23 March 2008

They're At It Again

The "doom-and-gloom" media never tire of beating the same old drums.  There is always disaster just around the corner when they talk about the economy.

To the drumbeat of signs that seemed to foretell a traditional recession, this added a nightmarish specter — an old-style run on the bank, customers clamoring to pull their cash, a stately Wall Street firm brought to its knees.

Of course, that "traditional recession" they speak of has yet to see a single quarter of negative GDP.

As economists and Wall Street types grope for historical perspective — which is another way of saying a road map out of this mess — Americans are nervously wondering about retirement savings, interest rates, jobs that had seemed safe.

I'm glad they clarified that for us... feh.  Because Americans have never worried about retirement savings, interest rates, or jobs that had seemed safe.

They are peering over the edge and asking: How far down?
And the scariest part of all? No one can say for sure.

No fear-mongering here, right?  The same tired rhetoric that they've pumped since Bush was elected, even before September 11th, and we're still supposed to be breathless in anticipation of the coming doom.

So in the meantime, Americans like Monica Nakamine are planning for a long road ahead.

The 37-year-old took a higher-paying job at a Los Angeles architectural firm, but has been putting the difference in her earnings right into savings. These days she's dyeing her own hair, picking through sales racks when she shops and washing her dog herself, rather than getting him groomed.

And she's considering some drastic actions in case things get worse — like moving to a cheaper city such as Austin, Texas, and getting rid of her gas-guzzling SUV for a hybrid sedan.

"Certainly I don't want it to get any worse," Nakamine said, "but I know it can."

Of course she has to panic, she just got a higher-paying job.  What?  No, don't pay attention to that part... pay attention to the part where she's recycling her paper towels and selling pencils to buy raw worms to catch the fish from the polluted streams that... sorry, conflating memes.  She knows it can get worse, but it certainly can't improve.

Then there's this article about how clueless Wall Street doesn't realize that disaster is inevitable.

Wall Street is still uneasy because it's too soon to say that the credit market freeze-up is over. The credit markets have shown signs of improvement recently after several moves by the Fed, but it not enough for the market's nerves to calm.

So those dumb investment people don't know that the end is nigh?

Last week, Wall Street finished sharply higher, encouraged by the Fed's moves as well as better-than-expected quarterly results from Lehman, Goldman and Morgan Stanley. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 3.43 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 index increased 3.21 percent, and the Nasdaq composite index added 2.06 percent.

Wait a minute.  This can't be.  All we heard last week was how dismally the economy and financial markets were doing.  A recession was coming.  The economy was in meltdown.

"I don't know how many tricks they still have up their sleeve," PNC's Stone said, "though they've surprised me so far."

Ok, I get it.  It was all a trick.  I figured out a long time ago who was playing tricks with the economic news though... and it's not Wall Street or the Fed.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 19:49:03 | No Comments | Add Comment
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