Aside from dashed hopes and magically evaporating nest eggs (we’ve all lost money), the bust brings with it plenty of joy, some of it schadenfreude, but some of it just pure, untainted delight.
It’s the elation that comes with truth and honesty, the happiness that the father of the prodigal son felt when his son came crawling back, the relief that the wife of a wayward husband feels when his fling is finally flung, the sublime expectation of a new beginning that comes when the sinner sincerely repents.
Ah, the truth, unvarnished by layers upon layers of Fed-created credit!
Truly, there is much to love about this bust:
- The central planners, even the Fed, once so in charge, are humbled in everyone’s eyes (but their own).
- No living soul really believes that government can fix this.
- Politicians can’t seem to stop their poll ratings from falling. Crashing stock prices follow them like The Blob. They run but they can’t get away.
- The state suddenly fears the economy instead of the reverse.
- Local and state governments are being starved of revenue. They might have to cut their budgets!
- The experts who have been predicting recovery for 18 months are disgraced.
- The “New Economy” wizards are in hiding.
- Austrian economics is hip.
- Barron’s has discovered, in various nooks and crannies of Wall Street, wise but crabby septuagenarian brokers who were right all along.
- Young people suddenly seem stupid and old people seem smart.
- Everyone now realizes that real security is economic security
- Men are dressing better.
- My broker and I are having normal conversations, as in I say something, he listens and says something, I listen then I say something, that sort of thing.
- Employees view employers as benefactors.
- Gold is back!
- God is back!
- Home is back!
- Classical music is back!
- Postrel is toast.
- At family reunions, conversation can be dominated by something other than Telecom and Biotech.
- Retirement, an artificial construct imposed by the New Deal, is dead.
- Virtually all books written about finance in the last 15 years are worthless, while a treatise like Mises’s 1912 Theory of Money and Credit suddenly seems invaluable.
- Bush’s legacy: war, depression, one term.