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October 12, 2008 5:19 AM   Subscribe

How will the financial mess affect you? Will you still have a job? Will your mortgage go up or down? Will your bank account pay more or less? What if you want to buy a house? Or a car? Or have a child? College? Insurance? What if you are dying?What about Religion? And what if you want to get a credit card? First time things get hard? If it is tough, there is always bartering. So, who is winning?

On the bright side, there are some signs things are getting better. And the are always bargains. Of course, we can always learn some lessons from last time. At least there is some gallows (sorry - Daily Mail) humour.
posted by bystander (54 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
You don't mention retiring. This is a terrible time to have to cash in your superannuation.
posted by tellurian at 5:36 AM on October 12, 2008


My bet - deflation of asset prices and interest rates falling to boost the economy, followed by high stagnant inflation, then high interest rates but no Zimbabwe/Wiemar hyper inflation. So, ride interest rates down then lock in a low fixed mortgage rate. If you have money, think resource stocks to shield against inflation.
posted by bystander at 5:38 AM on October 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


tellurian, this is a fantastic time to have cash in your retirement account! If you do, you just won! What to do with it is more complex. Talking to my Dad today in that position we decided 'nothing' just yet.
posted by bystander at 5:41 AM on October 12, 2008


at least it wont be boring.
posted by lacol at 6:06 AM on October 12, 2008


I used to joke that my family still had a Great Depression mentality. Saving or salvaging everything, shopping at Goodwill, relying on family labor while investing what money was to be had in natural resources like mature timber and natural gas royalties, precious metals (flea market bargins), and property rental income. I was almost always embarrassed as a child. As I hear every day how much value my parents' market-based retirement account has lost value, I thank my lucky stars they have these other investments and income streams to move them into retirement.
posted by mrmojoflying at 6:13 AM on October 12, 2008


one of life's best kept secrets is self sufficiency. who cant make a vege garden. Dont just buy beef get your mates together and buy a cow. take it to a butcher and fill your frezzers. its waaay cheaper. There is loads of ways to get through. This is just stuff we forgot. Buy some chickens and learn how to keep them. you score fresh eggs every morning, They tast the best!
posted by lacol at 6:20 AM on October 12, 2008


mrmojo: your parents may end up being very wealthy.
posted by Malor at 6:23 AM on October 12, 2008


In the last link I expected to see a business named "Poundland" squarely in the paragraph about "couples looking to 'entertain' themselves at home".
posted by crapmatic at 6:53 AM on October 12, 2008


I've been pretty snarky in the other financial meltdown threads, but I do feel for everyone. I decided to do the ex-pat teaching thing since, while I had a job back in the States, it wasn't very satisfying and the pay was way low. Granted, I'd chosen to live in a small town rather than a big city with a healthy job market, and that didn't work out.

People are hurting here in Korea as well. Probably everywhere I imagine. As for benefits of moving abroad, I got to sell my car for a decent pile of cash, and I absolutely lurve not having to pay for gas, insurance, new tires, or general repairs (even a late-model Honda Civic costs plenty of ducats to maintain). The biggest smile I ever had on my face recently is when I got rid of that thing. I just can't imagine living anywhere where I didn't have convenient access to good public transportation ever again.

I grew up in the suburbs, and I'm curious to see what happens to them. Are they turning into ghost-towns of four-bedrooms houses occupied by families that really only needed two or three and now have to move on?

Rambling I guess. Hope people manage to land on their feet. I guess I have, sort of, but I've got very little to look forward to regarding retirement savings. My 401(k) is shot, and I'm not even paying into Social Security now that I'm abroad. Granted, at 34 years old, I doubt I'd ever see a penny of that anyways.

You can still buy lottery tickets in the States, right? Because I'm going to need them once I get back.
posted by bardic at 7:13 AM on October 12, 2008


lacol: "one of life's best kept secrets is self sufficiency. who cant make a vege garden. Dont just buy beef get your mates together and buy a cow. take it to a butcher and fill your frezzers. its waaay cheaper. There is loads of ways to get through. This is just stuff we forgot. Buy some chickens and learn how to keep them. you score fresh eggs every morning, They tast the best!"

Nice sentiment. Also how to cook a chicken: at least 3 times: Broil it for the meat; boil the bones/feet/neck for the stock (chicken soup etc.); scrape the drippings and add the giblets for gravy.
posted by stbalbach at 7:23 AM on October 12, 2008


I'm seeing an increase in people carrying around guitars which is a leading indicator of wandering balladeers. That can't be a good sign.
posted by jonmc at 7:34 AM on October 12, 2008 [9 favorites]


A lot of places in suburbia forbid livestock, including chickens. I wonder if that will change at all in the coming months if it gets bad enough? I was interested in raising chickens to be more self-sufficient before I started to get scared about being able to feed myself. Maybe now there is even more reason to change/challenge such rules.

