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Gap, JCPenney, Victoria’s Secret, Foot Locker: 465 store closures in 48 hours

The ‘retail apocalypse’ is alive and well this week with major chains such as Gap, JCPenney, Victoria’s Secret and Foot Locker all announcing massive closures, totalling the death of more than 465 stores over the last 48 hours. All four companies reported its fourth quarter results this week during the critical holiday period, with three of them (Gap, JCPenney and Victoria’s Secret) reporting declining in same-store sales, while Foot Locker reported growth that more than doubled expectations. Still, despite the good news. Foot Locker announced Friday that it plans to close around 165 stores across the country, during its investor…

18 Really Big Numbers That Show That The U.S. Economy Is Starting To Fall Apart Very Rapidly

Virtually every piece of hard economic data is telling us that the U.S. economy is slowing down dramatically.  Many of the pundits have been warning that we could officially enter recession territory later this year or next year, but these numbers seem to indicate that it could happen a whole lot sooner than that.  But the stock market has been surging over the last two months, and at this point stocks are off to their best start to a year since 1987, and as long as stock prices are rising a lot of people are simply not going to pay…

More layoffs at Tesla as the company shutters most of its retail stores

In a surprise announcement on Thursday, Tesla said it was closing “many” of its 378 retail stores around the world as it shifts to an online-only sales model. That will mean another round of layoffs at the electric automaker like affected some 7% of its workforce in January in a bid to cut costs following its production ramp for the Model 3. Tesla did not respond to questions from Business Insider about how many stores will be closing, or how many employees might be affected. “Shifting all sales online, combined with other ongoing cost efficiencies, will enable us to lower…

Tesla will close most of its stores and only sell cars online

In a major shift, Tesla announced that it will only sell its vehicles online. The electric carmaker will close most of its stores over the “next few months” and lay off some retail employees. Tesla announced the move at the same time it said it will finally begin to sell its long-promised $35,000 Model 3. Customers who purchase their Teslas online will have up to a week to return the car if they aren’t satisfied. In a call with reporters Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he was confident that few customers would exercise this option. The move to e-commerce…

Average New Car Payment Hits Record High $545 Per Month

Two weeks ago, the NY Fed made waves in the finance community when it reported that a record 7 million Americans are delinquent on their auto loans. Of course, to regular readers, none of this was new as we covered that exact same topic back in May 2018 when we reported that “Subprime Auto Loan Default Rates Are Now Higher Than During The Financial Crisis.” Alas, that does not make the Fed’s conclusions incorrect, and in fact according to the Experian’s latest State of the Automotive Finance Market report, the situation is getting worse by the day as not only…

Man claims it’s cheaper to spend your old age in a Holiday Inn than a nursing home

In a now-viral Facebook post, Terry Robinson of Spring Texas (jokingly?) explains why when he and his wife get “old and too feeble,” they will check into a Holiday Inn instead of spending their remaining years in a nursing home. Bottom line, it’s a better deal. From Fox8: According to his research, the average cost for nursing home care is around $188 per day, where as if he used his senior discount for the long-term stay at the hotel chain, he’d only have to pay $59.23 per day. He said in turn, that would leave him with $128.77 a day…

Fascinating photos of abandoned movie palaces reveal the decline of movie-going in America

Decades before the decline of retail stores, movie theaters around the United States started to shutter. As cities lost residents to the suburbs around the 1950s, some of their most popular theaters, auditoriums, and opera houses began to empty out. Around that time, television became a staple part of the American home, reducing the need to pay for entertainment. Newer movie theaters also built multiple auditoriums, each with fewer seats, to allow for more than one showing at a time. In a matter of decades, large, grand movie palaces became virtually obsolete. With no customers to keep them afloat, buildings…

U.S. banks record $59.1 billion in profits in fourth-quarter of 2018

The U.S. banking sector recorded $59.1 billion in profits in the fourth quarter of 2018, down slightly from the third quarter’s record level but still up significantly from the prior year, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. U.S. bank profits were up 18.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to one year prior, after adjusting for changes spurred by the 2017 tax law. The FDIC said the profits were driven by lower taxes and higher operating revenues. Due to one-time accounting changes driven by the new tax law that forced banks to log significant losses…

Self-Driving Cars Might Kill Auto Insurance as We Know It: Without humans to cause accidents, 90% of risk is removed. Insurers are scrambling to prepare.

