Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Recession Rolls On

As Americans mail in tax returns and wait for their economic stimulus checks, they will find fewer places to spend the money when it arrives. Retail chains are closing stores and going out of business in the face of declining sales and mounting debt, the New York Times reports:

"Since last fall, eight mostly midsize chains--as diverse as the furniture store Levitz and the electronics seller Sharper Image--have filed for bankruptcy protection...

"But the troubles are quickly spreading to bigger national companies, like Linens ‘n Things, the bedding and furniture retailer with 500 stores in 47 states...

"Even retailers that can avoid bankruptcy are shutting down stores to preserve cash through what could be a long economic downturn. Over the next year, Foot Locker said it would close 140 stores, Ann Taylor will start to shutter 117 and the jeweler Zales will close 100."

As food prices rise at a record rate and gasoline prices keep climbing, they crowd out other purchases--people are spending less on furniture, clothing and electronics. As jobs disappear in these contracting companies, the recession may worsen and snowball beyond the pathetic efforts of a clueless Congress and President to affect them.

Meanwhile, billions of American dollars keep disappearing into the sinkhole of Iraqi corruption. At least business is booming at banks in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

1 comment:

Cascia Talbert said...

You've said it well. I agree with you. Something has to be done before this recession gets worse. But what?