So follow me for just a second, while my logic leaps wildly…
As sometimes it just HAS to do.
Ponderism: Is the economy bad?
So bad in fact…
Experts have found a correlation between the anemic economy and overall traffic flow.
It’s clearing the roads!
And it is because people don’t have the money to be on them anymore.
[via USAToday] Traffic congestion dropped 30% last year from 2010 in the USA’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, driven largely by higher gas prices and a spotty economic recovery, according to a new study by a Washington-state firm that tracks traffic flows.
That was the largest drop since the nation plunged into recession in December 2007.
Of the 100 most populous metro areas, 70 saw declines in traffic congestion while just 30 had increases, says Jim Bak, co-author of the 2011 U.S. Traffic Scorecard for Kirkland, Wash.-based INRIX.
That was a reversal of what happened in 2010, when 70 had increases in congestion and 30 had declines. Tampa had the biggest increase in congestion, and Minneapolis the biggest drop.
“We’re experiencing a stop-and-go economy right now,” Bak says. “The data indicate the country may be experiencing the jobless recovery economists warned of during the recession.”
INRIX collects traffic information from more than 100 million vehicles equipped with GPS devices and from other sources for its annual scorecard.
Bak says the data show that the reduction in gridlock on the nation’s roads stems from rising fuel prices, lackluster gains in employment … [Read More]
And speaking of people no longer having money!
Given the whole Facebook IPO fiasco…
The newest U.S. economy killer?
[via MarketWatch] What’s going on? Facebook’s in trouble, that’s what. Now in the crosshairs of public scrutiny, everybody’s taking potshots. And the warnings are just beginning:
Everything from Facebook FB -8.90% being “too big to fail or succeed” to a Chicago attorney warning that the stock could “crater” if Facebook can’t grow revenues 41% annually for five years to “sustain its value” to a warning that Facebook’s one of the “Black Swans” that could eventually bring down the global economy.
Let’s begin, shining the bright light of behavioral science and psychology on what’s going on:
Facebook’s billion ‘friends’ in denial — deja vu the 1999 bubble mania
Behavioral economics is the new “psychology of denial.” Yes, it’s like falling in love. You can’t hear, can’t see the warning signs. Till after. After months of hype building up to this IPO, you’re convinced Facebook is your soul mate, that not getting shares in that IPO would leave you devastated, rejected by your true love. And nothing anyone says about the risks will change your mind. That’s the “psychology of denial.”
There are four main reasons for this pervasive psychology of denial among Main Street’s 95 million investors: First, investors hate admitting we’re irrational and ill-informed, cling to the fiction they’re rational. Second, optimism is the investor’s worst nightmare, but Americans still act optimistic no matter the odds. Third, Wall Street loves investors who are irrational, uninformed and optimistic, they’re easy to manipulate. Fourth, American investors are by nature trusting folks, want to believe Wall Street’s telling the truth, even though most of the time they aren’t.
The Facebook mystique is so powerful today that in our minds Facebook truly is too big to fail. Facebook will never fail, Facebook will just keep growing indefinitely at rates that would remind us of the old dot-com mindset of 1999, hail Facebook, you are too big to fail and nothing will change our minds.
And paradoxically, that’s exactly why Facebook is the ultimate economy-killer.
Could our friendly Facebook really bring down the economy?
Global economy-killer? Yes, Facebook has now been added to my list of global macroeconomic triggers (deadly unpredictable Black Swans like the dot-coms in 2000, subprimes in 2008) that the denial system driving the collective brain of American investors will simply tune out, till it’s too late. Till a crash takes the economy down again.
And, yes, it may take years, or trigger in 2012. We watched the same kind of buildup to the 2008 crash for a few years in advance, as credible warnings were ignored. Yes folks, Facebook is that dangerous to our economy and to the global economy.
You think I’m kidding? Not one bit. In fact Facebook is now one of my top-12 economy-killing triggers, any one of which could ignite a firestorm. [Read More]
Before you know it…
The roads will be SO clear of cars?
Horses and carriages will be making a comeback.
Damn you, Facebook!
*shakes head sadly*
Wild. Leap. Logic?
But fun nonetheless.