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Commentary: Make no mistake, brick and mortar retail is dying. And while there has been modest coverage of the topic in recent weeks, it has focused more on the dismal earnings and subsequent shellacking of a few retail stocks. The reality is that this is much, much bigger. We are in the early stages of a seismic shift in the way goods are purchased – a dislocation that has the potential to unleash far-reaching systemic implications and to profoundly alter the U.S. economy as we know it – from basic employment, to commercial real estate, to the stability of the financial sector and the very same banks brought to the brink during the financial crisis. And whether this takes years to play out or months, the end result is the same: The loss of the two largest employment categories by number of workers, combined with an unparalleled glut of unused commercial real estate, is a crisis in the making.
Anyone who has followed the gold market in recent years knows how it performs in times of crisis. Yet, like everything else it would seem, analysis of the gold market has become painfully topical of late, laser focused on the next tweet, or headline, or comment from the Fed, that is going to make it move. The information presented here is a call to dig deeper…to return to the type of fundamental, long-term analysis that fueled prudent (and ultimately well-compensated) accumulators in the early to mid 2000’s. The writing is on the wall – just as it was back then – for those willing to look for it.