Sears Revenues Plunge, to Hit Zero in 3 Years, Shares Jump

The ingenious strategy of cost-cutting and store-closing your way out of trouble: Pretty soon, it leads to zero.

Sears reported first quarter earnings today. “Earnings” has been a bad joke with Sears, which has lost money every one of the past six years, $10 billion in total.

First things first. Revenues plunged 20% year-over-year to $4.3 billion. Some of that plunge was caused by the endless series of store closings with which Sears is trying to keep itself out of bankruptcy for as long as possible. And some of it was caused by same-store sales which plunged 12% at the surviving stores. That was about twice the decline a year ago. So the downfall is picking up critical momentum.

How bad is $4.3 billion in revenues? It was another modern-era low. It was down 20.3% year-over-year. It was down 27% from Q1 two years ago. It was down 45% from Q1 three years ago, and so on. It was down 63% from Q1 2007. This is what the accelerating revenue shrinkage looks like:

From Q1 2007 to Q1 2017, revenues plunged by $7.4 billion. But just over the past three years, Q1 revenues have plummeted by 3.6 billion. At this accelerating pace, revenues of the once largest retailer in the US will be zero in three more years, or by fiscal Q1 2020, to be reported, theoretically, in May that year:

These are the results of the ingenious strategy of cost-cutting and store-closing your way out of trouble. Pretty soon, it leads to zero.

Of course, it won’t get that far. A bankruptcy filing at some point in the near future is becoming inevitable as creditors are getting very nervous.

Hedge fund manager and Sears Holdings CEO Eddie Lampert said in the press release that “this was certainly a challenging quarter,” buy “it was also one that clearly demonstrated our commitment to return Sears Holdings to solid financial footing. We recognize that we need to accelerate our efforts to improve our operational performance.”

So more cost-cutting, store-closing, and revenue-shrinking to get to zero faster.

Headlines were full of Sears’ profit of $244 million. But without the “significant items noted in our Adjusted Earnings Per Share tables,” Sears said – namely gains from the sale of assets – it “would have reported a net loss of $230 million.”

Cost cutting is now key. Sears proudly pointed out that it “delivered significant progress on our strategic restructuring program, with $700 million in annualized cost savings already actioned to date, and announced incremental actions to increase our annualized cost savings target to $1.25 billion from $1.0 billion.”

So Sears is struggling to cut a little over $1 billion in costs this year. But revenues have plunged at an average rate of $4.7 billion per year for the past three years. In other words, as revenues head toward zero, cost cuts are lagging behind.

In March, Sears warned it might not be able to continue as a going concern. When revenues get trimmed to zero, it’s devilishly hard for a retailer to keep going. But unperturbed, during Sears’ annual shareholder meeting two weeks ago, Lampert blamed Sears’ problems on the media. “A decade of negative headlines,” the presentation said on page 4. You can’t make this up.

A few days after he got through blaming the media, Lambert lashed out at suppliers that are getting exceedingly nervous. In a blogpost, he accused them of “trying to take advantage of negative rumors about Sears to make themselves a better deal – a deal that is unilaterally in their interest.” He blasted one company in particular;

One World [which makes power tools and accessories for Sears under the Craftsman brand and is a subsidiary of Techtronic Industries in China] has informed us of their intention to take the very aggressive step of filing a lawsuit against us as they seek to embarrass us in the media to force us to let them out of their contract.

Sears then filed a lawsuit against One World.

As this percolated across the internet, Sears’ shares plunged 11%. When a company is listing, its suppliers – who are often unsecured creditors – are trying to pull away in order to not get sucked down with it. That alone can cause the company to keel over entirely. Sears is in a very precarious position.

But today, folks who bet on the daily ups and downs of Sears shares before a bankruptcy filing might mostly wiped them out, were ecstatic initially, and shares surged 27% to $9.85 before giving up much of the gains and settling at $8.48, up 13.5% for the day. A good day for day-traders. Another bad day for Sears.

Sears, once the biggest mail-order retailer out there, missed out on the internet, as online sales are clobbering brick-and-mortar retailers, including Sears. And so this happens, with a tinge of bitter irony and perhaps desperation. Read…  Brick-and-Mortar Meltdown No Problem: Online Retail Startups Shift into Brick-and-Mortar

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  80 comments for “Sears Revenues Plunge, to Hit Zero in 3 Years, Shares Jump

  1. RD Blakeslee says:

    Is there any clear reason why Sears is hanging on instead of liquidating? Who is benefiting?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      They (Lampert et al) need two years between the sale-leaseback of some Sears properties to a related party (Seritage Growth) on July 8, 2015, and a bankruptcy filing in order to dodge the fraudulent conveyance provisions of the bankruptcy code.

