Is the recession bottoming, or is it quick sand.‚Ä® Whatever we hear from the Feds doesn't ring true.
After nearly two years of ‚Äúunusual‚Äù economy and¬†the sting of the constant change in the way we live and spend money, we are all realizing this is the reality of the way things are¬†going to¬†be¬†for the future.¬† We have listened to phrases like downsizing, fundamental resets, sluggish markets and more, but at the end of the day what does this really equate to?¬†With unemployment still at an all-time high, coupled with vanishing retirement funds and home values that will never see the light of day, do all these terms truly do us any good?¬† They seem to work well when you listen to fortune 500 CEO‚Äôs splashing them around like mixed drinks at a cocktail party.¬†¬†Or big financial institutions quoted on the front page of the Wall Street Journal in an effort to receive government assistance to their financial crisis, but really that‚Äôs where their value ends.
I thought recently that in lieu of a car payment I would send my lender a short letter explaining the recent difficulties our household has experienced¬†economically and throw in some of those big words just to see their reaction.¬† I‚Äôm assuming there would be little humor on their end, but I think the point is well founded.
What about the notion and reports that things are already showing an ‚Äúup-tick‚Äù in retail sales with major retailers gearing up for the spring buying season?¬† Are most economists all drinking from the same well and biting the forbidden fruit simultaneously?¬† Can that many people be that wrong? Especially the ones that are paid to know what‚Äôs best for us?¬† I personally believe they‚Äôve all gone mad and have crossed the center line never again to be trusted to come back on track.
A question was posed to Mr. Ben Bernanke, the chief financial officer of the United States, a few weeks back on what levels the American public can reasonably expect life to return to once this debacle is over with and next what the average American family should be listening to in an attempt to stay up with the current situation.
After nearly 3/4 hour of describing the intricate inner workings of a three year old Hoover vacuum machine and who knows what else, his final answer was ‚Äúback to normal‚Äù.¬† And as far as the ‚Äúaverage‚Äù American family is concerned, they should just go about their daily lives as they always have with no concerns with what Washington is taking care of.¬† This is it?¬† This is the finest answers we get with the “best people money can buy” watching our affairs for us on a national level. Sad but the inevitable reality.¬† I for one would like to see an overly bright 7th grader who‚Äôs decent in math in this Bernanke guy‚Äôs position, at least we would have someone that could do elementary addition and subtraction, something that‚Äôs obviously not taking place currently.
The bottom line, we are all in a force 10 storm and it doesn‚Äôt matter if your hugely wealthy or working pay check to pay check, we‚Äôre all in this together.¬† Holding on to hopes that the RV business is booming again and boats are being sold by the dozen or new cars are being wisped off the lot is just not the case, no matter who you‚Äôre listing to.¬† Nowhere to go but up, I am a real optimist (despite a slightly grumpy attitude most of the time) and believe in my heart we are all going to survive this. But things will never be the way they were there for a little while. I guess it was too good to be true for a long time.
Also don‚Äôt be fooled into believing that things can‚Äôt get any worse because frankly they can, and if we are really at the bottom, we may still be here for months to come before daylight reaches us again.