Black Friday surprise: Jeff Bezos tells people NOT to buy cars, refrigerators and other large items. Critics challenge him.

Billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder of e-retail giant Amazon, has some spending tips as Americans gear up for a Christmas shopping season — amid four decades of high inflation and recession worries.

This is what he said:

“If you’re an individual and you’re thinking about buying a big screen TV, maybe take it easy, keep that money and see what happens. Same with a refrigerator, a new car, whatever. Just take some risk off the table.”

Bezos made the comments in a CNN WBD,
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interview that aired this week, the same interview in which he promised to give away most of his fortune in his lifetime.

Why did Bezos give the tip for consumers and small businesses to go easy on big items? He gave one main reason.

“If we’re not in a recession now, we’ll probably be in one very soon,” he said in the interview, adding his warning tweet last month that “the opportunities in this economy are telling you to slam the shutters.”

Bezos is currently executive chairman at Amazon AMZN,
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transitioned to the position last year when Andy Jassy took the lead as CEO.

Later this week, Amazon confirmed it was laying off some of its staff in its devices and services business.
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– that’s firing people. According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of jobs at Amazon could be as high as 10,000.

Critics have taken aim at these words of thrift coming from a man – now worth about $120 billion – who built Amazon into the online shopping bonanza.

To be sure, Bezos is not alone in worrying about a possible recession, as the Federal Reserve and other central banks fight higher costs by raising interest rates.

But his advice sparked some laughter on social media. In a nutshell, critics say these are sparing words from a man – now worth about $120 billion – who built Amazon into the online shopping bonanza that allows consumers to spend seamlessly.

Like Joshua Becker, a proponent of minimalism wrote on Twitter: “I haven’t heard him say he’s waiving Amazon’s Prime Day deals or Black Friday offers, but I recommend adding those items to your list as well.”

Regardless of how anyone feels about hearing spending advice, especially from one of the world’s richest people, there are some things to keep in mind as events like Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday approach.

For starters, there may be discretionary spending that people can cut back on. Many Americans are still spending heavily, such as Walmart WMT,
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third quarter and October retail sales numbers have recently been confirmed. Holiday spending projections paint the same picture.

According to National Retail Federation projections, Americans will spend between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion on holiday sales this year. Last year’s holiday sales totaled $889.3 billion, according to the trade association.

In the third quarter, Americans’ credit card balances rose to $930 billion, the biggest annual increase in more than 20 years, according to the National Retail Federation.

But Americans are planning for the holidays as credit card balances grow — probably because credit cards help them keep up with rising costs.

During the third quarter, Americans’ credit card balances rose to $930 billion, the biggest annual increase in more than 20 years, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

As balances grow, so do credit card interest rates. According to Bankrate.com, the annual percentage rate (APR) on new credit card offers averaged 19.14% in mid-November. That beats the old record on APRs for new cards, set three decades ago at 19%.

The holiday shopping season is typically when Americans pile up credit card debt, pay off the debt early in the coming year, and repeat the holiday debt the following year.

This year, the stakes could be higher if high credit card bills come and recession-induced job losses follow.

“It’s not the time to overspend and have trouble paying your bills later,” said Michele Raneri, vice president of financial services research and consulting at TransUnion TRU.
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one of the country’s top three credit bureaus, previously told MarketWatch. “We know the economy is sending mixed messages.”

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