      So the earliest would be in the second half this year…

      Quote from my article in December, cited from Debtwire:

      “Some investors and analysts prognosticate that management is incentivized to at least keep the company out of bankruptcy through July 2017, since that would mark the two-year anniversary of the landmark $2.7 billion sale lease-back and rights offering transactions completed on 8 July, one of the sources familiar noted.

      “The bankruptcy code provides a two-year look-back period for the avoidance of fraudulent conveyance with state law often providing a greater look-back, one of the sources said.

      • RD Blakeslee says:

        Thanks, Wolf. You’re a walking financial Wikpedia.

        • Raymond C. Rogers says:

          I’m betting they go the bankruptcy route after placing orders for the Christmas season. They don’t even need the material, just the order. The creditors get shafted, and they have one last cash grab. That is if anyone is stupid enough to let them place an order with cash in hand.

      • JimTan says:

        Wow – Thanks for this information Wolf. Very interesting. Just found a related Forbes article which says “Sears still occupies 90% of properties rented by SRG (Seritage Growth)…..Every property Sears vacates simply gets rented for 4x as much…..In the last year, SRG rented over 2 million square feet at 4.5x what Sears was paying them. Just 10% non-Sears rented space accounted for 31% SRG revenue. So SRG needs to rent 25-30% of its rental portfolio at the current rates to more than make up for Sears going bankrupt.”

        If Seritage Growth is leasing properties to Sears at 1/4 market rents, then it is possible their $2.7 billion sale leaseback acquisition was valued at around 1/4 the real market value of these properties (when valued as the net present value of future lease cashflows). Their $2.7 billion purchase of Sears real estate later gets a $10.8 billion (4x higher) value because of the market rate replacement rents they will collect on these properties after bankruptcy. If the endgame is bankruptcy, its reason indeed to run down the clock for regarding fraudulent conveyance provisions.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Update on Sears shares Friday at close:

        SHLD plunged 8.25% on Friday, to $7.78, not far off where they’d closed on Wednesday ($7.47). So most of the 27% surge of Thursday morning after the earnings report has now been wiped out.

  2. mick says:

    Sears’ demise will be the official end of the retail bricks and mortar era. Hundreds of malls will lose an important anchor and revenue stream, revenue they cannot afford to lose in this climate.

    • Raymond C. Rogers says:

      And the 140,000 employees will be looking for work. Hopefully job creation in Jan 2018 will be 340,000. Don’t hold your breath.

      • Kent says:

        And the hundreds of thousands of pensioners will come to know the value of skills related to cat food preparation.

        • robt says:

          The problem with the media’s pet food legend is that it’s quite expensive, and it’s taxable at retail in many or most jurisdictions.
          Just buy near-expiry meat at big discounts and day-old for other stuff. The expiry-date joke is the biggest waster of food for the national food economy but the biggest boon for smart shoppers.

  3. Suzie Alcatrez says:

    Sad to think Sears will be gone in a few years.

    It’s indeed the end of an era.

  4. The beginning of the end was in 2004:

    That’s when K-Mart bought Sears for $11 billion (borrowed). The combined companies could never get around that gigantic debt roadblock.

    All these retailers that are failing = too much debt, LBOs, forced mergers and all-around looting. Sears was once a good company but is now a shadow, like all the other good companies hollowed out by financial engineering ‘innovations’.

    Lampert and his ilk should be in prison.

    • Bee says:

      That was my thinking—it’s been dead for 15 years. I bet the last time I walked through a Sears was 15 years ago (when going to the mall was still a thing). I remember dusty floors and no shoppers to be found.
      I heard on a radio advertisement that JCPenney sells appliances now. Perhaps taking Sears’ last remaining wares?!

      • ex-JCP Associate says:

        JC Penney has sold appliances at times in the past. I unloaded trucks by the score full of washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers and dishwashers. After that, I got to load another truck to deliver those same appliances to shoppers. That was a great way to get a workout in, even if the pay wasn’t very good.

