2.12.2009

Told ya so (live blogging the catastrophe)

At the recent "Compete or Retreat" symposium blogger Megan McArdle gave a wandering and digressive talk entitled "(Blogo)spheres of influence"; this was kind of ironic for me to sit through, because "Midnight Modern Conversation" has got to be the least influential blog in the history of the world: A site vainly searching for a readership, though I know a consistent theme or topic would help the cause.

Anyhow, economist Art Wolf was also involved in this event, he recently gave a commentary on the present situation to Vermont Public Radio, some words in the introduction struck me:
The economy is in terrible shape. Worse than anyone predicted a year ago. Far worse than economists forecasted as recently as six months ago. And it will continue to decline in coming months. (Emphasis added).
Let's see: On March 18, 2008 -- about ten months ago -- I wrote a post entitled "I don't feel stimulated" that pretty much predicted with a high degree of accuracy how things have played out:
I feel like I am living in Weimar-era Germany or some South American banana republic. This 'stimulus' is really more of a bribe passed by feckless and cowardly elected representatives in Washington. It's contemptible and fraudulent, and if the government was a commercial entity (like, say, General Motors) I would wonder if this check -- when it shows up -- would bounce. It could be argued that Americans (addicted to debt, prone to living in McMansions and driving SUVs, etc.) get the government we deserve: "We the people..."

To use another analogy, I feel like I am perched on top of the longest drop on a rollercoaster.... waiting for the plunge, and it's a long way down....

[the post concludes with....]

I expect that the captains of finance who profited the most from the previous excesses, and who are largely responsible for the current mess, will walk away with rich severance packages.
I am not being at all original in pointing this out again; I already wrote a post in late September -- "Arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic" -- vainly calling attention to the original "I don't feel stimulated" post: Some days, I feel like Diogenes with his lantern (the anecdote about masturbation in the Agora is pretty funny). A lot of blogging, however, seems to consist of flogging veritable herds of dead horses, so I will make the same tired point again without compunction.

And, on the subject of posts on the present economic situation, I have noticed that variations on "Kondratiev Wave" are showing up the analytics reports of this largely unvisited site; I wrote about this topic back in November 2008.

Since I can apparently predict the future, perhaps I will plan a trip to Saratoga this summer to lay some money on the ponies... that seems as likely a source of income as any of the possible alternatives these days.

No comments: