The short memory of the American population

Talk about short memories; I think most Americans have totally forgotten how despite ample warning signs, we were constantly being told “all is well” with the economy all the way until the bottom fell out last October. Here are a few examples. One year ago today, this was the leading headline:


The Fed had just finished their meeting and announced that despite two straight quarters of growth well under 1%, there was no recession, and probably would not be one. Here is an example:

“Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, earlier this month, acknowledged for the first time that a recession this year was possible.”

Is the all wise chairman of the Fed Mr. Bernanke really so dense and uneducated that at this time a year ago he was still not sure a recession was coming? Is this really the kind of “leader” we want overseeing the entire financial realm in this country? Anyone who would believe that the recession caught the Fed off guard needs to go back to sleep and wake up again in twenty years.

Just one year ago everyone was appalled that the unemployment rate was so high. How high was it? Here is a line from a story written one year ago today:

“During the first three months of this year, job losses neared the staggering quarter-million mark. The unemployment rate has climbed to 5.1 percent and is expected to move higher in the coming months.”

Hmmm, I wonder if it did go higher. The US unemployment rate rose to a new 25-year high of 8.5 percent in March 2009. From 5.1% to 8.5% in one year; yes, I would say that it did go a little higher.

One year ago we were just starting to see the effects of the run up of oil and gasoline prices. All eyes were on inflation as the price of gasoline, milk, wheat and corn were skyrocketing. One year ago the price for crude oil was around $118. This was considered at the time to be so high it could never be sustained. Guess what, by July 4th, the price was up to $145 and it could not be sustained at that level.

Right now, on April 30th, 2009 oil is trading at $51 per barrel after dropping as low as $36.51 in January. If the economy is bad now, which it is, imagine what it would be like if oil was still at close $150 per barrel and gas prices were near $5 per gallon instead of under $2?

The point of all this is that somebody knew something long ago but they were not taking about it. I refuse to believe all the wild and crazy things which have taken place the past year in the economy just “happened” and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men never saw it coming.

For what it is worth, I bet very few people knew this fact. Last year the Dow closed at 8,258.13 on April 30th. As of this moment on April 30th, 2009, the Dow is at 8,288.79. Incredibly, despite massive lay offs and the demolition of thousands of businesses and constant bail outs of the big banks—the Dow is at the same point it was a year ago. What this means I do not know other than the clear truth that somebody somewhere knows a heck of a lot more about what has gone on, is going on and is to go on than they are letting us know about.

1 Response to “The short memory of the American population”

  1. 1 e.koenig
    May 3, 2009 at 11:31 am

    i just came across your site researching historical home/income ratios and just wanted to say that you have a lot of really good info here (even if it is depressing), and i read about your heart issues and i wish you the very best.

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