I could easily find a parking place in Berkeley on Saturday! What could it mean? On a normal afternoon in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto, I usually find just one space open, and often I have to drive around the block once…. Ah, it’s the end of Easter week and a bunch of the university people have gone away. So much for bigger meanings like recession, breaking news on TV or sunspots.
Sometimes such offbeat indicators do mean something. How would we know if the U.S. economy has begun sliding into a severe recession? By a surge in the number of eBay items for sale, according to one article in the March 23 New York Times. That would indicate, I assume, that people had become unusually motivated to liquidate whatever belongings they could.
These metrics measure hard-to-reach places, internal or external. They may be eccentric, creative and even strange.
Back in 1971 Chile’s newly elected socialists dreamed of what today we’d call a dashboard, and it was to run the country. They actually did build it, and just 15 months after conception it was good enough to thwart a nationwide strike.
The Sierra Club, once a leader in bottom-up organization, is about to flip over and assume a top-down orientation--in fact, one much like the big corporations it usually opposes.
If there’s one reliable sign that a recession is coming, it’s when the experts say they see none coming. I’ve survived four. “Oh, maybe a slowdown, yes…” they say. Now, in today’s New York Times, Charles Duhigg argues that what’s unlikely is a “full blown depression.” Quoth Duhigg:
Why? Because so many of them have spent so much time studying the Great Depression and trying to figure out how to react more effectively if things turn really bad again.
Would that be the same kind of study France and Britain did after World War I to avoid World War II? The kind General Motors did to sustain its dominance over the pre-hybrid Toyota?
Quick, buy gold!
Really, to infer from this that a depression is likely could be just as silly as the people who take official denials about Martian spaceships as proof that they really exist.
I don’t infer anything. I just don’t remember hearing the D word during past recessions.
Why did New York governor Eliot Spitzer ever pay more than $100 for a call girl? That’s what scientists at a state-funded research lab freaked out about when the news broke yesterday. To them the scandal was that the rest of the money could have gone to science.