Americans are going to spend more than 600 billion dollars this Christmas season, and on Friday we got to see our fellow citizens fight each other like rabid animals over foreign-made flat screen televisions and Barbie dolls. As disgusting as this behavior is to many of us, there may soon come a time when we will all fondly remember these days. Most Americans are completely unaware of what is currently happening in the financial world, but right now there are deeply troubling signs that we could be on the verge of another major global financial collapse. If the next great economic downturn does strike in 2015, that could mean that we may have just witnessed the last great Black Friday celebration of American materialism. As you read this, stock prices are approximately double the value that they should be, margin debt is hovering near all-time record highs, and the “too big to fail” banks are being far more reckless than they were just prior to the last major stock market implosion. So many of the exact same patterns that we witnessed back in 2007 and 2008 are repeating right now, and as you will see below, this includes a horrifying crash in the price of oil. Anyone with half a brain should be able to see the slow-motion financial train wreck that is unfolding right before our eyes.
Have Americans finally had enough of Black Friday madness?Sales, both in stores and online, from Thanksgiving through the weekend were estimated to have dropped 11 percent, to $50.9 billion, from $57.4 billion last year, according to preliminary survey results released Sunday by the National Retail Federation. Sales fell despite many stores’ opening earlier than ever on Thanksgiving Day.And though many retailers offered the same aggressive discounts online as they did in their stores, the web failed to attract more shoppers or spending over the four-day holiday weekend than it did last year, the group said. The average person who shopped over the weekend spent $159.55 at online retailers, down 10.2 percent from last year.Continue reading the main storyRELATED COVERAGEBlack Friday Sales Slip as Discounts Start EarlierNOV. 29, 2014Over all, 133.7 million people shopped or planned to shop at stores or online over the four-day weekend, 5.2 percent fewer than last year, the federation said. And shoppers spent an average of $380.95 over the four days, 6.4 percent less than the $407.02 they spent last year.
Gun Sales Boom on Black Friday– ( Do you think that the masses are awakening to the coming chaos?)
Shoppers gave Black Friday the cold shoulder this year, except for those packing heat.
Gun sales boomed on the traditional kick start to the holiday shopping season, with the federal background check system setting a record of 175,000 checks on Friday, according to the FBI. On a typical day in 2013, the agency processed about 58,000 checks. Even as overall Black Friday weekend spending was down 11 percent from last year, according to the National Retail Federation trade group, firearms provided an unexpected flash of hope for sporting good stores and gun shops.
Like any savvy shopkeeper on the shopping holiday, gun retailers used doorbuster deals, bundles and selective discounts to drive traffic. Wal-Mart offered 20 percent off all firearms Friday through Sunday, which included deals on brands like Colt, Mossberg and Remington. At Cabela’s, the first 600 in line by 5 a.m. on Black Friday got a chance to win several door prizes, including a Browning composite rifle, a $529 value. According to reports, shoppers lined up at the door and around the corner at various Cabela’s locations. Elsewhere, Bass Pro shops offered a Remington .45 automatic pistol for $529, a $200 savings after discounting and a $70 instant rebate.
Store owners denied they were doing much special to drum up business. “Our discounts were consistent with our everyday sales,” said Bass Pro Shops spokeswoman Tammy Sapp. “Many of the manufacturers offered rebates as well.”