May 2009 Archives

Wishes, Hopes, Fantasies


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        Something like a week remains before General Motors is reduced to lunch meat on industrial-capital's All-You-Can-Eat buffet spread. The wish is that its deconstructed pieces will re-organize into a "lean, mean machine" for producing "cars that Americans want to buy," and that, by extension, the American Dream of a Happy Motoring economy may be extended a while longer.     This fantasy rests on some assumptions that just don't "pencil out." One is that the broad American...

Bad Collateral


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     The wishes of the "green shoots and mustard seed" crowd really hinge on whether the various organs of the suburban economy can be jump-started back to life -- the production home-builders, the granite countertop outfitters, the mall and strip-mall gang, the national chain discount retailers, all the people who make Happy Motoring possible from the factory to the showroom, and, of course, the banks who shovel money into these enterprises.      All these organs of...

Decoupling From Reality


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           Back in the golden age of American Flyfishing -- say around 1913 -- when technical innovation in a prissy and recondite sport was joined by a new leisure class emanating from the white glove canyons of Wall Street, some new-minted guru of angling came up with method for whipping up action on a trout stream when no fish would rise to the fly. It was really lame. The idea was to artificially create...

The Bottom



      Euphoria managed to out-run swine flu last week as the epidemic-du-jour, with "consumer" confidence jumping and the big bank stocks nudging up. The H1N1 virus fizzled for now, at least in terms of kill ratio, though we're warned it might boomerang in the fall with a vengeance. No one was surprised to see Chrysler roll over like a possum on a county highway, but the memory of their muscle cars will linger on...
 
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