26 Titillating Things to Do Instead of Watching (or Listening to) the Financial News


  • Make the environmentalists happy by getting into alternative power, and build a windmill to catch some of that financial tsunami.
  • Empty your money markets and put the cash under a fireproof mattress.
  • Set up multiple computer monitors in your home and tune each one to a Wall Street investment bank stock ticker.
  • Read Bill Gross’s columns to start planning your Keynesian dictionary.
  • Spend hours pondering the frightening thought of catastrophic deflation (lower prices).
  • Start your own credit ratings agency and build a marketing campaign called "Just Say No to Moody’s and S&P."
  • Bet on a government bailout and buy General Motors stock.
  • Copy the Bill Gross approach and apply it to General Motors: bet on a government bailout and buy GM stock, and then use your position and influence to lobby for the bailout. If you don’t have position and influence, move to the next bullet point.
  • Check your 401k hourly.
  • Count how many times George Bush says the economy is "strong."
  • Start a spreadsheet to keep track of every big business that is considered a "national treasure."
  • Tell your friends, co-workers, and neighbors that a house is a "durable consumer good," and then sit back and watch the reaction.
  • Explain to your 75-year-old mother (for the 23rd time) why you won’t be receiving "a good pension" like your dad.
  • If you are diminutive in stature, such as I am (I am 5’3"), go out for Halloween, go door-to-door in the buff with a price tag attached to your rear, and tell people you are a naked short sell.
  • I know the Christmas lights are still up, but the home equity line is gone so it’s time to take the ATM sign off the house.
  • Okay, take a peek at CNBC and listen for someone, anyone, to say the word "sell." If you hear it, rejoice.
  • Go to nice lounges and tell people "well, my bear funds are were doing great."
  • Explain to your 75-year-old mother (for the 37th time) why you need to invest for a secure future, and why CDs and savings accounts just don’t cut it. Simplify and repeat.
  • Take your money out of your 401k, pay the penalties and taxes, and still come out ahead. Stash the dough with your ex-money market funds underneath that fireproof mattress.
  • Go through the walk-in closet, collect all of your horrifying 1980s gold jewelry (unicorn necklaces, etc.), and look for the nearest gold dealer.
  • Start a local Objectivist club and discuss the persecution of the big banks on Wall Street. If they take you seriously, flee!
  • Be the first one to write a CliffNotes on financial derivatives.
  • Apply for a job as an entry-level mortgage loan officer or learn to flip houses.
  • Go to a mall and ask people 35-and-under to define the term "starter home."
  • Write a letter to Bill Gross and Paul McCulley at PIMCO PIMPCO, and ask them if they’ve ever been to a Wal-Mart.
  • Build a crossword puzzle calling attention to clichéd, financial socialism-friendly terms that are regularly used by the mainstream media. Start with the following: liquidity, illiquid markets, confidence-building, financial tsunami, market fragility, systemic risk, bridge loan, liquidity provision, national interest, catastrophic deflation, subprime exposure, limited fallout, accelerating risk aversion, pumping liquidity, risk perception, financial terrorism, preemptive injection, forceful injection, master plan, commodity super cycle, off balance sheet, de-leveraging, flow of credit, financial time bomb, bear-market raid, and "velocity of short-selling." **

** Thanks to Steven Saville for four of the terms found here.