Going Through The Ice

1. Fiction:

“Consumers are feeling better about the economy and retailers are building up their inventories to meet that demand,” said Jonathan Gold, vice president for supply chain and customs policy at the National Retail Federation (NRF).

“‘It’s easy to show an increase after last year’s downturn, but these numbers show us that retailers are confident their sales are going to go up this summer and give us an early hint of optimism about the fall as well,’ he said.” –

2. Facts:

“NEW YORK – The stock market has had a huge selloff as more investors woke up to the possibility that economic problems such as Europe’s debt crisis might spread around the world .

“More investors seem to be grasping the possibility that the U.S. ‘recovery’ could be in jeopardy. The economic ‘recovery’ story has started to look like a mirage and the new reality is a return to credit crunch conditions. Investors are concerned that the debt problems in European nations like Greece and Portugal will spill over to other countries, including the U.S. …

“‘It’s starting to look like one of those tragic stories where one person falls through the ice, then everyone else rushed in to help and ends up drowning.’ – Edward Yardeni, analyst …

“The Labor Department’s latest employment report added to worries about the global economy. The department said new claims for unemployment benefits rose by 25,000 to 471,000, their largest amount in three months. High unemployment remains one of the biggest obstacles to a sustained recovery in the U.S. …

“‘The pace of ‘recovery’ is starting to wane. I don’t see help coming from housing and I don’t see help coming from employment.’ – Tim Quinlan, Wells Fargo Securities.” –

“ATLANTA (The Street) – UPS will lay off 54 pilots on Sunday, the first pilot layoff in its history. The Independent Pilots Association, which represents 2,800 UPS pilots, said the 54 layoffs represent the first step in plans to lay off 300 pilots.

“‘What makes this furlough truly unfortunate is that our pilots took it upon themselves to give-up pay and benefits to produce $ 117 million in guaranteed savings for UPS, enough to keep those pilots employed well into 2011,’ said Robert Thrush, IPA president, in a prepared statement.” –

[We’re still waiting for authorities to tell the truth. We need millions of jobs – which could come only from an Emergency Shipbuilding Program – but all they’re offering us is life boats.]