Dan Peate, a venture capitalist and entrepreneur in Southern California, was thinking of buying a Tesla Model X a few years ago—until he called his insurance company and found out how much his premiums would rise. “They quoted me $10,000 a year,” Peate recalled. For all the concern over accidents involving driverless cars, including Tesla’s troubles with its limited self-driving Autopilot mode, it’s easy to forget one of the supposed virtues of autonomous vehicles: They will make the roads safer. A sophisticated array of lidar, radar and cameras is expected to be more adept at detecting trouble than our mortal eyes and ears.…

‘Mass Riots’: Democratic 2020 Candidate Warns Driverless Trucks Will Lead To ‘Outbreak Of Violence’

The implementation of driverless trucks will lead to suicides and “an outbreak of violence,” according to Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Yang said he thinks it’s inevitable that some of America’s 3.5 million truck drivers will react violently to being replaced by driverless trucks. “There’s going to be a lot of passion, a lot of resistance to this. Anyone who thinks truck drivers are just going to shrug and say, ‘Alright, I had a good run. I’ll just go home and figure it out’ — that’s not going to be their response,” Yang said Tuesday in an interview with podcast…

Student-loan payment may soon come directly out of your paycheck

Your student loans Opens a New Window. could be automatically deducted from your paycheck each month if a new proposal from Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander Opens a New Window. becomes law. In a speech that he delivered earlier this month, Alexander, R-Tenn., laid out a broad blueprint to completely overhaul the system for financial aid and student loan repayments Opens a New Window. — a plan that, if approved, could ultimately affect up to 40 million borrowers, who owe a collective $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. Alexander, who chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Opens a New…

Major Cities Becoming Uninhabitable Hellholes…Rats, Public Defecation And Open Drug Use

Almost everyone that goes out to visit one of our major cities on the west coast has a similar reaction.  Those that must live among the escalating decay are often numb to it, but most of those that are just in town for a visit are absolutely shocked by all of the trash, human defecation, crime and public drug use that they encounter.  Once upon a time, our beautiful western cities were the envy of the rest of the world, but now they serve as shining examples of America’s accelerating decline.  The worst parts of our major western cities literally…

Amazon in Its Prime: Doubles Profits, Pays $0 in Federal Income Taxes

Amazon, the ubiquitous purveyor of two-day delivery of just about everything, nearly doubled its profits to $11.2 billion in 2018 from $5.6 billion the previous year and, once again, didn’t pay a single cent of federal income taxes. The company’s newest corporate filing reveals that, far from paying the statutory 21 percent income tax rate on its U.S. income in 2018, Amazon reported a federal income tax rebate of $129 million. For those who don’t have a pocket calculator handy, that works out to a tax rate of negative 1 percent. The fine print of Amazon’s income tax disclosure shows…

An explosion in auto debt threatens consumer finances, advocacy group warns

As Americans’ appetite for new cars continues unabated, an advocacy group is sounding the alarm over the growing level of auto debt carried by U.S. consumers. In a report issued Wednesday, U.S. PIRG warns that the continuing rise in auto debt is putting many consumers in a financially vulnerable position, which could worsen during an economic downturn. The report comes on the heels of data released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showing that at least 7 million Americans were in serious delinquency on their car loan — 90 or more days behind — at the end…

Nearly one-third of Americans have more credit card debt than savings

Despite a thriving economy with historic low unemployment, an increasing number of Americans – 74 million, or nearly one-third of the population – have more credit card debt than savings. The number of American households with more emergency savings than credit card debt, 44 percent, is the lowest since 2011 when an annual survey of financial health by Bankrate.com began. The survey found that 29 percent of Americans have more credit card debt than emergency savings, the highest in the history of the survey. Of those surveyed, 18 percent have neither credit card debt nor emergency savings, up sharply from…