    • RD Blakeslee says:

      The beginning of the end was earlier than 2004, IMO:

      “Sears Catalog Sales Stores were located in small towns. These stores were very small, even smaller than Sears’ current Hometown Dealer stores. At catalog stores, some items could be ordered from the floor, such as appliances; other items could be ordered from catalogs at the store. These stores were often placed in rural markets which were far from full-line Sears stores, allowing for customers to purchase Sears products more easily. These stores were closed in 1993 when Sears closed its catalog business.”

      • RD Blakeslee says:

        Had Sears maintained and expanded the small, local catalog stores, it could be functioning in thousands of local niches, like Dollar General does today.

      • Paulo says:

        When Sears closed its catalogue stores that was the last purchase I made from them. And now I use Amazon.

        I was talking to a buddy last year who was describing his childhood life in the rural valley where I live. (He now lives in town, though). He said, every summer they ordered all their clothes and shoes in time for the next school year, by Sears. Our family always looked at Sears prices first, and when we were interested in another product we always got out the catalogue and compared prices to see what might be a fair asking price. Sears was a great resource.

        On Tuesday I just ordered a new carb for one of my chainsaws….Amazon. Amazon is just an online catalogue as far as I’m concerned. When I hit the ‘send order’ button, I always think how much time and gas I will save. :-)

        Every service, store, and product has its season.

        • TJ Martin says:

          Growing up in NJ the 50’s – 60’s I remember waiting impatiently for the Sears Xmas catalogue to show up . More to dream but to an extent to make choices as to what I wanted Santa Claus to bring me . As I grew older it was Sears where I bought my first good bicycle , electric guitar [ Silvertone’s have become collectables ] decent stereo etc . So whether it was catalogue sales or in store shopping Sears was an integral part of my growing up . And now its about to be relegated to the history books .. due to mismanagement greed and the unwillingness to focus on the niches it filled so well in the past

          FYI ; Paulo Do you comprehend the fact that EVERY dime you spend with Amazon is a dime less going into your community , tax base etc as well as guaranteeing that another local job will be lost ?

          Suffice it to say Paulo you’re sacrificing your community , neighbors etc for the sake of convenience and a slightly better price . Brilliant ! Just don’t go complaining when a robot , H1B or outsourcing takes your livelihood away !

          Which is to say ; try thinking like a citizen and responsible consumer rather than a consumer consumed ( and ultimately controlled ) by the pretense of convenience and the market place .

  5. chip javert says:

    Sears must be approaching the status of a turkey carcass after Thanksgiving dinner: to most observers, it looks like garbage, but to the knowledgable, it’ll still make gallons of great tasting & nourishing turkey broth.

    I can’t make heads or tails out of the reported financials, but Lampert & his hedge fund have basically been financing (i.e. loaning money) to Sears for years. When this turkey does go to bankruptcy/liquidation, he’ll be a (or the) major creditor, ready to receive the residual value .

    That sounds impressively Machiavellian; however, so much value (including real estate) has been stripped out, it’s a mystery what will be left.

    This has got to qualify as one of the longest lingering deaths in history.

    • Paulo says:


      Don’t condemn those who you know nothing about.

      My community is rural, and our family supports it by contributing mightily to the local scholarship fund, the fire department, and the community health clinic. We also provide a house free of charge to a retired friend with no resources.

      We have no grocery stores beyond the local crossroads gas station. Buying local is not an option, although I do buy from my friend who owns the local sawmill with one part-time employee….himself.

      The local Stihl dealer in our nearby city is more than pricey. I have known the owners for 40 years. They pretty much gouge. No, I will pick my charities, thank you very much.

      When we buy groceries we patronize our local Canadian owned grocery chain. We always buy local…we just don’t appreciate being ripped off when there are options. (I buy my motorcycle parts online too…the local Honda dealer is 80 miles away and has a shop like a Mormon Temple).


      • IdahoPotato says:

        Besides, Amazon has the reviews that help one to decide between competing products. That alone is worthwhile to me.

        And there is Ebay (and now Amazon) where one can buy a lot of used stuff (Craigslist sometimes). I almost always buy books used and most of the time they are almost brand new. Most local bookstores don’t carry the kind of books I am looking for.

        I try to buy as locally as possible, but getting ripped off locally for substandard stuff is not smart.

        • ex-JCP says:

          Some local vendors try to win customers by saying that they are family-owned. While I am all for that local impact, I don’t want to pay double for something. I got quotes for a new A/C unit and took one for the same model at half the price of the family guy, from a different family. The internet has opened up shopping to allow some better price comparison shopping and vendor review.

