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September 11, 2005

Goofy or Paris Is My Choice

Tom McLaughlin

Humor by Tom McLaughlin

Alan Greenspan has more power than the president, The Supreme Court, Congress and Paris Hilton combined. His sneezes cause financial markets to tremble, even affecting the price of clams on the Island of Tonga.

He was at meeting recently in the financial capital of the free world, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where his utterances made front pages news across the globe. Of course, he was not influenced by Vice President Dick Chaney, whose home state is guess where? Yup! Wyoming! Where the deer and the antelope play and whose nickname is “Minimum Wage with a View”.

Mr. Greenspan stated in part: “developing protectionism regarding trade and our reluctance to place fiscal policy on a more sustainable path are threatening what may well be our most valued policy asset: Paris Hilton.”

Then he went on to say that “Those of us who have seen an increase in the value of our homes now feel more wealthy.” My house in Middletown has increased in value by $200,000 since I purchased it about seven years ago. I now wear a silk smoking jacket with ascot, speak like Charles Emerson Winchester The III in MASH and suck a pipe. My nose is high in the air as I sneer at the low life’s whose houses have only increased by a measly $199,999.99. The only problem is that I will have to move to a mountain top in Tennessee as that is the only place I will be able to afford, if I sell.

As usual, nobody knew what the hell he was saying. Reporters had to hire interpreters to understand the language.

One guy, Allen Sinai, a global economist, said he believed the other Alan was “strengthening his warning about the housing market.” But, this would only occur in “certain housing markets.”

He did not say which markets but you can bet people like Donald Trump and Dick Cheney know, down to the subdivision, street and house, where the calamity will begin and have already bailed out.

After the edict from on high, or out of the hole in this case, stock prices fell because – get this – Greenspan suggested, not “said, pronounced, decreed, screamed, whispered or dictated” but merely suggested they may be heading lower. Then the entire market sinks like a weighed down chicken neck after crabs.

He also said inflation was under control. When was the last time this guy pumped a tank of gas? Or went to the grocery store? Or tried to buy a house? They were celebrating his 18th anniversary as Fed Chief at the watering hole in Jackson Hole, and it dawned on me he had not stepped into a Safeway in at least the past 18 years.

Where are the smart people going to put their money after the housing market crashes?

Danny Snyder, owner of the Redskins, has been rounding up stock, at $6 a share, in an attempt to buy the Six Flags Amusement Park complex. I guess he figures when we homeowners have lost our equity, we will celebrate by riding on roller coasters. I cannot even afford to go to a Redskins game now that I “feel more wealthy” and I wonder how much the bumper cars will cost to take out my frustrations.

Greenspan also said if house prices were to suddenly fall or interest rates should rise rapidly, then homeowners and lenders would get clobbered. I don't know if he actually used the word “clobbered” but the Associated Press translated it that way. He said this is like the stock market bubble in days of yore.

No, Mr. Greenspan! At least we will have a place to live as opposed to having savings wiped out.

Everyone is wondering who will replace Mr. Greenspan when he retires. I nominate the Disney character Goofy or Paris Hilton because they make more sense than Mr. Greenspan, stock market analysis, financial planners and economic predictors combined.

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