(In 2006, Ben Bernacke held his annual Fed meeting in Jackson Hole, where they dined on tropical seafood and made the lofty prognostication that the American economy was going to remain ‘strong’, and that the housing market would lead the way. I said at the time, “Pardon me, but I don’t share his enthusiasm.” I still don’t, now that the Fed's 2010 meeting has concluded. Here’s why….)
While the ladies in first-class dithered over what to bring with them, the steerage (pardon; ‘third class’) passengers were beating the cage-doors and begging to come topside. Access to lifeboats depended upon how much money you’d spent on that ticket. Survival stats from the sinking bore this out – if you were a first-class female passenger, your survival rate was a little over 98%. If you were a third-class male passenger, those statistics dropped to less than 1%. Third class women drowned with their children; first-class ladies shivered for a while in the boats; were hauled up on the Carpathia (where one pronounced the whole affair ‘just dreadful’).
He’s printed more money than the nation can possibly support. Unemployment remains at an aggregate of 20% or higher – nearly half of whom have exhausted their benefits, and are living either with relatives, in homeless shelters, or in ‘alternative arrangements’. While the nation’s top 50 economists stated as recently as April that we were in a solid recovery, now nearly half aren’t sure. Decreases in durable goods orders, the beating taken by the housing market (yet again), and Wall Street’s drop from its April highs are all signs that things are slowing again.
(There was a time during the Titanic’s final ordeal where the bow separated from the stern – those lucky enough to survive the final plunge reported feeling euphoric – that perhaps they were going to be saved, and that the stern would continue to remain afloat until that time came. )