As I set up myself for a brief blog --- noting that I haven't written anything to this particular column in 9 months (been a year for reporting and working but not for blogging for a change), the "Black Friday" shopping is coming to a close. It's Saturday in the EST, and before I am done with this post, it's probably going to be Saturday in the CST, too.
Small Business Saturday is coming to life. In fact, for those who were intelligent enough to wait a day, the reason for buying local and smaller "mom and pop" stores is about to become evident and bring about the first signs of a change in habits. These habits are going to be somewhat of a retrofitting the mindset of tens or even hundreds of thousands of Americans in urban and suburban areas. In fact, percentage wise this kind of change may even mimic that of some rural and small town atmospheres this year.
Now what is behind this Small Business Saturday is simple. Americans, fed up with the way the major corporations have become all about the profits and careless about jobs, have banded together to a small degree and listened to the groundswell --- the grass roots efforts --- of people that know for certain that shopping in the smaller retail outlets at the mom & pop stores is truly what gets the small economic engines moving again, despite the pushes from the megacorporations with their multi-targeted advertising campaigns to try and stop this from happening.
I made a prediction --- I have been known to make lots of semi-accurate predictions about the economy over the past 5 years --- that I think will hold up some in hindsight over the coming weeks. My prediction was that Black Friday will not be nearly as successful for the major retailers as they thought it would be. That sales will be down enough that by Monday there will be a fallout that has a lasting impact on Wall Street and the other worldwide stock markets.
In short, the prediction is that because of the dollars that were NOT spent on Black Friday but ended up in a different part of the economic situation --- that the Wall Street trading of some of the major corporations will drop off next week. And this will not be followed by good news for those corporate giants this time because they will be unable to cut any more workforce. They have been doing that for such a lengthy amount of time that there is no cutting available. Status quo is being understaffed or about even (at best) for the remainder of the shopping season between Black Friday and Christmas Day. Frankly, it appears to me that these giants of the retail sector will be downgrading their expected profits for the entire major shopping period. And Wall Street and worldwide reaction to this fallout will linger for many months --- perhaps a few years --- before things become "corrected" properly. Yes, I'm afraid to tell the real conservatives and the moderate-right or moderately conservative persons that if they didn't sell off their stocks, that now may be too late to sell off at a minimal loss. These chunks will be falling off precipitously across a wide range of sectors as a result of the dramatic monetary shortfalls from the predicted sales figures.
Now its worst nightmare situation is coming to get those CFO's: they cannot come up with a valid plan to justify more cuts of jobs, nor can they justify the spending of money to enforce the ways they would like to simply cover their butts over a lack of consumer spending by claiming that the demand far outweighed the expectations. Lies that we can all see --- there was not an expectation by consumers this year. The expectation from the CEO/presidents and board rooms was a more robust Black Friday than the past two or three years. Reality is saying differently. And on Small Business Saturday, we will find out where the shoppers were hiding their money...as they spend it inside the small shops in the major metropolitan areas and beyond.
Later...either in a few hours or over the weekend, I'll have more information about Black Friday spending. But on Monday there will be the first true signs of this Wall Street failure, followed by the more obvious signs on Tuesday.
AND --- before too long, I will share someone else's viewpoint and show how they were almost completely right with their opinions on the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests.
Meanwhile --- I sure hope to get a little more information gathered to back up what I already have learned.