Monday, December 20, 2010

The Crash

Red Bull, Monster, QE2, Rock Star, AMP, Five Hour Energy – just a few of today’s popular coffee substitutes. That’s right, coffee substitutes, not the nutritional supplements their labels portend. Sorry folks but the ginseng, b12, etc., is nothing more than camouflage for a mega-dose of caffeine… It’s the caffeine that heightens your senses, your focus, gives you that boost of energy.

The problem then, for the everyday user, is that these energy potions ultimately lose their oomph. His/her system, over time, builds a tolerance for the caffeine, thus requiring ever-heavier doses to achieve the desired effect… And, from what I gathered from an interrogation by a registered nurse during my recent physical (“do you smoke, use alcohol or caffeine?”), consistently high doses of caffeine just aren’t good for the body. I mean there has to be a reason caffeine and nicotine reside on the same line of a medical questionnaire, don’t you think?

You noticed I inserted “QE2”… That would be the concoction, developed in the labs of the Federal Open Market Committee (The Fed), designed to amp the U.S. economy by sustaining the market for treasury securities, thus keeping interest rates low… The funny thing is, from its very inception, rates have done nothing but gone up – signifying, perhaps, an increasing tolerance for this particular formula… And that my friends could be a very good thing!

(Presumably, according to oodles of “experts”, the Fed, under Alan Greenspan, over-stimulated the economy in the wake of the bursting of the ‘90s tech bubble, and thus created a whole new bubble in the real estate/mortgage-backed securities markets. The collapse of which lead to the Greatest Recession since the Great Depression, or, in terms an over-stimulated caffeine abuser would understand, The Crash…)

The bad news is that the recent rise in interest rates could prematurely slow the economy (not good for the employment picture). The good news is that the recent rise in interest rates just might be an indication that, this time around, the bond market is stronger than the (tinkering) Fed… And again, on balance, I’m thinking that’s a good thing…




  1. And a Very Merry Christmas to you and your family and all the gang at PWA!!!!

  2. Let's hope this portends and recovery. Insha'allah as they say here in Cairo.