11.14.2008

Things are getting pretty rickety

The barrage of bad news continues, it is unsettling, I still have a job to go to five days a week, but I work in the people-hiring business. Given the economic climate, and many predictions that the recession/depression will be long, deep, and drawn out, for how long will this continue? Maybe I should become a repo man (one of my favorite movies) instead.

I have been anointed the social media maven at the office, I update various online profiles, created a page of our company on Facebook, and started playing with twitter -- though I really don't get the point of this service. A couple of things from my twitter stream caught my eye this week:
"i fear whats under attack now not xyz co or industry but very concept of value and money"
And a comment on an interesting, if depressing article by Michael Lewis (author of Liar's Poker, a book he now admits is practically quaint) entitled "The End of Wall Street" raises an interesting question:
So is the US$ the next bubble? What happens when US$ goes down to zero? Should we be shorting US$?
As I have said before here, I feel there are parallels to Weimar Germany in the current situation. Two economic events have already afflicted me:
  • My slender retirement savings have lost considerable value in the past six months.
  • Frozen credit markets and a very dismal job market mean that it would be very difficult to sell my condo if I wanted, or had, to.
To complete the trifecta (this hasn't happened yet, but could be a reasonable expectation based on history)
  • Raging inflation wipes out the value of the cash I have in the bank as a hedge against job uncertainty.
There seems to be a debate over which decade we will revisit: The 1970s (stagnation) or the 1930s (prolonged economic crisis, social breakdown, etc.). Life is a cabaret...

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