Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Welcome, little marmots

Pour a big glass of whiskey (no ice) and go to the bodega to buy a pack of Marlboro Reds (no Lights). This is an acceptable time to drink and pick up smoking, what with it being the eve of destruction and all.

The self-medication will help parse the recent weeks' posts at Jim Kunstler's Clusterfuck Nation. Kunstler is a brilliant Chicken Little who doesn't think that the sky is falling so much as raining fire, incinerating Fifth Avenue and Greenwich hedge funds and Western exurbs at once. He's a Cassandra whose predictions of economic wasteland read like the prologue of The Road.

He's on break from peak oil to walk us through recent weeks' market volatility. The result: equal parts analysis and tour of hell. Even when not persuasive (which is part of the time) the writing is brilliant:
Reality is biting hard. As with the little marmot caught in the Gray Wolf's jaws of death, the body simply surrenders and God's grace of physical shock softens the translation from free-willed joyful creature to dead meat. That is where we are at here in the final days of August, 2007. Digestion follows. The Big Fund Boyz and all their minions will end up as mere worm castings in the aforementioned global compost heaps.

Terrible shocks are going to rip through the socioeconomic fabric of the USA as we turn the corner past these late summer doldrums. The fiasco of bad debt won't be contained. The choices for those who find themselves financially underwater in the fall of 07 will be 1.) liquidation, 2.) bankruptcy, or 3.) destroy whatever remains of confidence in the US dollar in order to erase debt by hyperinflation. People holding power don't like the first two, which translate into Depression (let's make it capital "D.") When a nation turns into a fire sale from sea to shining sea, and bankrupt citizens don't even have enough cash-on-hand to buy things desperately cheap -- well, that's a Depression. Everybody from Fed officials to news editors have favored the softer term "recession" the past half century because it implies a mere pause in the inexorable march of progress toward economic nirvana. That's not what we're heading into.

5 comments:

Cock D said...

And you wonder why the bankruptcy code was changed 2 years ago.

This may be the economic 9/11 that reshapes the economic life of our country the way that terrorism reshaped politics.

And again the question will be LIHOP or MIHOP.

Of course, I thought this post was going to be some fuzzy beginning of college football post. Now I have feelings of dread.

dmbmeg said...

I have nothing intelligent to say. Not like I ever do, but really really not to this.

So...

PULL MY FINGER! Huh huh...

Todd said...

So you're saying that if I get the woman to read that book, that maybe she'll stop bitching when I drink and smoke? Interesting...

CrimeNotes said...

cock d: Or maybe Katrina. You see it coming slowly, no one knows where it's going to hit. If it hits it's going to be bad, but no one's prepared and people are getting by assuming that it won't happen.

dmbm: I think you tried that joke the first time we met.

todd: You'll both be smoking and drinking.

Todd said...

That sounds sexy.