Thursday, October 02, 2008


This global financial meltdown reminds me of taking care of a sick child. They can scare the hell out of you with a fever that suddenly spikes, the amazing theatrics of projectile vomiting, an impossibly restless night with the menu of diarrhea, cough, congestion, maybe croup, hell, even hives ... you parents know what I'm talking about, you've seen it all. Remember, your role is to be steadfast, be stalwart, be strong and assure you're fallen hero, "it's all gonna be okay!"

And finally, once things have worked themselves out and through the system, the little feverish, sweaty, exhausted baby doll makes a comeback, amazingly, just about the time you're completely wiped out yourself with worry and sleeplessness. They look at you with their restored angelic shiny face like, "hey, what's the big deal!?!"

I'm not naive enough to think the markets will snap back that fast or in that way, but they will regain their footing. They will. It's the only good thing about NOT being 20. All us older kids have been around the block a few times, been through ups and downs, know that change is the one constant you can count on. So let's weather this storm, be thankful the markets have gotten a kick in the pants to knock more sense into them AND us.

Some of these complicated financial instruments, almost as impossible to decipher or explain as Enron's insane accounting acrobatics, were shown to be all smoke and mirrors, and have gone up in their own puff of smoke. Good, let them and their benefactors leave the scene of the crime. Give Wall Street a good scrubbing, clean the street of these phony baloney shell games and their practitioners. Be gone. But like a massive storm cleaning the street, sidewalks, shopfronts and ending up down the sewer drains, it will take a bit of time to let it pass.

And for you literalists, the doctors define the term catharsis thusly (Wikipedia):
The term catharsis has been used for centuries as a medical term meaning a "purging." Most commonly in a medical context, it euphemistically refers to a purging of the bowels. A drug, herb, or other agent administered as a strong laxative is termed a cathartic.
The term catharsis has also been adopted by modern psychotherapy, particularly Freudian psychoanalysis, to describe the act of expressing deep emotions often associated with events in the individual's past which have never before been adequately expressed. Catharsis is also an emotional release associated with talking about the underlying causes of a problem or seeing a dream.
Seeing a dream, yes, remember that. Seeing a dream that gets your heart racing with fear. Are you buying into the fear? Seeing a dream of weapons of mass destruction, (did you fall for it?), and now a wall street of mass destruction, (is it reminiscent of this administration's last doom and gloom sales pitch?), which makes me think we are finally coming out of a trance. Yes, all this purging is usually followed by a much healthier patient. Be patient. Be ready. Be well.