I did hear something interesting about chickens while working at a wildlife rescue. Even though they weren't wild, they'd occasionally get chickens. When I asked where they'd come from, apparently a very common source was poorer families keeping chickens in their homes (usually apartments) until someone complained. I recall thinking how resourceful that was, even if more than a little gross. Its sounding even less crazy now.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 7:37 AM on October 12, 2008


heh, we are all Malor now.

Actually I've argued that the necessity of moving to a resource-backed currency is overblown and that the collapse of the debt bubble of 2003-2007 will cause plenty of Gloom but not necessarily a full course of Doom.

My god, I remember seeing "Spinners" on a car for the first time -- and thinking what a horrible example of the debt-fueled Conspicuous Consumption that simply cannot end well.

Living in LA 1985-1992 and Japan 1992-2000 taught me what the boom/bust cycle looks like.

Going forward, I agree with the above that things might go deflationary for a while before turning inflationary, with the proviso that price inflation without WAGE inflation is entirely possible and will result in economic dislocations and rebalancing over several (if not many) years.

I'm no economic historian, but it's my understanding that industrial capacity utilization fell to 30% during the mid 30s in the U.S. I don't think we will let that happen -- here, or in China. China has a billion people that could use the modern conveniences they have been manufacturing for us these past 10 years, and around two trillion dollars of dollar holdings to finance this domestic investment.

Here in the US, the $4T of mortgage debt that was loaned out 2002-2006 is not going to be destroyed as the debts go bad -- a LOT of that money will not be repaid to the bank, but it all still exists in the economy somewhere.

It is a lilttle-known fact that M3 -- the sum total of all dollars in the world -- increased from $4T to $14T from 1994-2006. This was largely due to the rise of the global trading regime and its need for dollars in the 90s, plus the aforementioned domestic lending boom of this decade.

I think if we need to "print" another $4T to "recapitalize" (keep businesses producing wealth instead of going BK) I think we will. The modification of the bailout from debt purchase to direct investment in banks is an indicator of this direction, since $400B of investment, via the magic of fractional reserve lending can become $5T or more of new loans.

The unknown, and truly scary limiting factor in this future is the 10-year rate. Right now it's under 4%. It going to 5, 6, 7, or 8% basically increases the pain of debt service, almost exponentially given how much we have to roll every month, and how much we add to the debt every quarter.

We live in scary times, but we wouldn't have gotten here had we moderated the deficit reduction to revenue-neutral stimulus, instead of cutting taxes by $100B+ and raising spending by $100B+. Those were twin stimulae that, along with interest rate cuts, drove up housing 100% or more.

One of my questions I'd want to waterboard out of Greenspan is whether the pump of land valuation was intentional or unintentional.
posted by troy at 7:50 AM on October 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


A little while ago I realized that the people carping about the government taxing their money have been busily spending other people's money for years.

And I'm not just talking about rich people, but from lower-middle class on up.
posted by NortonDC at 8:17 AM on October 12, 2008


Thank you for including the humor links. The short video on the BBC page was quite good. The jokes might write themselves, but it's still quite nice to hear them.
posted by Horatius at 8:31 AM on October 12, 2008


And I'm not just talking about rich people, but from lower-middle class on up.

yeah, recently my FOX-watching mom went from expressing suspicions about Obama being a faux-Christian crypto-islamic terrorist-cell antichrist who was going to institute State Socialism (I sheet thee not) to carping about how the California government might put a lien on her now paid-off house (payable by her estate, ie. me) to recover the costs for her MediCal-provided care after her death.

I held my tongue on the antichrist crap (can't reason somebody out of a position they didn't reason themselves into) but the obvious "socialism is bad" disconnect was simply too much.
posted by troy at 8:32 AM on October 12, 2008


Metafilter: We are all Malor now.
posted by bonaldi at 8:38 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sales are way up on home safes! what does that tell us?

