Battle of the Behemoths - Kunstler
``This has been a sensational year for retail failure so far with a record number of brick-and-mortar store closings. But it is hardly due solely to Internet shopping. The nation was vastly over-stored by big chain operations. Their replication was based on a suicidal business model that demanded constant expansion, and was nourished by a regime of ultra-low interest rates promulgated by the Federal Reserve (and its cheerleaders in the academic econ departments). The goal of the business model was to enrich the executives and shareholders as rapidly as possible, not to build sustainable enterprise. As the companies march off the cliff of bankruptcy, these individuals will be left with enormous fortunes -- and the American landscape will be left with empty, flat-roofed, throwaway buildings unsuited to adaptive re-use. Eventually, the empty Walmarts will be among them. Just about everybody yakking in the public arena assumes that commerce will just migrate to the web. Think again... ''