Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Phony War Revisited

Back in September, I made a post that referenced The Phony War that occurred from September of 1939 until May the following year. In that time, because no armed clashes occurred between the Allied and Axis forces, World War II didn't seem like much of a war, and certainly not the fearsome stuff of endless History Channel shows that feature unprecedented bloody battles between military titans that leave tens of millions dead, and most of Europe, from the streets of London to the Steppes of Russia, a burned out husk. Likewise, in our time, for the better part of a year, because no fresh disasters have appeared to demonstrably pound the U.S. economy, our ongoing depression, appears to be, well, not so depressing.

I fear this relatively halcyon time is coming to an end sometime this year. The key idea behind my assertion is that our economy is still very fragile, and that the remedies that have been heretofore applied will not hold in the face of growing threats. Such threats as I have in mind are China's bubble economy popping- an inevitability which is vastly under reported around these parts- Europe's still simmering sovereign debt crisis-which is what our sovereign debt crisis will resemble at some point in the future- the air travel imperiling volcanic eruption (which, strangely, may not have been) in Iceland-which had it continued for another few weeks would have surely been an economic boat rocker- the distinct possibility, not to say probability, of yet more bank blowups in the U.S., and, last, but not least, a destabilizing fresh outbreak of military hostilities.

I'm sure I've left out a few other major risk factors. After all, however unlikely it is that The Vampire Squid comes under a major legal assault that sunders the firm, or that J.P. Morgan is indicted for its manipulations of the precious metals market to salvage the dollar, all of these potential developments are out there waiting to press hard against our shaky economic edifice. If I can be allowed a moment of fantasy wish fulfillment, in the cases of the end of Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, after some serious fallout into capital markets, I am inclined to imagine that the ultimate benefit to mankind would be profound.

Suffice it to say that, time, as it were, despite the better than year lull in local financial and economic catastrophes, despite the liquidity fueled moon shot in the stock market- the marquee display at "The U.S. Economy has Recovered" fun house- is, simply, not on our side. In the meantime, we must make the best use we can of our time in the eye of this enormous, once in an epoch, hurricane.


15 comments:

Debra said...

So... in the eye of the hurricane, how about going outside and smelling the wisteria or the lilac ?
A while ago in the jungle I stuck down Shelley's poem, "Ozymandias".
At least the upcoming financial debacle is not going to stop the wisteria from smelling like... heaven.
Gotta savor pleasure where it is, instead of building castles in Spain, I say...
We have been living in those unbuilt castles in Spain for too long already.
My daughter in law WISHES she were engaged.
I don't know what my son wishes..
But they are ALREADY living as man and wife.

Russ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
attempter said...

The eye of the hurricane - that's a lot closer to reality than "green shoots".

You describe the whole situation well. China's position is almost as bogus as the West's. These "middle class consumers" are finished, while those are never going to materialize.

The Sitzkrieg is a good analogy to the complacency of the media whitewash, and the way the masses seem to still think one way or another we'll be heading back to business as usual.

Of course, the Bailout and the crimes continue at full Blitzkrieg intensity.

(Sorry for the previous deletion; I was trying to see what happened if I commented under that account, but it doesn't then link to my blog.)

Edwardo said...

Absolutely, Debra, where the hurricane doesn't blow fine things away, like wisteria, one should enjoy them.

As for your son and would be daughter-in law,

well, that's what common law is for, amongst other things, people who live as man and wife without having gone through the formality of a wedding.

The eye of the Hurricane has generally felt like a decent metaphor to describe our present condition. I'm glad you approve, Russ. No worries, on the deletion, and thanks for letting me know what that was about.

DED said...

Greece remains troubling. And are Spain and Portugal next? Tea parties in Germany, perhaps?

Edwardo said...

Tea parties in Germany? Well, that would be better than another party I can think of.

Debra said...

Edwardo, just to let you know that since Toby and I hit it off well, he has invited me to be a co author on his blog..
Thanks, Edwardo, because I met Toby through you.
This was all nicely timed, don't you think ?

Edwardo said...

Holy &^%#! Deb. Toby gave you the keys to the Edsel?

Anonymous said...

Only on Sundays and if it it ain't raining!

Rupert said...

Sorry for the anon post, password malfunction.

Debra said...

Who are YOU, Rupert ?
Just checking...
Yes, Edwardo, Toby gave me the keys, as you put it...
I haven't been back to the saloon since I made a semi dramatic exit, but if you want to read ME, Edwardo, come on over to Toby's place.
Perso, I think what I'm saying is a little more interesting than that erector set stuff, but then I'm prejudiced, now, aren't I ??
I am happy to say that, while I have noticed that Toby is interested in economics, HE seems to be a lot less erector set than some people I know... (no names, no names...)

Edwardo said...

Where did I get this idea that you were taking a sabbatical from blogging.

Debra said...

What... ME taking a sabbatical from blogging ??....
I'm an addict, Edwardo.
Beats substance abuse any day, I think.
A lot less expensive...

Debra said...

Hey Edwardo, if you still have my E Mail address, could you drop me a line, please ?
I'd like a little... advice.
Cheers.

Debra said...

No, Edwardo, I'm not taking a sabbatical from blogging, but I've decided to take a sabbatical from SOME BLOGS.
You wanna hold my hand a little bit over here, and STRENGTHEN MY RESOLVE ?
While I go through WITHDRAWAL ??
Thanks.