    • JZ says:

      I have been thinking about owning some shares of sears simply because Lambert owns majority of it.
      There must be something good in there, right?
      As you pointed out, maybe sears share do worth zero and it is EXACTLY the slow value stripping in the slow death that is the target of Lampert through Loans and Insurances of his own other entities and Seritage. Lamperts majority holding of zero value shares is to simply control the process of the slow motion death to siphon the value to his other entities.

      I am NOT a financial guy and i have zero research done on what Lampert is thinking. this is just my gut feeling after reading your post.

  6. nick kelly says:

    In my city (BC Canada)
    I don’t know why I’m not saying the city’s name- maybe the oft expressed paranoia of the comments ( sometimes approaching clinical) is catching.
    Sears is the anchor tenant of an 80 % vacant mall.
    Obviously, they can’t get get out of the lease, until they file.
    How the mall will keep going- who knows.

    • David says:


      We have the same situation in Alexandria, VA but in this case Sears owns the store in the mall and is not the tenant. I am guessing that you have a similar situation in your case. What most people don’t understand is that in many situations, Sears owns the land where its store is located. That is why his hedge fund is loaning money to the stores. When Sears goes BK, his hedge fund, as the secured creditor, will swoop in and get all the real estate while the shareholders and suppliers get wiped out.

      • Duke De Guise says:

        Wasn’t Lampert’s purchase of Sears a real estate play from the beginning?

        • Duke De Guise says:

          Kent, what you say is no doubt true, but I was thinking that Lampert saw things differently when he bought the company, prior to the real estate meltdown and financial crisis.

          Needless to say, since then he has been extracting every last penny from the company, as hedge fund/PE types do.

      • Kent says:

        This all assumes there is real value in that real estate. Most of the Sears stores I see are in older, run-down malls that have significant vacancy rates. Or are in shabby stand alones that have little residual value. Sears invested in all of this real estate 30 – 50 years ago in what were then the happening places.

        Those aren’t the happening places anymore. Millions of fresh square footage of retail was built in the oughties. None of it was Sears. Lambert will be sitting astride some of the worst square footage of rundown retail space right as the world is shifting to online and the property bubble begins to implode. Justice will be served.

        • RD Blakeslee says:

          The buildings may not be of much (if any) residual value, but the underlying real estate? Who knows. Variable, I suppose – location, location, location …

        • Duke De Guise says:

          Whoops, sorry, Kent: see above.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Correct. Holders of secured debts will get the properties, those that are left over.

        For example, as I mentioned above, Sears sold $2.7 billion in store properties (sale-leaseback arrangement) to a related party (Seritage Growth) in July 2015 and now has to wait 2 years before filing due to fraudulent conveyance issues.

        • Al C says:

          Wolf, of somebody, can you please explain to me why you refer twice in the article that this is first quarter FY 18? I keep thinking this is FQ FY 17. Afraid I need to be educated here. Thanks.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Yeah, probably not the smartest convention for me to follow (my data set is that way). So I changed it in the text to normal, so to speak. Thanks for pointing it out.

    • robt says:

      In Canada, Sears sold a huge number of its leases after closing the stores. Then they cleaned out all the cash by declaring a special dividend, of which most went to the States – hundreds of millions.
      Even the ‘clearance centers’, i.e. the stores that used to be real stores have closed.

  7. Frederick says:

    You have to wonder why any of their suppliers would extend them any credit whatsoever knowing full well that they will soon be declaring bankruptcy Payment on delivery in gold should be their demand lol ( Or Bitcoin)

  8. mikey says:

    A net loss of 240 billion? Is that supposed to be million?

  9. Gershon says:

    Another sad example of the financial vampires sucking the real economy dry and leaving only empty husks following their “financialization” of everything they can strip all value from before moving on to the next victim.

    • Bee says:

      Replace “financialization” with “globalization” for a result of modern societies allowing these infiltrations!

      • Gershon says:

        The sheeple bend over and sanction these rip-offs election after election by voting for the Oligopoly status quo.

  10. Jarhead John says:

    Our local mall in the suburbs of Pittsburgh is the equivalent of a Dead Man Walking…it’s anchor stores–Sears, Bon Ton, J.C. Penney and Macy’s are all on varying degrees of life support. The disease is a combination of excessive financial leverage and a paucity of foot traffic…The loss of secondary retail–Aeropostale, Limited, Wet Seal etc. has had the vultures circling for over a year now. This mall has been part of our family life for the last 18 years…we will be saddened to watch its passing.

