Monday, July 14, 2008
If it weren't so sad and, to some extent at least, true, this story in The Onion (hat tip RC) would be much funnier than it already is.
Or maybe it would be less funny...
Anyway, the ideas in Eric Janszen's very serious article in Harper's from a couple months ago which postulated that the nation needs another financial bubble (preferably something like alternative energy that might actually leave something good behind), met up with the very real world of satire this morning at The Onion with the predictable results:
A panel of top business leaders testified before Congress about the worsening recession Monday, demanding the government provide Americans with a new irresponsible and largely illusory economic bubble in which to invest.Read the whole thing, then make your own very personal decision to laugh or cry.
"What America needs right now is not more talk and long-term strategy, but a concrete way to create more imaginary wealth in the very immediate future," said Thomas Jenkins, CFO of the Boston-area Jenkins Financial Group, a bubble-based investment firm. "We are in a crisis, and that crisis demands an unviable short-term solution."
The current economic woes, brought on by the collapse of the so-called "housing bubble," are considered the worst to hit investors since the equally untenable dot-com bubble burst in 2001. According to investment experts, now that the option of making millions of dollars in a short time with imaginary profits from bad real-estate deals has disappeared, the need for another spontaneous make-believe source of wealth has never been more urgent.
"Every American family deserves a false sense of security," said Chris Reppto, a risk analyst for Citigroup in New York. "Once we have a bubble to provide a fragile foundation, we can begin building pyramid scheme on top of pyramid scheme, and before we know it, the financial situation will return to normal."