This is the response I give to people who ask me about the current state of our economy: "It's all made up." The reason I can say this is that I have been saying it for many years, through boom and bust, and it is still the best way I know to describe just how the financial world rolls. Take today for example. For the past week or so, the stock market had been making some modest gains on the speculation that the crisis would soon have new management, even if the crisis itself might continue for some time. Then it was announced that the United States had been in a recession since December 2007, and it is getting worse. This caused the Dow to plummet six hundred and eighty points.
Hey, I'm no E.F. Hutton, but haven't we all been pretty clear on this recession thing for some time now? Did it really take an official pronouncement to create the reality, or is it all just made up? Still-President Pinhead had this to say about the lost jobs, nest eggs and other damage brought on by the financial crisis: "I'm sorry it's happening, of course." Of course.
In the meantime, this made up news isn't all bad. You can now purchase a house in California for less than one hundred thousand dollars, provided that you aren't adverse to a little "fixer-upper." And yesterday in San Francisco I saw a gas station selling unleaded for less than two dollars a gallon. Three months ago that same gallon of gas cost almost five dollars.
Seven hundred billion dollars has already been tossed into the vortex, and there is a promise for another five hundred billion in economic stimulus coming our way on Inauguration Day. The Fed has already lowered the prime interest rate to one percent, and is threatening to drop it even lower. How about negative levels of interest? Why not just start paying us to borrow money? That would be a neat trick, and sure to stimulate the economy at some level. How about having the new Secretary of the Treasury drop by and mow my lawn?
In the end, it really doesn't matter because it's all made up.