Katie Baker was my life’s work. I’m not sure what it means for me that her life’s work is done.
All year long I’ve had to deal with the media (and, more annoyingly, my own friends) using the dreaded “Wall Street versus Main Street” construct. So I am thrilled that the powerful Lake Superior State University has added it to its 2009 List of Banished Words:
WALL STREET/MAIN STREET – “When this little dyad first came into use at the start of the financial crisis, I thought it was a clever use of parallelism. But it’s simply over-used. No ‘serious’ discussion of the crisis can take place without some political figure lamenting the fact that the trouble on Wall Street is affecting ‘folks’ on Main Street.” Charles Harrison, Aiken, SC.
“The recent and continuing financial failings are not limited to ‘Wall Street,’ nor should one paint business, consumers, and small investors as ’ Main Street .’ Topeka (where I work), and Lawrence (where I live), Kansas, have no named ’ Main Street .’ How tiresome.” Kent McAnally, Topeka, KS. “I am so tired of hearing about everything affecting ’ Main Street .’ I know that with the ‘Wall Street’ collapse, the comparison is convenient, but really, let’s find another way to talk about everyman or the middle class, or even, heaven forbid, ‘Joe the Plumber.’” Stacey, Knoxville, Tenn.
My problem with it had less to do with whether my hometown has a Main Street - it does - and more to do with the fact that the two are never mutually exclusive. Anyway, LSSU has decreed it, and so you must abide.
You’re also not allowed to use the horrific “staycation”. What does that even mean!?
(However, they also are banning <3, which I’d just gotten around to appreciating. I guess you have to take the good with the bad.)
“With all that arguing, you may wonder what happened to the Christmas spirit. John Carney at Clusterstock–a blogger with the soul of a novelist–wrote an amusing, fictional take on how the Bank of England teamed with Ebenezer Scrooge to create the panic of 1847.”
I suppose I should be happy when the Wall Street Journal prints this kind of thing but there’s a melancholy to that phrase “with the soul of a novelist.” It’s another reminder that I have not, in fact, finished my novel and so I remain just a blogger with the soul of a novelist rather than, you know, an actual novelist.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
The Federal Reserve entered a new era on Tuesday, reducing its benchmark interest rate so low that it will have to reach for new and untested tools in fighting both the recession and downward pressure on consumer prices. The central bank lowered its target for the overnight federal funds rate to a range of 0 to 0.25 percent, a record low, virtually bringing the United States to the zero-rate policies that Japan used for six years in its own fight against deflation.
…can someone more financially adept explain the implications of this?
Normally, making money cheaper for institutional borrowers trickles down to consumers and businesses as lower interest on loans (e.g., mortgages), leading to more borrowing or refinancing.
However, the current credit/liquidity crisis undermined this effect. The lower Fed Funds rates are offset by lenders charging more for increased market risks (and bond yields staying wide) - either in terms of padded rates or, by not giving you loans at all if your credit is sub-prime.
If you have great credit, interest rates on some variable accounts (like unconsolidated student loans, but maybe not plastic) will tick down, and mortgages could become cheaper. Otherwise, the main use of this cut is preventing further market deterioration that would follow if both rates and risk-premiums remained high simultaneously; and, in concert with other rescue efforts, to help us turn the corner.
This analysis of the Fed’s move and the trouble the government is having trying to wrench the economy out of a recession is good stuff.
But I thought I’d add that the rate on my Chase credit card, which charges prime plus zero, just ticked down to 3.25%. So some of this credit easing is getting through to consumers.
Dear Ms. Cheever,
I’ve been meaning to write you all day. The problem is, I am hungover.
It appears we live in different parts of New York. Last night, in fact, I was at multiple parties where people were drunk.
There was a woman dressed in red at our second party. I remember her because she had a beautiful body under that dress. And she wanted everyone to notice. We did, though we were polite enough to pretend like we didn’t.
But you remind me. There are things that happened this weekend that I am likely to forget. In this mess of the celebratory winter season, it’s hard to get everyone in one place. But late in the evening on the thirteenth of December, our disparate groups converged in the East Village.
There were lots of homemade pigs in blankets to be eaten, a gracious host with an inordinant amount of autobiographical Christmas ornaments on his tree and a stumbling group of Santas and Mrs. Clauses wandering around the place friskily.
There were partygoers in varying states of inebriation. Some, I’m sure of it, must have been sober. But there wasn’t time to hold that against them. We were too busy enjoying each other’s company.
There were boys following girls around the apartment. A papaya menorah magically lit for seven minutes. A woman in a Santa suit straddled another partygoer. The woman with the red hair flashed her tits. Again.
Girls fought over our best named Internet mogul, despite and because of his questionable fashion sense.
“Are you saying I’m not drunk?” the man once dressed as Santa charged before going to search for his mustache. Obama had stolen it. Again. Slippery sucker.
Our mascot was running around with a glove on one hand. Actually, it was an “Ove’ Glove.” And even in his diminished state, this man. He knew. It ought to have been called an Oven Gloven.
He drank an entire bottle of rose. This was perhaps his best/worst idea ever.
It was Saturday night. We spilled our drinks, we danced in slo-motion and we remembered why we live in this big, cold city. Because our friends, the lot of them, are big hearted, loveable drunks. And we love ‘em, every one.
If there were a year or a season that New Yorkers were not drunk, it would not be now. Some of us may be unemployed. Those with jobs are quickly learning that their employers might be saying goodbye soon. Even though they don’t want to. And for once, those of us on the bottom tier of the New York City food chain have wisdom to impart with those still, or formerly, on top.
But it’s the Christmas season. And there is far more eggnog, familial guilt and general merriment to be had in these waining days of 2008.
Some day, in the course of life’s events, this will all slow down. There are already signs. Blondes are having babies. Some of us responsibly go home before sunrise on school nights. We tend to floss now.
The day will come, of course, when we will all be old. The parties will slow down, or start to include things like dinner. But when that time does arrive, I hope that we can still remember back to these nights we once had and remember them fondly, instead of the alternative. Assuming that the rest of the world has gotten old with us.
Onward to tonight’s party. I’m just sayin’.
Does this news mean that Joe Biden will be soon making an appearance at The Magician? Katie Bakes has her fingers crossed, I’m sure.
Goodness — how many Carney brothers are there? I feel like I’ve heard about at least six or seven by now.
(EDIT: Chris clears it up; this one is not related to JFCIII. But I’m guessing he is related to Delaware gubernatorial candidate John Carney.)
This guy is my brother in the same way that I am the Lt. Gov. of Delaware and a New York Giant. In other words, it’s totally true.
(via tephie)This would be an excellent horror movie.