Doesn’t look like people are buying as much
All evidence to the contrary:
Maybe there is a divergence between dollars paid and number of pieces shipped? Some automakers have been open about their intention to increase prices to the sky, and not care about volume. Maybe other “JCs” have jumped on that train?
With regards to Fedex, it could be that a very large online retailer bought lots and lots and lots of trucks and are doing their own deliveries, and even providing delivery service to others in various ways. It could also be that their direct competitors are simply doing it better than they are. It could also be that in addition to large online retailers, there are smaller delivery services, with lower overhead, that are slowly eating away at their business. It could also be that expensive quick deliveries from offices to other offices are happening less often … because fewer people are located in offices now.
And it’s very likely that it’s a combination of all of the above.
That only works until it stops working. Many years ago, a bunch of automakers made mediocre products, but relied on the fact that patriotism drove people to their products over others, and that the others were kind of shoddy. Not only that, but they were able to convince lawmakers to favor their products over others in the various laws applicable to their industry. But that only worked until it stopped working, and then followed a multi-decade decline of the once great capitol of that industry.
Seems most “JCs” are only concerned with lining their own pocket, and care not one whit if the company is still viable after they cash out.
As it happens, I was watching “Barbarians At The Gate” last night. The film shows Johnson concerned that many Proles at RJR would be laid off as the company labors under the post-LBO debt load. That, clearly, is also no longer a concern of “JCs”.
Which is why mgmt requires “CASH NOW” payments to get rid of mgmt. None of this “$X/yr for 5-10-15 yrs”. ALL CASH–NOW !!!
Which is why many pension funds are substantially underfunded. Mgmt chooses to underfund pension plans in order to “keep costs low”–which fails to fund those worker plans because mgmt says “it is NOT OUR PROBLEM”. Require worker pensions be 100% funded before allowing any mgmt payout. The cars will spew a LOT OF MGMT CLOWNS making false claims (as usual).
The film shows Johnson worrying about the, iirc, 140,000 proles at the company. iirc, it was Johnson’s wife that commented that her hairdresser was friends with a woman whose husband had been a truck driver for Safeway for 18 years. He was tossed after the LBO, went home, and blew his brains out.
The deal Johnson worked out with AMEX had him owning 20% of the company, valued at several hundred million. He was tossed by KKR, with only some $53M.
Another thing the film showed was RJR had an independent Chairman. That concept is history now, in spite of “wokie” governance principles that try to reestablish the Board as independent of the CEO, rather than the CEO’s rubber stamp. The film shows Johnson’s management group dismissed from the boardroom while the independent board examined the competing proposals.
The board rejected the AMEX offer, even though it was for a slightly higher price per share than KKR’s, because they had doubts about the company’s viability with that much debt. Now, the narrative is “grab every nickle and stuff your pockets full. Who cares about the future of the company and it’s proles?”