On page 48 of the 2016 Annual Report for Sears, a company that was a venerated retailer for more than a century until a thing called “the internets” intruded, we find this remarkable passage:
“Our historical operating results indicate substantial doubt exists related to the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. We believe that the actions discussed above are probable of occurring and mitigating the substantial doubt raised by our historical operating results and satisfying our estimated liquidity needs 12 months from the issuance of the financial statements.”
The “actions discussed above” include an amazing array of doomsday scenarios that the board of Sears deems plausible in the near future. Practically everything short of an impact with a comet is cited as a reason for imminent failure.
- The lack of willingness of our vendors to do business with us or to provide acceptable payment terms could negatively impact our liquidity and/or reduce the availability of products or services we seek to procure.
- If we do not maintain the security of our member and customer, associate or company information, we could damage our reputation, incur substantial additional costs and become subject to litigation.
- We rely on foreign sources for significant amounts of our merchandise, and our business may therefore be negatively affected by the risks associated with international trade.
- Our failure to attract or retain employees, including key personnel, may disrupt our business and adversely affect our financial results.
- We may not realize the full anticipated benefits of the recently closed Craftsman Sale transaction.
Ah, yes – the Craftsman sale. Although sites like Amazon probably doomed Sears along with icons like J. C. Penney, Kohl’s, Bloomingdales, and perhaps even Macy’s, many analysts have pointed a finger at Sears’s misguided, short-term strategy of selling off popular brands like Craftsman and Land’s End for a quick (roe)buck.
However, despite these ham-handed moves, it’s more likely that the beginning of the end for Sears was its publication of a men’s underwear spread in the 1975 catalog that revealed the model’s penis tip. All the company’s woes most certainly emanate from that fateful issue. Once that taboo was breached it was all downhill from there.
Sears Roebucks has ran some provocative ads in their hefty, door-stop of a catalog, but exposing a man’s junk was no doubt the inflection point precipitating a long downward slide. As Sears rides off to the sunset, recall some of the more memorable ads from catalogs past.
There Go the Judge
It seems that Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano – a former judge from New Jersey who likes to wear his hair in the no-brow, Homo-Erectus style – got the boot from Club Murdoch for pulling a story from his asshole about UK wiretapping of candidate Trump. I often believe that hacks like Napolitano are contractually obligated to spew out BS that captivates audiences and fuels tirades by like-minded partisans who have no fear of downstream contradiction because such contradiction is relegated to back-page status long after the damage of the original falsehood has settled in. However this time it was none other than a Fox personality – Shepard Smith – who called out “the Judge.”
“Fox News cannot confirm Judge Napolitano’s commentary. Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now-president of the United States was surveilled at any time, in any way. Full stop.”
Wow. Full stop? That’s TV journalese for “no fucking way.” Has Trump veered so far from the asylum that even Fox can no longer enable his persecution complex?
Might Fox soon be reporting the musings of one President Pence?