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Thursday, March 26, 2009


Some days buzz by due to frenetic activities and excitement. Other days remind me of the old country song, "If the Phone Don't Ring, You'll Know Its Me." This has been a no-connection day. Every call I made failed to connect with the intended party; the incoming calls were not helpful. I turned to the backlog of reading and such; made a dent in the pile. The best news of the day was an incoming wire transfer - a client paid his bill (something that can't be taken for granted in this stinking economy).

So I learned a new trendy term today - "pessimism porn." This phrase refers to the dire predictions put forth by seemingly credible people, usually on the Internet, about the coming meltdown/apocolypse/end of western civilization. Reading these accounts can generate a guilty thrill for the reader - and it can become addicting. The media amplifies pessimism porn; half-baked theories get repeated until they enter the nation's collection of accepted wisdom. And pessimism porn also fuels the mob psychology - "the media and the government said that bankers are evil, so I think I will through a rock through the local banker's window." It is hard to see this as a path forward.

In its effort to connect with the majority, the new administration seems to be willing to add to the supply of bile and anger that has built up over this whole "Ponzie economy." A few powerful executives didn't create the problem, in spite of what Congress has been saying. It was a massive shared delusion that led to this, amplified by financial institutions and fueled by the human desire of many Americans to satisfy short-term gratification. If you want the big house, you were able to borrow 100% of the price at a "teaser" rate. "I will worry about the increase in rate and payments later - hey, I can always sell the house for more than I paid for it, right?" This was crazy thinking.

So the thing to do is to start working again. Stop searching for people to tar and feather. Get on the phone and make things happen. Look forward. This, too, shall pass.

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