Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ask a person with vague notions on how the economy works

By the nature of my job, I’ve been keeping a close eye on the economic shenanigans that have been going on for the past few weeks. I’ve decided to use my position to answer any and all questions you may have about your money right now.

1) Should I take all my money out of the bank and put it under my mattress? Probably not. Especially if you smoke in bed and/or have a lot of candles in your bedroom (rimshot!) But really, all money you put in a bank is ensured up to $100,000. Somehow I doubt any of you guys have more money than that. If you do though, you probably should take out the excess and put it somewhere safer. Like, for example, under my mattress.

2) Are we entering another Great Depression? Too soon to tell, but most signs point to no. This does a good job explaining how much worse shape the overall economy was in the early 1930s than it is now. To sum it up: The Crash of ’29 brought the stock market down like 17 percent, this last dive only took it down 7 percent. Plus, the entire economy contracted 46 percent (!) in the early 1930s. Our economy is still growing right now. Of course Campbell Soup was the only stock to make money on Monday, and nothing says disaster like people stocking up on canned goods, so never say never.

3) Bonnie & Clyde, The Sting and O Brother Where Art Thou all made the Depression look kind of cool. Wouldn’t it be cool if we had another Great Depression? No.

4) Isn’t it true that the only thing that really got us out of The Great Depression was World War II? Not entirely. But I’d still watch your back, Germany.

5) Why are we still talking about the Great Depression? Didn’t you just say we’re NOT entering another Great Depression. Yes, good point. Let’s get back on track here people!

6) I hear a lot of people talking about this on TV and the radio and stuff, but no one can seem to reach a consensus on how it started, nevermind how to fix it. Is that a problem? Absolutely, but we're used to that kind of thing by now, aren't we? Ladies and gentlemen, the 24 hour news cycle!
7) So what did happen here? Ummm, banks gave a bunch of people who couldn't handle credit a ton of credit. Now there's bad debt everywhere and a bunch of financial institutions sank or are sinking as a result. Plus some other stuff. I think. Stop asking me such hard questions!

8) I’m glad the bailout failed. Who wants to help a bunch of Wall Street fat cats? I mean, am I right or am I right? You’re wrong. The idea of forking over money to Wall Street is unappealing to be sure, but the money's actually being borrowed from taxpayers, not taken. And some of the most conservative, pro-free market economic thinkers I know all say it's necessary to prevent this crisis from getting worse. One of the biggest problems right now is that the credit markets are frozen: No one is lending money. This is an issue because a lot of companies need credit just to make payroll. Our economy, for better or worse, is based on credit these days. With credit frozen, everything freezes. This is a bad thing. Most people agree that the $700 billion bailout would loosen up the credit markets.

9) I had no money to begin with, hate working and love Ramen Noodles, so this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me. Same here doll face, same here.


The Imaginary Reviewer said...

This is actually the best information on the current situation I've read.

pistols at dawn said...

9 is the way I live my life: only concerned with how things affect me.

Also, putting "rimshot" and "mattress" in the same paragraph can't lead to any good searches finding this blog.

Red said...

I'm packing my bags and readying myself to move to Hooverville.

Dave H said...

Number 3 and number 9 are pretty much the funniest thing ever.

Red said...

Your links always crack me up.

Falwless said...

This blog gets funnier by the day, I swear.

words words words said...

I think the financial crisis is AWESOME. Pretty soon I'm going to be rich just because I don't have any debt!

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