Hey, Greenspan, shut up!

Rick Ryckeley's picture

My mama was born in the great state of Alabama. She lived there all her life, until she married my dad, that is, then she moved to Georgia. I guess that makes her about as Southern as one can git.

Now being a Southern lady, she had things she was particular about. She really thought that people had to have good manners, and she dispensed a great deal of motherly wisdom to all us boys and the sister. One of Mama’s favorite sayings was, “If you can’t think of something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” I guess Allen Greenspan didn’t grow up with a Southern lady for a mom.

Last Sunday he was making a speech in front of the European Union and said that he thought within the next five years there would be a global recession. Now I know what you’re thinking — he made those remarks last Monday not Sunday. But last Monday was last Sunday because of the time difference and something to do with global warming and El Nino coming back. At least that’s what I remember of the The Wife trying to explain to me. Turns out I don’t seem to listen to The Wife any better than I did my mother.

Mama also told us words have power. Boy, she wasn’t kidding. When I called Down the Street Bully Brad a big tub of blubber, my words were so powerful they got the tar beat out of me for an entire summer.

Now, to my knowledge, no one beat up Greenspan after his remarks. I wanted to; I just couldn’t afford the plane ticket to Europe.

His remarks caused the markets, and my retirement, to take one of the biggest nose dives in history. Thanks a pant load, Allen, now it appears that I can’t ever retire.

Mr. Greenspan served as the chairman of the Federal Reserve for the last hundred or so years. Now, I understand how the markets hung on every word in every report he ever issued, but for crying out loud, he retired last year! Does anybody even know the name of the person who took his place? No? Me neither. I haven’t heard a word from the guy – he (or she) must have a nice Southern lady for a mom.

Another phrase I heard a lot while growing up was, “I hope you’re happy now! Just look at the mess you’ve made.” With his remarks, Greenspan caused the Chinese market to crash, and then the European market took a tumble. The next day – or the same day if you count the global warming thing and El Nino – the U.S. market took a nose dive.

The way I see it, Allen Greenspan made the mess. He needs to clean it up, or at least give me back the money I lost.

Mama also told us, “If you make a mistake, then ‘fess up to it. A real man will take his lumps and be done with it.” ‘Fess up: For all of you out there that didn’t grow up with a Southern mom, that means, “Own up to what you did so I can whup ya.”

Well at least in this case, Greenspan did eventually fess up, although it was Thursday, three days later. With the time difference and the global warming thing it seemed like Wednesday to most everybody. Except Al Gore, but he doesn’t care; he got an Oscar.

When he saw what he had done, Greenspan called a news conference and claimed he hadn’t said it was going to happen, just that it might happen. Luckily that seemed to calm everyone down.

Growing up, I was an expert on this one. Trust me, saying one thing and then changing your story is called lying. If Mama were still alive, she’d hunt Greenspan down, even if he’s in still in Europe, and whup him really good.

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