    • Chris says:

      It’s a global issue, AFAIK. Take the small mall in Ehingen, Germany. Some clothes store, a hairdresser’s and a supermarket. The place is empty until offices close and evening shoppers stop by. TBH, I wonder how the stores – all of them and the eateries – break even!

      I like online shopping and discovered high end second hand clothes. $ 200 shirts for 5% etc. The low-price nnew junk is of no interest to me.

    • Bobber says:

      The Sears in my neighborhood anchors a mid-sized strip mall. It’s absolutely dead in there. You could hear a pin drop. I walked through at 7:00PM one week night and didn’t see more than one other customer on two whole floors. Saw a few salesman. One of the salesman was nice to my daughter, so had to buy a lawnmower from him even though he knew nothing about them. It took about 20 minutes to write it up for some reason. Buying something there appears to be an ordeal. I get the sense they are still working on an outdated commission model by the way they have employees hanging around the areas. Interestingly, I also see “now hiring” signs there all the time. It must be because of high turnover, as opposed to any kind of growth.

  11. Ricardo says:

    They could just keep closing down stores to make cut backs until they get to a final store and then they could market it like a Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory.
    Come and visit the grand Sears and see how it was in the days of yore.

    Something like that.

  12. Skeptic says:

    This is another example of an all too common problem we have created and allowed to move forward, that is assigning a “brilliant” label to someone who got lucky in the hedge fund world. Eddie was never capable of running a giant retail organization, yet, again, because of some one-off luck with hedge fund trades, was given substantial benefit of the doubt and credibility. The problem we have created, is that we too often go back to individuals like this, and look upon them as saviors, or bearers of some kind of magical ability to “see things” other don’t. After over 35 years of being a professional institutional investor, the landscape is covered with these kinds of people. We need to do a better job of understanding the role of luck, versus true intelligence and acumen.

    • RD Blakeslee says:

      IMO, true intelligence and acumen has lead thousands to avoid the drummer many people march to – “investing” in other people’s enterprises and all that.

    • Kent says:

      People can be brilliant at certain things and complete imbeciles at others. Eddie Lambert is a great example. Running retail is about managing brands through constant innovation. You have to have a nose for fashion and attention to detail. Eddie Lambert has none of that.

      I was a very good software engineer and Unix sys admin at my old employer. So good in fact that they decided to make me CIO when the IT Director left. I failed miserably, because I didn’t understand my role was now about leadership and managerial excellence, not technology.

      I’ve moved on from there (thankfully for them), and taken the time to learn how to be a leader and manager. Now, I’m back to being CIO with a clue what I’m doing.

      Eddie never did learn. Doesn’t seem like he even tried.

    • Petunia says:

      No business will or can be run successfully by a hedge fund. They are two different business models. A successful business relies on giving customers good value for their money, so that they will return or refer customers. A hedge fund seeks to extract as much value as possible. You only have to ripoff a customer once to lose them forever. Any business owned or run by a hedge fund is headed for bankruptcy whether they know it or not.

      • Jarhead John says:

        Petunia…The hedgies know they are headed for bankruptcy…that’s why they seek to extract as much value as possible…suck out the marrow and push the liability on to the lenders/vendors…and the best part is that it’s all legal…


        • Petunia says:

          They know it, but the management and employees of the acquired company often don’t. I was in one of the retail stores that recently went bankrupt and the sales people had no idea unemployment was around the corner.

      • JZ says:

        I thought Jeff Bezo was a hedge fund guy?

    • wkevinw says:

      I agree. I think virtually every one of the “very successful” are required to have luck as part of the success story. There are way more very smart people than very successful people (financially). Remember that there are several cases of investment managers that did great for 5, 10 or even 15 years, only to lose it all in a few years because they couldn’t figure out that something in the markets had changed. They keep trying their one-trick-pony.

      Hedge funds fold regularly; very regularly. Partially because the smart guys know that they have been lucky and cash out while they still have something, and partially because some didn’t do that and go bankrupt.

      Lampert is basically a financial and quantitative management expert. He has no idea how to lead a retailer.

      I think Elon Musk has a lot of similar characteristics. It will be interesting to see what he has left as a going concern after the next recession.

  13. Meme Imfurst says:

    Their automotive department in my town is a den of liars and thieves. Their complaint department makes promises that they don’t keep.

