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October 13, 2008 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Don’t Know Much ‘Bout the Economy…

Let me just start out by saying it’s COLD here.  Perhaps you’ve seen me post photos of my gardens on here.  Those mountains in the background (The Tobacco Roots) got SIXTY INCHES OF SNOW yesterday.  We’ve missed most of that snow, although there’s a good six inches on the ground here and it’s frigid outside. 

I think I know why I haven’t been able to post anything for a few days.  I have a lengthy rant about the economy, the election, and where we are in general that has been rolling in my mind for the last several days.  I am certain that if I were to post my thoughts, they wouldn’t come out right, they wouldn’t sound the way I intended them to, and I wouldn’t be happy with it. 

I get a lot of my news from CNN.com.  Yes, I know what a lot of you are thinking.  Why?  CNN.com blows as a source of actual news.  And there is the answer to your question.  I do enjoy perusing CNN for the sheer entertainment value. 

Next time there is a major catastrophe where a lot of people die, check CNN every ten minutes.  You will see the body count go up and down.  I remember a few years ago there was a train derailed in Florida.  The CNN headline read “400 people die in fiery derailment” or something to that effect.  Ten minutes later, the headline said “At least 260 people dead in train crash.”  Fifteen minutes after that, the count was down to 90.  And within the hour the actual death count was listed: four.  Four people had died in the accident.  What does this prove about CNN?  Nothing that we don’t already know.  It’s news-o-tainment meant to generate ad revenue like everything else on television.  And I don’t mean to just pick on CNN, it’s pretty much every single news source out there. 

So I’ve been checking CNN daily for news about the economy.  I wish I understood stock markets more; I don’t have much knowledge in the way those things work.  Hedge funds?  Sounds like the budget you put aside to trim the out of control bushes in your front yard.  The Nikkei?  Didn’t he star opposite Jet Li in Kiss of the Dragon?  Volumes?  Volume averages?  Closing? Opening?  I don’t get any of it.  And how, exactly, does one become one of those middle-aged men on the floor of Wall Street?  Where exactly is that big room with all the huge monitors with red and green blinking prices, the room where all those phones are on the wall?  We see it every day in the news.  I think it’s the Stock Exchange building in New York City.  And when the people do pick up those curious wall phones, who are they calling?  Is it this guy?

And what are those things in their hands?  Those contraptions look like the same things the UPS guy makes me sign when he delivers a package. 

The way I understand it, somehow these hordes of confused looking middle-aged men are authorized to make big decisions about the money that Americans put into their investment portfolios.  I couldn’t really tell you what an investment portfolio looks like, because when I hear the word “portfolio” I think of it in artist terms; so an investment portfolio to me is a big black binder holding portraits of hundred dollar bills and shiny golden dollar signs.  (Is it clear that I have no idea what I am talking about?)  Anyway, these guys press their little buttons on those contraptions and they make mysterious phone calls to the Banker, and these activities make the b’zillions of numbers on the sign go up and down, turn red and green.  It’s all very murky to me.

I guess the rant here is that CNN keeps telling us about how excited and hopeful we should all be because “stocks are rallying.”  By the end of the day, it could just as easily be telling us to continue to stuff our investment portfolios under our mattresses because the Dow fell again and as it was falling, it squished the Nasdaq who had the misfortune to be walking underneath it.  Somehow this makes all the other world markets go crazy, and the rest of the world flips it’s collective middle finger at us. 

So then the experts go on TV, and tell us to quit panicking because “now is a really good time to be investing!”  Obviously!  If I had fifty thousand dollars, I would put it all onto Boardwalk and build me some hotels!  It just makes sense, what with everyone going out of business lately.  It makes me angry, as I am sure it does you.  These ‘experts’ are the same people who contributed to the ginormous mess we are all in.  And I wish I knew more about it, but I don’t.

The magical bailout, which Congress had the good sense to reject the first time around, was put into place shortly afterward anyway.  And a fine job it did, no?  The stock market tanked even more.  And now my great-great grandchildren can help pay for it!  Bonus! 

I guess it shows that we really don’t have anyone to count on at the moment. 

That is, except ourselves. 

That’s why I’m going to use my future $500 stimulus check (come on, you KNOW that’s next) to remodel one of our bedrooms into a miniature stock exchange.  I’ll mount a TV set to the corner of the room so I have a place to display all those red and green numbers.  I’m going to put a red phone on the wall that has a direct line to the Banker (if anyone knows the Banker, please e-mail me his phone number so I can arrange this).  I’m going to use my son’s Etch-a-Sketch to write down random numbers throughout the day.  I’m going to invest in a nice suit to wear while I do all of this.  If I do it right, I may make my own stock market rally, and then I plan on retiring to a nice island somewhere.

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One Comment

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  1. Blossom / Oct 13 2008 9:25 am

    To know much about the economy, we should be watch it and observe it regularly with all availabe source.

    Stocks

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