Alas, I was born at the beginning of The Great Depression and now, going on toward 80, I may well die during another. As they say: whatever goes around comes around.
posted by Postroad at 8:59 AM on October 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: We are all Malor now.
posted by bonaldi at 8:38 AM on October 12


Eh. Funny how i didn't see any crow-eating by the people (no, i'm not naming names, that'd be bad) calling him a "wannabe internet economist that doesn't want to learn" when it appears he was right all along and not really holding an uninformed, extreme, lunatic position.
posted by vivelame at 9:08 AM on October 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Here's a question which I hope someone here might be able to answer: my significant other is a retired teacher, who worked 34 years and just retired this past summer. (Nice timing, eh?) She gets a retirement check each month for as long as she remains breathing. Is that check going to keep coming? It comes from the teachers' union retirement fundm (Public School Retirement System, PSRS). If that's secure, then I will feel safer about our future. Anyone?
posted by jamstigator at 9:35 AM on October 12, 2008


Amid all the "ZOMG NO MORE LOANS" news, my teenage son just got a $1200 loan to buy his first car and my young-adult daughter got a small signature loan to pay off some traffic tickets and court costs. Both loans were from our small-town "Main Street" credit union, with low interest rates.

My family has always been lower-middle-class (our yearly income fluctuates around $36,000) and we probably always will be. We're accustomed to a tight budget and to being as self-sufficient as possible. I'm worried about the economy, but I can't help thinking that there's something fishy about the economic freak-out news when two kids with starter jobs (my son is a grocery stockboy and my daughter is a nursing assistant) can get loans with no one batting an eye. Does that make sense to anyone else?
posted by amyms at 9:45 AM on October 12, 2008


Not to pick on a dude who isn't in the thread, but isn't he the OMG ZIMBABWE!1! guy?

My RRSP is presently in the shitter, but like the Prime Minister said (Even though he really shouldn't have, the insensitive knob) it's a good time to make some investments. I have no idea how long it will take for things to get better, but I am confident they will. Why? Because they always do, eventually.

(On the extremely off chance they do not, whether or not my portfolio is balanced or my investment potential is maximized won't much matter anyway, as I will be too busy evading Wez to worry about it.
If it comes to that, I'll just have to speed up my retirement plan, which was the build a soddy in some secluded corner of the the family farm.

Or I might just set up a tent in the backyard, what ever's easier.)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:46 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


it's a good time to make some investments

i was thinking the same thing in 2002 with my 401K -- independently figured out that "dollar cost averaging" into the declining market was probably a good strategy for the longer term, then I got laid off in October, right at the low. D'oh!

The difference between 2002 and 2008, however, is that the baby boomers are ~10% closer to retirement, where they will turn from net contributions to equities to net withdrawals.

While it's certainly arguable what extent this is a headwind to P/E growth, the US population pyramid of 2002 has some indication of the scale involved; in 2010 the boomer bulge will be 45 to 55 years old. Hmm, it appears my demographic shock thesis is mostly a 2020-2040 timeframe issue.
posted by troy at 10:23 AM on October 12, 2008


Here's some positive news: Marvel Entertainment (MVL) went up 6.56% on Friday.

Let's hear it for superheroes!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 10:38 AM on October 12, 2008


I was born at the beginning of The Great Depression and now, going on toward 80

Postroad, dang, dude, I thought I was the oldest one on MetaFilter after languagehat. You're the MeFite Methuselah. Kudos for getting to 80. We should have an Old Fart MeFites Club with parties and everything.

video: Schiff predicted the current crisis with stunning accuracy over two years ago and now he is sounding another alarm bell.

Am I wrong in thinking that this crisis would not have happened without the subprime fiasco? And who cooked this subprime thing up?

Schiff said to embrace the recession because the "disease is all this debt finance consumption". I tend to agree with him on that, except the subprime thing seems like it was the behavior of compulsive gamblers and transparently doomed from the getgo to fail.

Watching that video I feel some vindication, now this whole financial mess has gone down, to see Arthur Laffer, Mr. Reaganomics, who is sparring with Schiff in this video, be proved so wrong.
posted by nickyskye at 11:24 AM on October 12, 2008


Actually, Fuzzy, to me that's bad news because I want them to go down, blame it all on having erased Peter and Mary Jane's marriage, and undo that stupid deal with the devil thing.

Hey, I can dream of something good coming out of all this.
posted by bettafish at 11:30 AM on October 12, 2008


Hey! don't push it! I am not yet 80 merely on my way, after August birthday for 79...wife asked me what I where I would like to go for the big 80th. I said: the bathroom would be helpful.

Old age, said Betty Davis, is not for sissies.

