Thursday, August 11, 2016
U.S. retail giant Macy’s announced plans to close 100 stores, mostly after the Christmas shopping season. That’s in addition to the nearly 100 stores it has already closed in the last seven years. The retailer describes its move in terms of consumers buying more clothing online, but it can also be seen as part of a trend in which consumers are buying more selectively. Macy’s says it will put more emphasis on high-end exclusive brands in its stores that remain, pointing toward a strategy of selling fewer items but at a higher markup. Stock investors were cheered by the move, sending the stock up 16 percent even though Macy’s is cutting its operating expenses by only about 10 percent and could lose most of the $1 billion in annual revenue that came from the closed stores.
A map shows recent bank capital provided by local governments. Note that every province is included, a sign that the bank bailout regime is centrally coordinated.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
China’s crackdown on dodgy investments is looking more serious as time goes on. Today regulators shut down 10,000 hedge funds, with a statement that noted that many funds were not properly disclosing their activities and some were funding criminal organizations, such as unlicensed factories and smugglers. Already most of the “wealth management product” sector had been shut down with a similar set of complaints.