Commentary: Brutal 'collateral damage' will follow recovery
Something's in the air. You can feel it. A new bull. Hype? Maybe, but also a roaring new bull -- and eventually another meltdown.
Television is a metaphor for our cycles, so see how America's becoming a huge ratings competition:
"America's Got Talent." Complete with kooky judges like "The Hoff" (ex-Baywatch lifeguard David Hasselhoff), Ozzy's wife, and Piers Morgan (no relation to JP). And you've got to love those wacky contestants going mano-a-mano for Nielsen ratings against those noisy "disrupters" being sent to health-care town hall meetings by the GOP crew. A sure sign America's employment picture is improving and the economy is in recovery.
"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" Regis Philbin, the original moderator, is back for 11 fabulous nights in August. Why? A cover-up? Maybe it's tied to all the TARP money paybacks and hot earnings that let the "too-greedy-to-fail" banks make more Wall Street insiders millionaires. Wall Street loves Regis upstaging Goldman's giveaway of bonus billions from taxpayers.
"Cash for Clunkers." The Chicago school of behavioral purists might say this program is a perfect example of economist Joseph Schumpeter's "creative destruction" in action. It's also great television, rivaling Nascar, Chopper Mania, Monster Trucks and the local demolition derby.
Yes, folks, America loves talent, wants to be a millionaire, loves to destroy stuff, and then rebuild. Cars, jobs, careers, retirement portfolios, the economy, the stock market. You can see this metaphor in other great television programs: "Big Brother," "Hell's Kitchen," "Lie to Me," "Criminal Minds," "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?" The point is, TV's a great barometer for the American soul, and it's screaming "bull!"
Yes, Americans want another bull, another bubble, even another meltdown. Guess what? It's already here, folks. The next big market-economic-business cycle has arrived ahead of schedule. This is what makes us America. We love challenges, risk-takers and winners. The nobody who suddenly becomes a big somebody is the biggest of all TV metaphors for who we are.
America's got talent. Where else can you see The Hoff screaming "You got talent!" to Grandma Lee, a craggy 75-year old comedian? Or Piers rooting for a bunch of half-time acrobats back-flipping off trampolines? Or Sharon Osbourne cheering for Kevin Skinner, an unemployed chicken farm-hand who looked like a hobo but wowed us with a voice like Randy Travis.
New, bigger bubble -- and a meltdown ahead
Yes, folks, a new bubble cycle is already in motion. You can feel the energy building, the kind that fueled the meltdowns of 1998, 2000 and 2007. We never resolved the problems fueling the dot-com insanity. We made matters worse feeding the subprime credit-derivatives disaster with cheap money, Reaganomics ideology and two costly wars. Lessons were never learned, nothing was resolved. Today matters continue deteriorating.
Behind the hoopla, the Wall Street conspiracy has dumped $23.7 trillion new bailout debt on taxpayers. The bill will come due. But for now, we're getting their wish: A new bubble is accelerating, thanks to America's "too-greedy-to-fail" Wall Street banks.
Folks, you can bet on it, sure as Regis is hosting "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" The bull, a bubble, and another meltdown are virtually certain and accelerating faster than earlier cycles, coming by 2012. How to profit? Ride it up for a couple years, then pray you'll have enough brain left to bail out in time before the crash (most don't) because at that point the euphoria is blinding, like a cocaine addiction....MORE
The key here is the disconnect between fundamentals and market prices.
Remember these bumper stickers?:
Makes me want to dance!! And who better to dance to than The Richter Scales: