I'm in amongst a collection of tedious family issues at the moment and subsequently don't have so much time. In the middle of last night's sibling argument about what's happening in the stockmarket, I found myself restating things I wrote a while back that never saw the light of day here. I rejected it for reasons I can't now recall. Anyway I went back and read it and thought it was pretty good. I admit it's not precisely germane to right-this-minute, but it's broadly there and will do until I'm back to my life of nothing-better-to-do-than-write.
In the meantime, friends of mine (who don't know about this blog, shhh!) are getting in touch with me, newly keen to hear my thoughts on the current crises. These are the people I tried to talk into cashing out of the city and moving to the country to set up a farm collective thing. So much for that idea. The ridicule and opposition I got was total - Cassandra ain't in it. And now here we are. As always. The strangest thoughts float through my head, all coloured by me being past caring. Anyway this was written for my jet-set friends who thought they'd get rich playing the stock market and are now being taken to the cleaners.
You know that American cautionary story about poker? The one that says - If you're sitting at a poker table and look around and don't know who the patsy is, it's you. That's one story. And then there's that Rockefeller story. You know the one.
Rockefeller was having his shoes shined out the front of his building and the shoe-shine guy asks for stock tips. Or offers them? Whatever. Rockefeller presciently decided that if the shoe-shine guy is into the stock-market then the whole thing is overheated and it's time for him to get out. And that, boys and girls, is how Rockefeller cashed in all his stocks the moment before the crash of 1929.
Ha ha ha. Did we really buy that story? Whatever - let's pretend it's true. What Rockefeller is saying is that the stock-market is not for little people, which is to say, you. By the time you have joined the market, it's going to come down, says he. According to Rockefeller it doesn't matter how many of those unintelligible magazines you read. Bloomberg Dow FTSE Stock-Ticker Market Report - all that stuff. You will always be the shoe-shine guy.
I wonder if someone thought to track down that shoe-shine guy? Verify the story, kind of thing. Maybe they couldn't find him? Maybe he was so distraught about his stock portfolio crashing that he leapt to his death from his shoeshine box, ha ha ha.
But seriously, no such event happened. Rockefeller's story is crap. It's just a variation of an alibi in case anyone thought to look for the culprits, ie. who pulled out just before it all happened. He needn't have worried. His friends in the media ensured everyone understood the crash was a force of nature. An act of God, as it were. I expect Rockefeller would have agreed with that description.
And yeah, I understand punters do make money on the stock market. My father once made enough money to buy my mother a jazzy little French car. She took it, the furniture, and all his money, but never mind. He had a brief dabble and came out ahead. But of course there are guys who win. If no one ever won at the casino who'd bother going? A casino can't make money without punters. Those stock reports are just brochures with instructions on how to play each game. But the house always wins, doncha know. The house is the Reserve Bank. When times are good they win small. And when times are bad - as in Grapes of Wrath bad - they make out like motherfuckers. Or like Rockefellers, ha ha.
I'd like to offer consolation to those getting taken to the cleaners right now. But I can't. You're fucked. Alan Greenspan had your number years ago. Those insane house prices - did you ever wonder what that was all about? Housing shortage, mumble mumble. Huh? Were you or any of your friends living sardine-like, thinking, if only there were more houses? Hardly. Your house is (well, was anyway) worth all that money because there was too much bullshit money sloshing around looking for somewhere to go. Now there's so much money it's worthless. Welcome to Weimar Germany. BYO wheelbarrow. Greenspan and his very good friends printed all that monopoly money. Know that they made this crash with malice aforethought. Act of God my arse. Act of pitiless hubristic motherfuckers more like.
Oh well, never mind - easy come, easy go, eh?
PS Anyone who hasn't seen The Money Masters over at googlevideo, do it. Or don't do it. I'm past caring. But if you watch it you'll understand why this crash is happening. It won't allow you to rescue your money and assets. It's too late for that now. But at least you'll know the make of the truck that hit you.