It took about ten years and a war to end bad times in the good old depression days...gentleman, start your countdown.
posted by Postroad at 11:36 AM on October 12, 2008


Reading the "winning" link in the OP I learned that buying gold seems to be a good investment. again, came across another Peter Schiff video, talking about that. He says he thinks it will go up from its present price to $2000 an ounce in 2009. He is a Ron Paul supporter. Hope he works with whoever is elected.

wow. As a civilian with no understanding of fincial anything, this Peter Schiff guy is the first person who makes practical, common sense to me:

Schiff also references the role of the US consumer in the world, saying that the US consumer thinks he's doing the world a favor by consuming what the rest of the world produces. He is quick to point-out that this relationship will come to an end, in his view, much sooner than people imagine, and with negative consequences for the US. Schiff has been quoted as saying: "Consumption is its own reward for Production" -- meaning that without production, the US cannot indefinitely sustain its ongoing consumption. Schiff, and other adherents of Austrian economics, promote "savings" as "the engine of economic growth -- not consumption."

If I had any money to invest I'd read his book, "Crash Proof: How to Profit From the Coming Economic Collapse".
posted by nickyskye at 11:46 AM on October 12, 2008


I like Schiff, but he's something of a kook. His thesis has been proven half-right, so his Euro investment strategies have taken it up the ass.

He's only right because nearly all of his screenmates are just totally batshitinsane tag wrong.
posted by troy at 12:03 PM on October 12, 2008


Postroad, ahh, you said "going on toward 80". So, only 79! Still, a major accomplishment.

after August birthday for 79...wife asked me what I where I would like to go for the big 80th. I said: the bathroom would be helpful.


*hears the Vaudevillian drum, bah da boom

Very funny.

My tip. Magnesium citrate. Cheap, no side effects and effective. Wikipedia info.

ten years and a war to end bad times in the good old depression days

What's your gut feeling about the situation now? Care to speculate?

Your comment prompted me to check out comparisons between The Great Depression, then and the Housing Bubble Burst ie the Great Subprime Scam and Outsourcing Production now.

This is an interesting statement, which I don't understand since other countries didn't have our subprime/production mess:

The frightening lesson of the depression of the 1920s and 1930s is that the dominoes simply go on falling. In the end, nowhere is safe from contagion.

Looking at photographs of the Great Depression it seems hard to imagine that the kids of this age may experience that again. In those days people were not used to the luxuries which are so commonplace now, like washing machines, every variety of electronics, convenience gadgets and transportation. These are interesting times.

troy, Who do you think gets it right? Bonus points any vids or predictions that came true.
posted by nickyskye at 12:05 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


*no understanding of financial anything

not even spelling, lol
posted by nickyskye at 12:15 PM on October 12, 2008


Am I wrong in thinking that this crisis would not have happened without the subprime fiasco? And who cooked this subprime thing up?

yes, you are largelywrong in this. Subprime borrowing went to borrowers with bad credit. This market was hundreds of billions of dollars of the trillions that went out 2002-2007. Subprime was useful in priming the pump of the "move up" cascade of buyers, but had it not existed we still would have seen the pump & dump since other lending areas, like non-owner occupied, were larger than subprime.

Eg., "Alt-A lending" went to borrowers with good credit but with differing standards than prime -- less than 20% down, "stated" income, "stated" assets, negative amortization, qualifying borrowers on teaser rates not the fully-amortizing back-end rates (WTF?).

The key takeaway is that lending got suicidal when lenders began to "walk away" from the risk of their loans (via securitization). This was the Greater Fool thesis in operation, and it worked quite well ~2003 through 2006, then the wheels started coming off, leaving us with a FOUR TRILLION debt overhang, of which one trillion or more is yet to fall on our pretty little heads.
posted by troy at 12:15 PM on October 12, 2008


troy, Thanks for the education. Much appreciated. (wish I understood more than 2% of what you said after "yes, you are largelywrong in this").
posted by nickyskye at 12:20 PM on October 12, 2008


nick, Karl Denninger is my guru now. While the Calculated Risk blogger guy's politics apparently match my own more, Karl REALLY knows his stuff. Here is a 1 hour plus radio show appearance Karl did last night.

Mr Mortgage at ml-implode.com is another industry insider whom I deeply respect for his knowledge, data, and analysis.
posted by troy at 12:25 PM on October 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


troy, thanks again. It's easier for me to learn about this complex stuff in videos, especially when there is a dialogue.

Do you have a gut feeling about what is up ahead for the USA and the planet economically?

One of the commonsense points Schiff makes is that Americans need to produce their own stuff. What do you think of that?

