An economic canary

Not Denninger, but what he posted about this morning. Karl’s link here. Reuters link here.

Shares in Orlando, Florida-based Darden fell almost 9 percent in premarket trading.

The company now expects earnings from continuing operations of 25 cents to 26 cents per share for the second quarter ended November 25. Costs associated with its purchase of Yard House USA Inc would cut earnings by 5 cents per share, while Hurricane Sandy would reduce EPS by about 1 cent.

Analysts, on average, expected fiscal second-quarter earnings, excluding items, of 47 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Darden expects same-restaurant sales to be down 3.2 percent at Olive Garden, off 2.7 percent at Red Lobster and down 0.8 percent at LongHorn Steakhouse during the second quarter.

This is an economic canary in a coal mine. Here’s why…

No one in my immediate AO cooks anymore. They Kroger/Publix on an almost meal to meal basis, and most of that is pre-packaged & processed junk. No one cooks. When they go out, the frequent the places mentioned above. This is the land of Chili’s, Longhorn, bad Mexican, and QSR.

The next ones you will see is the fast food chains saying much that same, followed shortly by Dot Gov saying that they have struck a deal with McD’s & BK to accept EBT funds.

Seriously folks, it hasn’t even gotten bad yet.

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The World Will End on Tuesday

I was discussing this with Mrs. Matson over morning emails.

As an aside before I get to my point…

I have always found it astounding that the landscape and culture of a city can so drastically change in just a few square miles. Almost as if you pass into another country or world all together.

I digress.

My point.

After visiting the link, reading the bit that passes as an article, watching the video, and finally, reading a few comments, what is your take?

Mine generated a few questions:

  1. What is the percentage dispersion of EBT/Foodstamps in the county where I currently reside?
  2. How many of my suburban neighbors are on EBT/Foodstamps?
  3. What’s your plan for saying yea/nay to neighbor seeking help in crisis or troubled times?
  4. What is your plan for when said neighbor finds out that you do indeed have the ability to feed yourself in times of crisis?

I’ll be honest with you here. Even after two weeks of NPCC & the Recovery Road series with Andy, I’m still hesitant to change my fundamental way of thinking which is along the lines of extreme threat mitigation.

My first reaction is to load mags and prepare to repel boarders.

This is however, not how it works. Doing the above will not foment support from your neighbors and they are ultimately who make up your tribe.

The above story takes place within a relatively short drive of the Matson compound. I would imagine that could also be a doable walk for someone hungry enough.