In our last thrilling installment about Extreme Money, we saw the financial players gathered around the economy they had created out of debt and bravado like the scene in Peter Pan where the whole audience just has to clap if they believe in fairies. If they clap, then Tinkerbell lives.
However, in this case, people quit believing in fairies. The guys who had bought stuff with other people’s money, and in so many cases with nothing at all, since they were borrowing money from people who had borrowed the money from other people and so on, either cashed out in time or went down with Tinkerbell. Unfortunately, many of the Lost Boys were banks and Tinkerbell was the global economy.
The author reminds us of all the other economic bubbles in history, and suggests that this was just another bubble, a bit of extreme money that rose and burst and fell while the real economy kept going beneath it in the usual way. #1 daughter has always had that position about the recession of 2006-2010: it didn’t, she said, make much difference to most people. It just gave excuses to those who had been greedy or lazy.
Two thirds of our family got laid off during that recession, and sure enough, we’re all going ahead with our lives just fine. My husband went back to the same job with a pay cut, my younger daughter got a better job, my older daughter and I went into business. We have the same house, the same lifestyle, the same occasional money worries.
There were other people who suffered more, and I’m not prepared to say they were all greedy or lazy. Extreme Money looks, though, at the ones who created the bubble. The book reprints a striking email apparently sent by one of the players in the drama, in which he says that he’s not worried at all about the future. He says that he and his cronies are used to working hard and being aggressive, so they figure they can teach or tend gardens or check people out at Walmart just fine when their jobs end. “We don’t have to worry about our jobs,” he snarls to the masses of people suffering in the recession he and his kind created, ” because we’ll have yours.”
I didn’t go get the book to make sure that I quoted that correctly, I admit, but that was the gist of it. Are you thinking of Marie Antoinette right now?
It’s a pretty exciting story.
I’m putting pictures of the ebooks we’ve been working on into this post, because I haven’t made anything else new since last time. These are pretty cool, right? Today, as soon as I finish this post and my smoothie, I’m going to go out and get brown thread and groceries, and sew up a pair of pants. I haven’t had much luck with pants in the past, frankly, but I’m feeling optimistic. I have no reason to feel optimistic, I admit, but that doesn’t keep me from doing so.
Speaking of which, I have a bunch of bids and proposals and stuff out there, and my regulars are beginning to wake up and stretch and send me little bits of work to do, so I’m optimistic about that as well.
With any luck, we’ll have had a little slow spell just long enough to get my summer class tidied up and our ebooks done and our teacher resource site cleaned up for back to school, and will have our usual steady flow of work again just in time to pay the boys’ tuition for the fall.
#1 daughter’s plan is that we’ll keep a little slow spell in the summer, during which people will buy stuff at the educational site while we go on vacation. How cool would that be? I figure we can come back with excellent stuff for the education site (we’ve done FreshPlans Goes to the Museum, FreshPlans Goes to the Zoo, FreshPlans Goes to the Battlefield, FreshPlans Goes to the Rodeo — why not FreshPlans Goes to the Beach, FreshPlans, Goes to the Dude Ranch, FreshPlans Goes to Big City Restaurants…) and make it tax deductible. I’m seeing super cool travel videos with important educational points of some kind. We’ll practice in Rome.