I have long been a permabear on the U.S. economy. I felt that bailouts to a select group of people and institutions after the Financial Crisis would not end well. Super low interest rates from the Federal Reserve was good for spiking assets like real estate stocks. They also likely masked the true output of the economy and delayed the inevitable once rates became more normalized. Consumer spending is the lion’s share of GDP. With hundreds of millions of weak consumers, sustainable economic growth over the long-term could be difficult to come by:

Sure, U.S. GDP has grown steadily since the Financial Crisis of 2008/2009, but so has our debt; debt/GDP increased from 63% at the end of 2007 to 104% at the end of 2015. The rub is that most of the government spending has gone to support Wall Street, hedge funds and big business — major donors of political campaigns — at the expense of the labor class.

That is a long-winded way of saying I have been bearish on the economy and cyclical names like Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY). BBBY and other old-line retailers were being picked of by Amazon (AMZN) and other online retailers. It was also being beaten up by traditional retailers like Target (TGT) and Walmart (WMT) whose digital footprint was growing rapidly after acquisitions and heavy investment in technology. BBBY was facing a technology learning curve, a huge capital need for technology investment while its same store sales were in decline.

The business may not have improved much over the years. For speculative investors, the stock is worth taking a look at. Shorts have feasted on BBBY over the past few months. However, a major whale just bet big on the stock. Read more:


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