    That stopped me from going into the retail store, and right now there is no store in this town to buy a pair of shoes except Sears. A friend had to get a pair of shoes for work, the store only had the left shoe. He had to order the right one. That should tell volumes of their issues.

    Management killed Sears.

  14. mvojy says:

    Sears, Roebuck & Company
    Born: 1893 in Chicago, IL
    Died: 2017 in New York, NY (Wall Street)
    Cause of death: Parasites (Lampert et al)

  15. Martin says:

    Corporate looting, fraud, theft. The rule of law and the enforcement of the law are at the root of this. I believe the average citizen is beginning to see that the elite are looting the financial system to the bones. An individual citizen loses respect for all of the above, and for the ruling classes. The middle and lower classes start to think: Maybe I should get a piece of the pie while there is still some left…
    The single, and only hope, is the average citizen waking up every one that they can, and working to advocate for the enforcement of the law in all these financial areas.
    It is long past due, that we should see hundreds, maybe THOUSANDS of owners, and managers and members of the thieving elite going to jail after a judicious use of due process.
    I am talking Perp Walks –
    Our society badly needs a re set of JUSTICE DELIVERED.
    I personally would back letting a few thousand drug felons out of prison to make room for a few thousand of the thieving elite – nice orange pajamas, and high profile trials.
    I am not talking revenge, I am talking RULE OF LAW AND ENFORCEMENT.
    I am a Canadian, and I believe American citizens deserve better that what they are getting – Never mind the false Liberal / Conservative divide – what is needed is Law, and Enforcement and real Justice, from the TOP down. Then America could really be great again.

    • TJ Martin says:

      A bit draconian perhaps but in essence we’re in agreement .

      The problem is down here in the good ole US of A the Rule of Law is and always has been on the side of the wealthy since the 2nd wave came over from England … adhering to the age ole adages

      ” Money talks . BS walks “*

      The other problem is the likes of you and I aint a gonna change things . Those changes in order to have a positive result like it or not need to come from the top down or at least sideways .. not the bottom up because the fact is NO populist revolt ever came to any good conclusion [ FYI The American Revolution was Elite vs Elite .. not populist vs Elite ]

      * As an example . The affluent neighborhood I live in is directly under the flight path of the regional airport . And though noise ordinances are on the books … with flight speeds , altitude , time of day etc mandates they are not enforced … with the reality despite the laws being the peaceable domicile of the upper middle class and millionaires homes are being shattered by the low hot flights of the billionaires jets at all hours of the day [ as well as military aircraft which the airport profits handsomely from ] So even the well off and the wealthy are at the mercy of their betters

    • Kent says:


      I don’t think Eddie Lambert has done anything illegal. The elite define what is and isn’t legal. An activity may be highly immoral, but if it makes enough money it will often be legal. And just as often, the general population will be made to venerate those who practice the immoral but legal activity. That’s what the media is for.

      My guess is for the situation to improve, the economy is going to crash again. And the elite are going to want to go all austerity on the general population. In the name of budget deficits, they will cut social security, health care programs, jobless benefits and everything holding the middle class up. At that point, people will wake up. But not before.

      • Maximus Minimus says:

        People will wake up. I wish that was true, but there is a substantial crowd that is completely confused about life, who their enemies and friend are, what the priorities are, who they should trust, and so on.
        Hunger and starvation does not make them smarter only more angry.
        It never changes over the ages; it is neverending work in progress.

      • Cynic says:

        The programme for that is being trialled in Greece.

        The rich keep what they have, while you poor citizen, get cut and cut. It wasn’t a decent society, it was ‘entitlement’, a sinful state of affairs.

        As Angela Merkel said of Greece: ‘We left sufficient support in place.’

        Really, Angela, really?

      • Frederick says:

        True however our media today has become nothing more then sellout traitorous presstitutes to quote the great Gerald Celente

    • mynamett says:

      There is a reason why there is so much violent through human history. Think of French revolution, dark ages. Eventually the people at the top of the power structure are becoming too comfortable. THe way nature solves this problem is by revolution, bloody violence. It is the way nature uses to bring a new power structure and new idea.

      I dont remember the ape specie and cannot find the link, but eventually apes get fed up with the dominant male and they collectivity kill him or chase him away from the tribe.

      I am in full support for anarchy and bloody revolution. I am waiting for the rest of the human tribe to be ready. It is the only to bring new blood into the power structure.

