On a morning when Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT) both reported uninspiring earnings, the National Retail Federation trumped them both. The self-described "voice of retail worldwide" sent an open letter to the President urging action to avert the fiscal cliff before Thanksgiving in order to avoid "any disruption to consumer confidence."
Suffice it to say there isn't a lot of reason to expect such actions to take place by next Wednesday, regardless of what the NRF may want. Todd Schoenberger of the BlackBay Group joined Breakout to discuss what's shaping up as a blue Christmas.
In the attached clip Schoenberger says the fiscal cliff is little more than a kitchen table scare story for the moment. Americans are going to spend for Christmas, if only by force of habit. It's next year when frozen corporate spending and resulting layoffs hit the citizenry's wallets that's really got Schoenberger in a tizzy.
"Right now everything seems to be status quo," he says. Deep down people want to believe Congress is going to come up with an idea to save the day. In contrast, what Schoenberger calls "the smart guys" are bracing themselves for a plunge.
Spending on plasma televisions, waiting in line for Black Friday bargains, and stereotypically American consumption will end when the fiscal plunge starts. "We are going way over this fiscal cliff," shouts Schoenberger. "There's not a lazy river at the bottom; it's all concrete."