Thursday, February 12, 2009

Recessionary Times and Michael Phelps, et al.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year you may have noticed that we are in a recession. By all accounts, this is one of the worst in modern history.

The bad news is that it is going to probably get much worst through the rest of 2009. Soon the consumer credit market is going to fall as people have been spending on credit for months. Then the real sh*t is going to hit the fan.

In the middle of all this, pictures surfaced of the golden boy Michael Phelps smoking from a bong. This was all going down at the same time that Jessica Simpson put on a few pounds. The sheer magnitude of the Phelps bong and Jessica's figure overtook the news for close to a week.

It would seem to me that there is a correlation of -1 between our appetite for stupid news and the economy. As one goes up, the other goes down.

So what else can we learn from all of this:

  1. The work (bad work) of few propped up, and in many cases created, a situation where everything that was accomplished in was wiped out in a matter of minutes. Those people with "increased sales X percent in two years" on their resume don't look as impressive anymore. Sure, it easy to grow you company and business when demand is easy to get. You just have to capture value and not create it.
  2. Be conservative in the good times so that you can spend in the bad times. Imagine if you had been putting away all of your money in the last 5 years. Retailers are practically given things away and not just small items. I heard anyone buying a house might get a 25k (that's right - 25,000) tax credit. Cars are being marked at barely above costs.. and that HDTV you wanted and paid 3k for last year.... worth $800!
  3. Sh*t Happens. Sure, this was is a terrible situation. People got greedy and even as the house of cards was coming down - they were spending 1.2 MILLION to upgrade their office. But people are greedy and they always will be. Money leads to more money and it always will. Wall Street will always make big bonuses and the "man" will always stick it to you. Embrace this and understand how to make it work for you. Plan for it. Pick yourself up and get back in the game.
Forest Gump said "life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get". He was wrong. He should have said "Life is like a whorehouse, you're going to get screwed".

Just kidding.

But I think we could all use a good laugh. After all, it's like getting stuck in an elevator with strangers. Somebody cracks a joke, we all laugh and wait for the elevator to start working again.

I just hope they stop playing this terrible music.

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