Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cheerful little list.

Interesting trends developing, at least to me. Most of these are totally anecdotal and may or may not reflect reality.

Old line businesses and events going out of businesses, (Book Barn and Cascade Music Festival), while new businesses to town wonder what all the fuss is about. Bend is wonderful!

Lots of petty crime. The Bulletin appears to downplay it, KTVZ through their mugshots seems to emphasize it.

Live music venues sound like a good idea, but apparently are harder than they look. Summit has dropped the nightly acts, and door charges on weekends. This goes way, way back, folks, as far back as I can remember. Live comedy seems even worse.

Lots of motorcycles and bikes on the road. Lots of accidents.

Parking lot emptier at night when I leave, than in the morning when I arrive. How does that portend for 41 restaurants?

All the houses in my neighborhood are still for sale, some for over a year, and all have 'Price Reduced' signs.

Most of the empty spots on Greenwood are still empty, and if they haven't rented by now, you have to wonder about fall and winter.

Credit is not only harder, but harder to deal with. Having to reapply. Having them refuse to do things they've always done in the past. Interesting to me, my business vendors are still treating me the same, if not better.

Traffic seems down to me, empty parking spaces in front of my store even in summer.

The bearish blogs, which had been fairly quiet, gloating in their rightness over the spring, are suddenly screaming danger. (Bill Fleckenstein's Daily Rap today: It's About to Blow!) Almost nothing in the mainstream news; slight downtick in unemployment, downward movement in housing prices, which must be a good thing and so on. But really, none of the urgency.

Commercial Real Estate still mostly ignored. I'm beginning to wonder if we'll have a perfect storm. Housing bust, credit tightening, declining dollar and increasing inflation and deficits, big banks going under, high unemployment, commercial real estate bust, ever increasing gas prices. Seems like a certain negative synergy is developing, right now.

Stock market drops 358 points today, I don't know how much this month.

Public floating through my store still seems generally uninformed and unconcerned.


MIsstrade said...

Dow down 9.4%, worst June since the Great Depression when it comes to the stock market. Good thing W came on midday and stopped the free fall! NOT

The streets are indeed quiet daily from my perch over Wall and Oregon in Downtown Bend. I went into Goody's today perfect 1pm weather and not a sole in the store. Very weird indeed.

RDC said...

Keep in mind that as far as a bear market it has been pretty mild. So far it has not dropped even the average amount (usually around 25%). This market has dropped in the high teens as far as the percentage point.

The good news is that almost all of the discussion and views are negative.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I find the abundance of parking spaces downtown alarming. NOT the case in 2005-06. Don't think it's the garage. No one I know parks there.

I've started dipping a toe in stocks. GM the same price as when Eisenhower was Pres? Wish houses were that cheap...

eyepublius said...

Parking lot emptier at night when I leave, than in the morning when I arrive. How does that portend for 41 restaurants?

Not well, obviously. When times get tough people cut back discretionary spending first, and spending on restaurant meals is about as discretionary as you can get. (And most people in this town, unlike Washington and NYC, pay for their own restaurant meals instead of putting them on the expense account.) Warren Buffett has the right idea: Invest in companies that sell things that people really need.

eyepublius said...

On a positive note, my big stimulus check got deposited in my checking account today. Whoopee! Think I'll go out and buy a burrito for lunch.