Cool and the Crisis

Wednesday, October 1, 2008 -- Still near Beaver Dam.

The 40f degree outside temp that greeted us this morning, while very fall-like, crisp, and appealing, is providing a little more urgency for us to wrap up business here and start our trek south. The woods here are still primarily green with only a few blotches of color to suggest it's October. Where is the color this year? The area was flooded with water in June, but since then it's been fairly normal. It has been warmer than normal (up until today), but temperature isn't supposed to have much of an effect on fall color. I'll have to check with my brother the hortoculturalist (who has actually studied this phenomenon during his graduate studies) and report back at a later date.

Both Dar and I got a clean bill of health from the medical establishment this week. Now we're waiting for eyeglasses and contact lenses to arrive. We've been in the upper Midwest for three months now and while we truly enjoy being close to family and friends there's a growing urge to move and explore new places. Often referred to among fulltimers as "hitch-itch", it's the desire or impulse to roam that grows stronger the longer you're camped in one place. The desire to explore is the core reason we're living the way we are, so it's not surprising that we're itching to move.

The current credit crisis is still in the news. The House voted the bailout plan down on Monday and the stock market responded with a 778 point decline. However, the next day, yesterday, it came roaring back with a 485 point gain -- supposedly on the notion that a bill would, in fact, be passed later this week. Who understands the volatile motivations of these traders? It's almost as if the market is being manipulated to send messages to congress... that the dire predictions of disaster will occur if they don't act and act now... like a spoiled teenager screaming that they'll run away if they don't get what they want.

I, for one, am skeptical... I don't buy it. I may be wrong, but there's too much urgency... too much talk about doom if nothing is done... too many people on the bandwagon of getting something, anything, approved. Is anyone actually reading the bill? Does anyone really understand how we got where we're at? Does anyone really understand where we're at? How bad is it?

In my experience, both business and personal, panic and hasty action in reaction to predictions of dire consequences almost always end up making the situation worse. Although it's not popular to say so, doing nothing -- at least in the short-term -- is probably the wisest coarse of action. Once we understand the causes in a more deliberative way, appropriate and thoughtful action can be taken.



Boris said…
Thom: You ask a lot of great questions. I've spent most of the last fifteen years working for two of the largest Wall Street firms and I don't know the answers either.

Friday's market activity was especially interesting. Stocks were up, then the bill passed the House and stocks tanked. It's almost as if traders finally realized that, what they were doing was asking the same folks who created the problem to fix it. Members of Congress are clueless.

Travel safely!

Slightly Better than Most