Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dollars and sense

It’s already 9 AM, I’m due to post today, and I’ve got nothing. No brilliant ideas to toss around.

So this is going to be a lazy bullshit post. I figure if Jacquie can do it, so can I. (Although I thought her lazy bullshit post was terrific. And you are NOT to expect that from me, not today.)

What’s on my mind right now is how down in the dumps our economy currently is. I actually try to pay as little attention to the national and world economy as possible -- ignorance is bliss and all that. However, the folding of Lehman Brothers, the sale of Merrill Lynch, and the steepest drop in the stock market since September 11 has gotten my attention.

Lehman Brothers, the investment bank that predates the Civil War and weathered the Great Depression, just filed for the biggest bankruptcy in American history. How is that possible?

Yeah, yeah, there are plenty of people who could explain it to me: Bear Stearns, moral hazard, and all that, but to me -- ignorant me -- it just doesn’t make sense. How can such an old, respected, solid American company make such big mistakes? Mistakes that cost them everything?

It scares me.

And what about this totally unrelated, but somehow associated (in my own head) new practice on one of our country’s only airlines that is not on the verge of bankruptcy, Southwest Airlines: They sell beer and wine for $4 and cocktails for $5, however, they no longer accept cash.

“Excuse me?”

“We no longer accept cash.”

You won’t take my cold, hard cash? Dollars I’ve actually earned and have here in my hand, and instead you want me to use my Wa Mu credit card? My credit card issued by yet another American bank that is about to fold??

Now that sounds like a good idea.

If it were me, I’d be moving from cash to precious metals, not from cash to credit that seems to be evaporating daily. It could be fun.

“Two Heinekens, please.”

“Sure thing; just hand over your platinum earrings.”

Does it make any sense to you?

This whole train of thought reminds me of some investment advice I read at a local deli last year. You’ve probably seen it before, and it should really be updated to read Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and AIG, but you’ll get the point nonetheless…

Investment advice:
If you had bought $1000.00 worth of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.00.

With Enron, you would have $16.50 of the original $1,000.00.

With WorldCom, you would have less than $5.00 left.

If you had bought $1,000.00 worth of Budweiser (the beer, not the stock) one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the 10 cent deposit, you would have $214.00.

Based on the above, my current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.

Now this, this is investment advice that I could (and already do!) follow.


Pickles and Dimes said...

Ha - nice! I should start recycling to earn extra money.

We were looking into refinancing our house a few months ago and now we're basically being told, "Wait a few years." Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Ick, it's scary. The good news on the airline front is that when the machine breaks, you get free drinks. That happened to me on my last trip back East on AirTran.

The other night I was putting stuff into a locker at the gym, and happened to read their warning about protecting my valuables. It was pretty alarmist, saying that "in these tough financial times" members need to quit leaving shit in their cars so the thieves will quit breaking the windows to steal it. Then I noticed that the warning sticker was 'signed' Family Fitness Centers - how long ago did they change to 24 hour fitness? How long have we had these "tough financial times?" Sure, it's worse now than we can remember, but it's never really been good, has it?

NucMEd is Hot said...

I love your train of thought, however I don't live in one of those .10 recycle states. Kansas just isn't that cool, but with a grand worth of Bud, the memories wuold be priceless.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I stand in front of the machine, feeding cans of seltzer and Heineken right on in. Besides getting 5¢ a can, you get the satisfaction of all those little cans getting crushed and made into fleeces or something. Or is that plastic? Anyway, it's a lot more fun to think about than the state of Wall Street. Yee-ikes.

Weith Kick said...

Oh, and I heard yesterday there is some airline (I think it's American Airlines) is going to start charging $50 per extra bag you take.

Kat said...

My husband would love your investment advise. As much beer as the military guys buy, we might already pay Bud's light bill.

Madness said...

nice post .. and yeah .. the end of days is near. Scary shit I tell ya.