You said:
leaving us with a FOUR TRILLION debt overhang, of which one trillion or more is yet to fall on our pretty little heads

And then I just read an article that says:
What would it cost to wipe out world poverty, guarantee universal health care, stabilise population growth and roll back the ravages of global warming?
About $190 billion a year, or the equivalent of a third of U.S. annual military expenditure, a prominent environmental economist says in a new book.


It seems a damn shame about the trillions. I'm working on a primitive visualization of a trillion dollars. So far I got to the trillion pennies part. So it's this times 400.

*goes to look at the links you offered.

Thanks again.
posted by nickyskye at 12:44 PM on October 12, 2008


No, think I got it wrong about the pennies. Not 400 but 40? What is the math? *smacks forehead and wishes my mind were better/smarter, could do even basic math
posted by nickyskye at 12:54 PM on October 12, 2008


Wait, I still have a job? I thought I was let go weeks ago!
posted by Eideteker at 12:59 PM on October 12, 2008


Chicken laws around the U.S. (all major cities and far from comprehensive)

Even Reagan advisors knew that high military spending plus tax cuts equals deficits and long-term trouble.

Dick Cheney said "Reagan proved deficits don't matter."

I wonder if Reagan is still right.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:14 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's always opportunities to make a killing during hard times. You 'just' need to already have capital, because nobody* will lend it to you, and you can do like, say, Onassis and buy a few ships for rock-bottom prices.

*except maybe your really wealthy family
posted by vivelame at 3:12 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm worried about the economy, but I can't help thinking that there's something fishy about the economic freak-out news when two kids with starter jobs (my son is a grocery stockboy and my daughter is a nursing assistant) can get loans with no one batting an eye. Does that make sense to anyone else?

Credit unions use the savings of their members for capital and don't depend on other banks to lend them cash on shortfalls. If your credit union has plenty of capital on hand there's no reason why they can't continue to offer credit on generous terms. Keep in mind they're only trading for a small surplus not to maximize the profits of their shareholders.
posted by Talez at 4:13 PM on October 12, 2008


Do you have a gut feeling about what is up ahead for the USA and the planet economically?

30% chance of the 1970s, 30% of the 1990s, and 30% chance of the 1930s. 10% chance of something else.

One of the commonsense points Schiff makes is that Americans need to produce their own stuff. What do you think of that?

yeah, as I said I like Schiff, he makes a LOT of sense a lot of the time. One of the things that makes sense to me -- can't recall if he said this but I hope so -- is that you can't count foreign investment as part of trade flows (which significantly reduces our trade imbalance). The Misesians say that trade deficits don't matter, but I think they are full of crap on this.

We've got an annual $600B+ trade deficit, going forward. In my untrained view this deficit is actually a form of consumption since we are sending out dollars to our trade partners to cover this, dollars that must in the end buy USD-denominated assets and ownership positions in our society.
posted by troy at 4:41 PM on October 12, 2008


I think the best summary of the attitude leading up to the current crisis is "Running with the Devil" by Van Halen.

Also, as a member of Generation X, I think there is a deep-seated hatred for Baby Boomers. I think many of us feel that they essentially destroyed all that is good in their selfish drive for gratification. For those of us who feel this way, this crisis seems like a vengeance or cleansing, sent from a higher power. Or, to put it another way, let's see you retire now, bitches.
posted by snofoam at 5:17 PM on October 12, 2008 [12 favorites]


Snofoam, I'm a Gen Xer too, and I feel you about the boomers screwing our generation. The problem with let's see you retire now, bitches is that they're going to keep hanging around in the job market and preventing us from moving up. Fuckers.

Talez sez: Credit unions ...[are] only trading for a small surplus not to maximize the profits of their shareholders. Bingo. In a nutshell, the best reason to leave your bank and become a member of a CU. They're not constantly trying to pick your pocket to line someone else's.
posted by Sublimity at 5:32 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


In a nutshell, the best reason to leave your bank and become a member of a CU.

I can vouch for that. My local (now regional) CU has, in the last six years, charged me exactly zero dollars in monthly account fees for my chequing account. My business account is dinged $11 a month, but we get all kinds of cool reporting in exchange.
posted by illiad at 5:38 PM on October 12, 2008


I"ll continue as I always have. Being vaguely amusing for money or marrying up the ladder.

