Ruh roh, Raggy...
(How the story starts).
I used to be a history teacher at a private Christian school in Louisiana. I was in my mid-thirties then, unmarried and unattached. It was June and I was on a road trip, cruising up Interstate 81 through the northeastern corner of Tennessee in my Maxima. I was going to spend the month in Pennsylvania, hiking another 300 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The trail ran 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine, and over previous summers Id hiked it in sections, from south to north. After a school year spent dealing with self-absorbed and often hysterical teenagers, I was looking forward to the wilderness solitude.
Friday afternoon, and I was scanning the radio dial as I passed the towns and cities. The global banking crisis was in the news; the most serious problems were in Europe. Bank runs of some sort. Lucky for Europe, they ran out the clock at the close of business going into the weekend. But by then the financial contagion had spread to New York, and the stock market closed early after some kind of Wall Street emergency fuses had been blown.
Breathy voices warned of another round of dire world economic consequences, by then a familiar tune. Later news updates reported unspecified problems with the American credit card system. Computer networks were having technical problems. Some cell phone service was down. Spillover from Europe, no doubt. Other problems related to the internet, possibly coinciding with a period of high solar flare activity that affected communication satellites. Plain bad luck and Murphys Law were frequently cited. There was even some talk of a possible cyber attack, but of course it was pure speculation. China, Russia, Iran, the usual suspects.
Whatever the cause, the main sticking point seemed to be problems in the international currency markets. The days interbank trades could not be resolved; there was too much volatility in the Eurozone as some countries hinted at plans to pull out of the Euro. Financial experts assured their radio audiences that it would all be straightened out by Monday. Thank God its Friday was a commonly expressed cliché laughed into radio microphones.
And that was my working knowledge of the unfolding events. Radio reports.
This has to be Bush’s fault, Has to be!!!!
Translation - you can’t get out until the protected folks do. They can’t keep their story straight as to whether pending orders were cancelled or not.
Hecky durn, what could possibly be wrong? These trains always run on time.
Yeah, but it’s the attacking Chinese processors that are the problem.
Theres a video on the CNBC web page. (9:14 min) Brian Sullivan, Bob Pisani and Bertha Coombs