Tuesday, December 23, 2008

T'Was Too Daze Before Christmas

Yesterday, I was in the mall getting a haircut. The crowds were thin, and I think any merriment in evidence was simply putting a rosy glow on the coal that's being delivered this Christmas. This is a glum Christmas for merchants and shoppers, two days before Christmas.

I was listening a to a financial show on the radio. A listener called in and mentioned that she was paying off her credit card debt. One of the panelists said that she needed to be spending instead, that if we didn't all spend, we'd end up in even a deeper recession. So, let me think.... I should keep on accumulating credit card debt at a 22% interest rate; it's patriotic. I'm so confused!

This is a weird economic time. Lawmakers talk about regulation, but the horse has already left the barn. Consumers want relief, but don't want the consequences of declining equity value. It's a great time to buy into the stock market, but people are afraid to buy for fear of an even larger slide.

Christmas isn't so jolly. Shoppers and merchants are in a funk. St. Nick only needs four reindeer this year. Rudolph has been laid off, and the elves are trying to renegotiate their labor contract. No bailout or bridge loan for the North Pole unless Christmas proves its viability. Santa told me that he's trying to take the bah out of humbug, but it's a tall order this year.