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Retail as a crash indicator

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US consumer confidence indicator went down today days after BHS went into administration and now Austin Reed joins the party, also going into administration.  For anyone who experienced the last recession, not not the credit crunch blip but the last proper one in the late 80s/early 90s.  This is how it started...  Last bastions of the stock markets were the FMCG giants, just like now...

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Next reduces its sales guidance again, when was the last time that happened?  With PMI data also under pressure, some in contraction territory how long before people realise that the consumer is not going to come to the rescue of the economy?  And when they do...  

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The Fed will be done if they reverse policy so soon, they will look like they don't know what they are doing, which is true...  The poor old Fed is between a rock and a hard place.  Their policy isn't working because it can't, the market forces are too great for them to stem the tide of deflation and a debt clear out crash.  Of course it was their policies that set the whole thing up in the first place.  Now they need to let it happen but if they carry on increasing rates they will be blamed for causing the crash that is sure to come.  In the end they will be blamed anyway but still believe they can get out.  Oh dear poor Janet is to be the one left standing without a chair when the music stops...

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