      • nick kelly says:

        The French Revolution didn’t work out very well. In the Great Terror the 70K executions included most of the original leaders of the revolution.
        Then came Napoleon, and after he was through about half the men between 20 and 40 were dead or invalids.
        France never really recovered. It is nowhere near as egalitarian as the UK. No one of humble birth has ever risen to power.

        But it sure turned out better than the Russian Revolution.
        Just a few years in and Bolshevik management brought on Russia’s first true Asiatic- type famine.

        • mynamett says:

          What do you mean. We are now driving cars. I will call the French revolution a success and every other episode of violence a success either.

        • Duke De Guise says:

          Then there was an (apparent) urban legend whereby, when Chinese Premier Zhou En Lai was asked by a member of the Nixon-Kissinger US delegation to Mao’s China in 1971 about his verdict on the French revolution, replied, “It’s too early to tell.”

        • d says:

          Its in dispute as to which event he was referring. The bloody Terror or a much later political event.

  16. RD Blakeslee says:

    “I am in full support for anarchy and bloody revolution.”

    So is ISIS.

    • mynamett says:

      My point still hold, nature has always used violence to bring a new power structure in place. Would it be a good or bad power structure ?

    • Petunia says:

      Max Keiser refers to the financial rape of America as financial terrorism, and he is absolutely right. The reason most Americans are apathetic about Islamic terrorism is because we live with a pervasive form of financial fear anyway.

  17. Mahesh says:

    With Sears Gone , will it help JC Penny , or is JC Penny the next to go.

    Appreciate your insights.


    • Wolf Richter says:

      Someone is going to pick up the sales that Sears would have had. But those sales have been shrinking for a long time, and it hasn’t helped JC Penney’s much, it seems. Obviously, consumers will buy what they need, either online or at stores, so yes, it will spread around, but it won’t benefit just one particular retailer. A lot of retailers will get a little bit.

      • d says:

        Thats what happens when a Zombie is finally allowed to die.

        It can indicate how many Zombies must die, before a sector can hope to become healthy again.

        The Producer Zombie numbers in china are MASSIVE.

        The massive oversupply of American malls must bear some. responsibility for the massive oversupply of American producer retailers. There is not enough market to support all those American labels, selling the same thing, for ten times its true retail value, without their fancy label on it.

        How many of those labels are set up from concept, with the intention of bilking their investors, unless by some miracle, they turned out to be long term successful????????

        Sears as previously predicted is still on course for its bankruptcy outside the 2 year claw back. Legalised fraud in plain view and nobody is doing thing about it.

        The longer retry can run it past 2 years the safer they will be in the states that have a longer claw back period.

  18. Petunia says:

    I was in Sears, over a week ago, looking for a sandwich maker. They had all the major brands at full retail. I bought one at William Sonoma at 45% off. When Sears isn’t competitive with the top of the line retailer in a sector, it is beyond over. BTW, they were selling exercise equipment at the entrance for thousands of dollars and I don’t understand why, there are retailers who do that much better too.

  19. Frodo says:

    With Sears gone I’ll have to start shopping at Montgomery Ward again.

  20. Heidi says:

    Sorry if I am missing it, but who is giving them the loaned funds to keep operating with a loss that big? Shouldn’t they be calling in the loans? thanks

    • Wolf Richter says:

      They’ve been getting new money, including from Lampert’s own hedge fund, secured by the properties. So the secured creditors will get the properties in a bankruptcy.

  21. PrototypeGirl1 says:

    The big new outdoor mall in Tulsa ( Tulsa Hills) does not have a sears store.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Sears used to have a stand-alone store in Tulsa somewhere (I can’t remember where… Yale?). Is that still there, or has that gone a long time ago? It was already run down back in the mid-1990s.

      • PrototypeGirl1 says:

        It’s 21st and Yale, I think it’s still there, i bet it’s really run down now , Sears is still the anchor store at woodland hills mall. A friend of mine was in woodland hills a week or so ago, she said everything looks normal and well stocked. I would woodland hills indoor mall would do good here because of extreme weather.

  22. Kevin Beck says:

    “…it would have reported a loss of $230 billion.”

    I assume you meant $230 million. Either way, the company that started as a mail-order house before expanding to every mall in the nation, will not make it to 2020 in anything resembling its current form. With Eddie Lampert in charge, it will find a way to accelerate the decline. The company will continue to deteriorate. Slowly at first, then suddenly.

    I think they just crossed over.

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