NEW YORK (
) -- To hear Howard Davidowitz tell it, the U.S. is in a "death spiral."
Our mounting debt from banking bailouts, stimulus packages and wars put us "in the tank forever," the retail analyst says on
Yahoo's Tech Ticker.
That's just crazy talk. Forever is a long time, Howard, so I hope you are just exaggerating for effect.
If the consumer is dead, how did
Even Chico's reported a
We're talking about higher-end women's wear at
, designer shoes -- albeit at discount prices at
-- and top dollar home furnishings over at
Spending on those kinds of things is far from a sign of the apocalypse.
Now I have to admit that for the most part, the retail sector winners have been the cheap stores like
. I will also yield on the point Davidowitz makes about the end of lavish spending and the return of savings and even a degree of frugality.
For those reasons, Davidowitz likes stocks such as
. Those are the retailers that provide value and help consumers stretch a dollar. I get that.
So putting aside all the hyperbolic rhetoric from Davidowitz about the end of the world as we know it, I think we may actually agree on his core point that the market rally we've been seeing is out of touch with the reality faced by consumers.
That doesn't mean the rally is over, investors just need to temper their enthusiasm and not get ahead of the consumer. I think we will see a correction to re-sync investor enthusiasm with consumer realities.
But while some market commentators have become increasingly skeptical -- most notably
-- I'm a believer in the resilience of the American economy.
To be sure, Kass didn't write an obituary for America or the consumer. That's a step too far that Davidowitz took.
So I have to say, on behalf of myself and consumers everywhere, that such reports of our death are greatly exaggerated.
--Written by Glenn Hall in New York.
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Glenn Hall is the New York-based Editor in Chief of
. Previously, he served as deputy editor and chief innovation officer at
The Orange County Register
and as a news manager at
in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Washington, D.C. As a reporter, he covered business and financial markets, worked in both print and television in the U.S. and Europe, and conducted in-depth investigative coverage at
in Fort Wayne, Ind. His work also has been published in a variety of newspapers including
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
International Herald Tribune
. Hall received a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from The Ohio State University and a certificate in project and program management from Boston University.