It’s almost Halloween–time for ghosts, goblins, witches, and things that cause shivers of fear. But this year, All Hallows ghoulies may not be the most frightening vampire on the block.
The nightly newscasts about bank failures, trillions lost from pension funds and turmoil in the stock market, could easily win first prize for the scariest event. Throw in the word recession and the fright meter goes even higher. Mention depression and most everyone’s heart skips a beat.
A depression is not a good thing.
In Carpenter Country, the short one is happy to say she’s actually too young to remember the Great Depression. But a quick look at a few pages of research made some of the week’s bad news seem less scary.
During the lowest ebb of the depression, unemployment stood at 25%, the stock market declined a whopping 75% and the number of bank failures was approximately 4,000. Last month the unemployment rate was 6.1%, the market is off about 40% and 15 banks have failed.
Right now, the experts are avoiding the word depression. Mostly they’re predicting that a recovery will not come quickly. Yet history tells us by the time bad news hits the headlines the crisis is usually half over.
This morning the short one pulled on her witch’s hat and climbed out on a limb to make her own prediction. When the media drops the “toxic” economic stories, and starts hyping the next perceived disaster, consumer confidence will go up and the economy will improve.
Meanwhile she’s thumbing her nose at the fear factor and throwing a Halloween party.