I'd better dust off the date book, if you can get invited to 3 dinner parties a week you don't have to buy food!
posted by The Whelk at 5:40 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the answers about why my credit union is still able to give loans. I answered a banking-related question on AskMe awhile back by stating that I like being a member of a credit union because there's a nice "we're all in this together" vibe, and I guess that's even more true during an economic crisis.
posted by amyms at 7:44 PM on October 12, 2008


Postroad, OMG! I have always been amused and engaged by your commenting style, but it never occurred to me that you had seen as much of this life as you have! Zounds!
posted by mwhybark at 9:27 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Although, you know, checking your profile, it does seem like you may have misunderestimated your age in this thread.
posted by mwhybark at 9:30 PM on October 12, 2008


Credit unions use the savings of their members for capital and don't depend on other banks to lend them cash on shortfalls. If your credit union has plenty of capital on hand there's no reason why they can't continue to offer credit on generous terms. Keep in mind they're only trading for a small surplus not to maximize the profits of their shareholders.

someone correct me if I'm wrong, but ISTM that with fractional reserve lending credit unions are normally a hellacious money pump.

They pay 4% on say $10,000 but loan out $100,000 @ 6%. . . hmm, $400 in expense for $6,000 in income ????
posted by troy at 9:38 PM on October 12, 2008


Lessons I learned from my grandmother:

1. Garbage service is a luxury. What can't be composted, re-used, re-purposed, or recycled usually burns (she pre-dated many air pollution ordinances).

2. Polyester is difficult to wear out. Most outfits made of the stuff will remain wearable throughout the fashion cycle, and look nearly as good when their styles return to vogue as they did when they went out. No matter how much one wears them. Even family pictures.

3. The "employee discount" and scavenging rights included with volunteership at the Salvation Army are at least equivalent to and likely exceed minimum wage.

Things I've learned on my own:

4. One whole chicken is one of the most economical foodstuffs on the planet. To expound on stbalbach's post: roast the bird for the first meal, reserving any bones, skin, and fat. Make gravy from the drippings and/or giblets. For the second meal, pick the carcass clean of any usable meat, roast the bones with an onion, a couple of carrots, and a rib of celery, then boil the mess along with the skin and fat to make stock. Strain the stock, dice the meat and return it to the stock with some vegetables and noodles for soup.

5. Pay for quality. You can buy that flat-packed particle board bookcase for cheap, or you can spend a couple hundred dollars more for the oak one with the nice joinery. You know which one's going to last longer, but consider this: the oak one looks better, you know it's better made, it's the type of thing that just might become a family heirloom, and if you really consider the cost of the piece an annual expense, it comes down to something like $4 per year.

6. Regarding cars: item 5 applies only to Toyotas, excluding Corollas.

I sincerely hope that any one of these items one day helps any of you in making a rational, informed decision. Additional advice is available for a modest fee.
posted by Graygorey at 10:56 PM on October 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


5. Pay for quality or not. I am constantly amazed at how cheap old but not-yet-antique furniture is. A wardrobe made from real oak in good condition sells for $80 on ebay while the chipboard garbage at Kmart sells for $100!
posted by bystander at 2:41 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Funny how i didn't see any crow-eating by the people (no, i'm not naming names, that'd be bad) calling him a "wannabe internet economist that doesn't want to learn" when it appears he was right all along and not really holding an uninformed, extreme, lunatic position.

That's because the alternatives weren't "Malor says that there will be a serious downturn, versus others who say that everything will be sunshine and roses and unicorns crapping rainbows forever and ever amen."

The alternatives were more accurately "Other people agreeing that there will be a downturn versus Malor saying that it's going to be worse than Zimbabwe, that it's actually and literally going to reduce the US to the living standards of a third world country, and that the only thing that can save us is gold-backed currency."

Malor isn't right yet. We will start to know Malor might be right when inflation hits 20000%. We will have some vague confirmation he was right when, in addition, per capita GDP in the US drops below, say, $2000/year in year-2000 dollars. But we will not know he was actually right until these things happen and refuse to be solved at all until somebody finally moves us back to commodity-backed currency and that makes everything better.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:56 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


snofoam, Last night before hitting the hay I read your comment, "as a member of Generation X, I think there is a deep-seated hatred for Baby Boomers. I think many of us feel that they essentially destroyed all that is good in their selfish drive for gratification."

It would seem to me that every generation has a "drive for gratification" which irks the next generation. As a Baby Boomer, I too see this financial crisis as a kind of cleansing but not as some sort of vengeance, just a learning curve, part of the process of being human. There are many different kinds of Baby Boomers, just as there are many kinds of Gen Xers. I don't encourage you to go towards sweeping hatred based on age.
posted by nickyskye at 7:53 AM on October 13, 2008




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