHOUGH WITH SOME HELP FROM PAUL VOLCKER! I LIVED RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RUST BELT… CREATED BY REAGAN AND REPUBLICANS OFFSHORING THE ENTIRE STEEL INDUSTRY… ALONG WITH PRETTY MUCH THE ENTIRE TEXTILE INDUSTRY, AND NUMEROUS OTHER INDUSTRIES! I LIVED IN A SMALL TOWN IN ILLINOIS THAT… BEFORE REAGAN… HAD MORE THAN 2 DOZEN FACTORIES IN OPERATION… AND AFTER REAGAN… WAS DOWN TO 5 FACTORIES! SO… GO PEDDLE YOUR RIGHT WING REPUBLICAN LIES AND BALONEY, ELSEWHERE! UNLIKE YOU, I AM VERY MUCH OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW… FROM FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE… HOW REPUBLICANS DESTROYED THE UNITED STATES ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, AND POLITICAL SYSTEMS. AND CLEARLY… YOU ARE JUST ANOTHER BRAIN WASHED REPUBLICAN PUPPET!!!

  • Michael Hershey

    Number one, The stock market went up because of the money “printing” by the federal reserve and other nefarious acts. Two, Reagan inherited a worse economic climate. Three, if Obama would have left things alone, we might have actually recovered. The jobs numbers are a joke. The actual percentage of employed workers has dropped to levels not seen since Carter. Sure, if you’re going to make up your own facts, I guess Obama was ok. Spying increased under him, regulations created by unelected officials increased under him. The latter, by the way, stifling any substantial economic growth. Don’t worry though. Trump’s timing is poor. If what I’m reading is correct, there is a recession/depression and stock market correction of possible Biblical proportions bearing down on us. How else do we get out from under this unsustainable debt that you leftist lunatics pretend doesn’t exist? You need to think using rationale, not meaningless emotions. Face it, your Utopian ideals are nonsense as are all of your “arguments” that are based on bullshit.

  • JohnDille

    Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers had strong words for the economic policies and the rhetoric coming from the Trump Administration. In a wide-ranging interview in his offices at Harvard University, Summers called the new administration’s pronouncements on trade for instance “wildly irresponsible” and “potentially very dangerous.”

    Summers, former president of Harvard, was Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration and as Director of the National Economic Council, was also the chief economic advisor to President Barack Obama. Summers acknowledged that it is “very early days yet to pass judgment,” but he is very worried about the administration’s direction.

    I asked Summers what his take was on the overall economic platform of the Trump administration.

    “We’ll have to see how the policies evolve. At this point, the details of tax legislation haven’t been spelled out. At this point, the details of what’s going to replace Obamacare have not been spelled out. At this point, there’s been a lot of attitude, but not yet a clear indication of what the new trade policies are going to be. We haven’t yet seen an actual, formal budget proposal from the new administration, and Congress is clearly in dangerous turmoil,” Summers said.

    “So, I think it’s very early days yet to pass judgment, but. I think the things that have been said in the trade area are wildly irresponsible, and potentially very dangerous. I think the proposals on regulation could do enormous damage to the environment, to financial stability, to the functioning of the economy,” he said.

    “I think that the Obamacare changes run the risk of both raising health care costs, and leaving millions of people without health insurance,” said Summers. “And I think the sense of uncertainty that’s being introduced is something that’s potentially very dangerous. And my fear is that all those downsides will catch up with the positive element, which is a sensitivity to business confidence. And my fear is that it will turn out that the strength in markets will be seen in retrospect as having been something of a sugar high.”

    Larry Summers calls Trump’s Chinese currency manipulation claims ‘incredible’

    Larry Summers says Paul Ryan’s tax plan isn’t viable, it can only blow up the budget for years to come

  • JohnDille

    HOW THE HADES WAS OBAMA RESPONSIBLE FOR RONALD REAGANS AND ESPECIALLY GEORGE BUSH JUNIORS MONUMENTAL MESS??? AND YET… YOU REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN ATTACKING OBAMA SINCE A FULL YEAR BEFORE HE EVEN TOOK OFFICE!!! AND WHAT MESS DID TRUMP INHERIT??? THE US ECONOMY… UNDER OBAMA… HAS BECOME THE STRONGEST AND SAFEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD!!! MORE THAN 10 TRILLION DOLLARS CAME INTO THE USA ECONOMY FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD, BECAUSE IT WAS SO SAFE AND STRONG… AND THE US STOCK MARKETS ALMOST TRIPLED UNDER OBAMA, BECAUSE OF ALL THAT INFLOW OF FOREIGN MONEY, AND BECAUSE THE US ECONOMY WAS DOING SO WELL!!! THE ONLY PRESIDENT IN THE LAST 50 YEARS WHO HAD MORE JOBS PRODUCED WHILE HE WAS PRESIDENT THAN OBAMA… WAS CLINTON!!! BUT SINCE YOU REPUBLICANS ARE TOO STUPID FOR ANYONE TO HIRE YOU, YOU PROBABLY DID NOT EVEN NOTICE ANY OF THAT!!! TOO BAD YOU DID NOT TRY TO GET A JOB FLIPPING BURGERS… AT LEAST SOMEONE WOULD HAVE HIRED YOU!!!

  • JohnDille

    SO… YOU AE ONE OF THOSE DIMWIT REPUBLICANS WHO JUST DO NOT GET IT…. REPUBLICNS SET THE US ECONOMIC SYSTEM ON A COLLISION COURSE WITH DISASTER UNDER REAGAN AND UNDER BUSH JUNIOR… AND WE ARE STILL ON THAT COURSE… AND WILL BE UNTIL REPUBLICANS STOP BLOCKING DEMOCRATIC EFFORTS TO DO THINGS THE RIGH WAY!!! AND EVEN THEN, IT WILL TAKE AT LEAST A DECADE BEFORE THEY SUCCEED. OBAMA WAS JUST FINALLY GETTING THINGS HALF WAY BACK ON TRACK WHEN YOU IDIOTS ELECTED YET ANOTHER INCOMPETENT REPUBLICAN… EXCEPT TRUMP IS WORSE THAN A MERE REPUBLICAN… HE IS A TOTAL FRAUD AND MORON… AND A REPUBLICAN!!!

  • Comte d’herblay

    How in hell is President Trump responsible for any of this?

    He has inherited this fiasco.

    You are insane, as evidenced by your screaming, as if we can hear it.

    Both parties are the accomplices in this looming disaster.

  • Michael Hershey

    I thought the last ~$10 trillion of debt came from a Democrat? I believe that went for the $875,000 per job created during that robust economic rebound.

  • Rick

    Liberals,real Americans? Laugh You should have been a comedian Odille

  • JohnDille

    WELL… 45 YEARS WORTH OF REPUBLICAN CHICKENS ARE COMING HOME TO ROOST… AND THEY WILL BEGIN LAYING AN EVEN LARGER THAN USUAL PILE OF ROTTEN EGGS RIGHT AND LEFT, IN THE MONTHS JUST AHEAD!!! NO SURPRISE TO WE DEMOCRATS… BUT THE TRUMP SPONSORED DISASTERS DEAD AHEAD MAY SHOCK THE HADES OUT OF ALL THE BRAIN DEAD TRUMP SUPPORTERS AND OTHER REPUBLICANS OUT THERE!!! REPUBLICANS DESERVE THE NIGHTMARES THEY ARE ABOUT TO BEGIN HAVING… BUT WE REAL AMERICANS DO NOT!!!