“In the Tank Forever” U.S. Consumers Retailers in a “Death Spiral” Davidowitz Says: Tech Ticker, Yahoo! Finance

Retail maven Howard Davidowitz paid another visit to Tech Ticker this week. And despite signs of improvement in consumer confidence and retail stocks rising, Davidowitz is steadfast in his belief the consumer is dead.Rather than summarize, let me just highlight some of his best one-liners:On retail: * “The retail business is terrible… It’s almost all negative.” * “We’re going to close hundreds of thousands of stores.” On the consumer: * “They’re still over leveraged, they’re losing jobs, their credit has been cut back.” On America: * “We are in the tank forever. As a country we are out of control, we’re in a death spiral.” On the stock market: * “We’re in terrible shape. That’s what the fundamentals tell me. I can’t explain the stock market.”But it’s not all gloom and doom, believe it or not. Davidowitz, who runs a retail consulting firm Davidowitz and Associates, thinks certain discount retailers, grocers, drug store chains and a select few department stores can survive and prosper in the future.Most notably he likes the “extreme discounters” like Family Dollar, Dollar Tree (which was up almost 5% Tuesday after the company raised its outlook) and 99 Cents Only Stores. And, in the department store sector, he says, Kohl’s will “be the only winner” because of their cost controls. (Davidowitz has no positions in stocks mentioned.)

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Buffett Says, We Are Doomed – We’re Going to Be Crushed Under A Mountain of Debt

A highly influential American has finally hit the panic button about the tremendous mountain of debt the country is piling up.Last year, Warren Buffett says, we were justified in using any means necessary to stave off another Great Depression. Now that the economy is beginning to recover, however, we need to curtail our out-of-control spending, or we’ll destroy the value of the dollar and many Americans’ life savings.Some not-so-fun facts from Buffett’s editorial today in the New York Times: * Congress is now spending 185% of what it takes in * Our deficit is a post WWII record of 13% of GDP * Our debt is growing by 1% a month * We are borrowing $1.8 trillion a year$1.8 trillion is a lot of money. Even if the Chinese lend us $400 billion a year and Americans save a remarkable $500 billion and lend it to the government, we’ll still need another $900 billion.So, where’s it going to come from? Most likely the printing press. And, ultimately, Buffett says, that will destroy the value of the dollar.

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Google’s Matt Cutts Video Presentation On SEO

Google’s Matt Cutts Video Presentation On SEOAug 20, 2009 at 9:26am ET by Barry Schwartz – I have seen Matt Cutts of Google speak dozens of times, I have seen dozens of videos of SEO tips from Matt, I have read hundreds of blog posts from Matt – but nothing compares to his presentation given at WordCamp. Lucky, the presentation was recorded and is available for everyone to watch.Not only did I personally learn something from the presentation but the presentation was exciting and fun to watch. If you have about an hour, I recommend watching it, here it is:

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One In Three Chance You’ll Soon Owe More Than Your House Is Worth: Tech Ticker, Yahoo! Finance

One In Three Chance You’ll Soon Owe More Than Your House Is WorthPosted Aug 20, 2009 11:15am EDT by Henry BlodgetRelated: xhb, tol, len, kbh, dhi, phmForeclosure rates in the U.S. remain near record highs. More than 13% of American homeowners with a mortgage are either behind on their payments or in foreclosure. The latest report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, released today, shows the percentage of loans that entered the foreclosure process dipped slightly to 1.36%, down from an all-time high of 1.37% in the first quarter.However, that number may soon rise again as mortgage delinquency rates continued to climb in the second quarter.That news is no surprise to Karen Weaver of Deutsche Bank. She startled everyone a few weeks ago when she predicted that, by 2011, nearly half of American mortgage holders would be underwater (meaning that they’ll owe more on their mortgages than their houses were worth).Half of mortgage holders means about one-third of American households. Put another way, Weaver forecasts 25 million mortgage holders will be under water by 2011, up from an estimated 14 million currently.Aside from the mega-bummer of owing the bank more than your house is worth, underwater mortgages exacerbate another problem: foreclosures. In previous housing busts, being underwater led to a greater likelihood of default, and Weaver believes this the foreclosure problem will be much worse this time around.In a recent report, Weaver analyzed all the various kinds of mortgages in the US and estimated that 48% of them would be underwater by 2011. This includes “prime” borrowers, of whom a startling 41% will be underwater.

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Obama Ends Cash for Clunkers on Monday

457,000 vehicle sales later, Obama administration announces end of Cash for Clunkers on Monday

  • By Ken Thomas and Stephen Manning, Associated Press Writers
  • On Thursday August 20, 2009, 5:40 pm EDT

Bob Prechter “Quite Sure” Next Wave Down Will Be Bigger and March Lows Will Break

Yes, the late 2007-early 2009 market debacle was just a warm-up to what Prechter believes will be the bear market’s main attraction. In this regard, he says the current cycle will echo past post-bubble periods such as America in the 1930s and England in the 1720s, after the bursting of the South Sea bubble.The 2000 market peak market a “major trend change” for the market from a very long-term cycle perspective, and the downside is going to continue to be painful well into the next decade, Prechter says. “The extreme overvaluation, the manic buying and bubbles in the late 1990s [and] mid-2000s are for the history books – they’re very large,” he says. “The bear market is going to have balance that out with some sort of significant retrenchment.”

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Robert Prechter Says Dollar’s Hit a “Major Bottom”

Forget all the talk about the dollar being in terminal decline. The recent rally in the greenback is for real, says Robert Prechter, president of Elliott Wave International. The man who correctly predicted the 1987 crash and last year’s peak in oil prices now says we’re “going to be up for a year or two in the dollar.”Reuters and other mainstream news outlets attribute the recent uptick in the dollar versus other major currencies to an improving economy signaled by Friday’s “stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs numbers.” Prechter, ever the contrarian, says the U.S. dollar has put in a major bottom but not for the reasons everyone else is pointing to.

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