Even in a very prosperous part of the country, relatively untouched by start of the depression, black Friday shopping was a bust. Lines at food court and not the shops. VERY selective buying. Maybe $100 for the day on deeply discounted (70% off required) items. Mostly a spectator sport and a simulated shopping experience.
In truth, China is more vulnerable that the US is. Yves has some good stuff on this today. Here's more from the FT's Abrose Evans Pritchard:
It is fashionable to talk of America as the supplicant. That misreads the strategic balance. Washington can bring China to its knees at any time by shutting markets. There is no symmetry here. Any move by Beijing to liquidate its holdings of US Treasuries could be neutralized – in extremis – by capital controls. Well-armed sovereign states can do whatever they want.
If provoked, the US has the economic depth to retreat into near autarky (with NAFTA) and retool its industries behind tariff walls – as Britain did in the 1930s under Imperial Preference. In such circumstances, China would collapse. Mao statues would be toppled by street riots.
That kind of "nationalist" approach used to work. However, things have changed since the world globalized (and I'm far from alone on this view).
Frankly, I see little difference between "Chinese" oil companies and "US" oil companies or super weathies like T. Boone. They both are aggressively antagonist to your and my future prosperity.
So, if push came to shove and I had to decide, I think I'd conclude that US oil companies and super wealthies may actually be worse. Why? Simply, due to the financial burden of welfare for the rich and the role they play in distorting US governance.
At least with the Chinese companies, you know where they are coming from and can act accordingly.