Last week Iceland went bankrupt. It was a week when an entire country declaring bankruptcy was a fifth rate news story. The story was so far below the global financial meltdown and the presidential election it barely made filler status. It was a car wreck of a week, one that we couldn’t turn away from if we had wanted to. Check the news in the morning to see what happened overnight and find it had only gotten worse.
There’s no sugar coating it. It was a scary, awful week. It was the worst single week in the history of Wall Street. There simply was no good news. But . . .
· It was the first time I’d ever heard the expression Irrational Despair (the converse of Irrational Exuberance that signaled the Dot Com bubble bursting).
· Of the last 13 recessions, 8 of them bottomed in the month of October.
· Warren Buffet is quietly buying common stock.
I’m not trying to put a smiley face on an ugly situation. I’m just saying.
Without good news, I’d settle for a slow news day, one of those days when Good Morning America would have two minutes of actual news and a six minute viral video of a bird chasing a squirrel. Now those were the days.
There were some amazing stories that got lost in the crisis coverage too. One week after insurance giant AIG was bailed out by the government their executives were sent on a $440,000 spa retreat. Out of curiosity, I’d just like to see the individual that was responsible for making that happen. Either he literally has kohunes the size of coconuts, or he ingested a little too much peyote that day. I’m guessing it was the latter because by the end of the week he’d reestablished contact with planet Earth and cancelled the rest of the retreat.
And the second presidential debate was like no other I’d ever seen. McCain would walk around the stage and refer to his opponent as “this one” while Obama was making slick comebacks like “The straight talk express must have lost a wheel.” Someone on Meet the Press said it was like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air debating Fred Murtz. I wish I’d said that.
Last week was a horrible week. It was scary because now it feels like nothing is certain any more. Maybe nothing ever was certain. But, as Sarah Palin might put it, there are still some things we can be pretty gosh-darned sure of.
· Monday signals the start of a brand new week. And that’s always hopeful.
· There isn’t a six-year-old in the world who isn’t more concerned with this year’s Halloween outfit than with the financial meltdown. And maybe they have a point.
· Somewhere, that bird is still chasing that squirrel.
· And if O J Simpson is singing in the shower this morning, it isn’t Viva Las Vegas.
I’m not trying to cheer you up. I’m just saying.